Approximately 2,000 preservationists are in Indianapolis for what organizers call the “Super Bowl of Preservation.” The National Preservation Conference runs through Sunday. Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis says much of the event will focus on how historical preservation organizations can “remain relevant” and grow membership through social media and other outlets. In a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Davis discussed the conference, which also features trips to historic sites in communities including Delphi, West Baden and Columbus. Davis says the conference will also include presentations on issues such as federal policy and how to find funds when budgets are shrinking.

This year marks the third time Indianapolis has hosted the event since it began in 1949.

October 29, 2013

News Release

Columbus, Ind. — Columbus is so highly regarded in the field of historic preservation that the movement’s national conference this year is staging “A Day in Columbus.” On Nov. 2, the final day of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference in Indianapolis, all sessions move to Columbus.

Shuttles will bring participants to tour the city’s mid-20th century landmarks—seven of which are National Historic Landmarks, the rarest designation—and attend educational sessions on preserving Modernist buildings and landscapes.

Will Miller, son of J. Irwin Miller who commissioned the Miller House and devised the program that inspired Columbus’s concentration of Modernist buildings, will make a special appearance at the conference’s closing luncheon at First Christian Church. He will speak on his family’s role in Columbus’ heritage, architecture, industry and civic revitalization.

Preservationists, architects, planners and developers will spend the day examining the architectural heritage of Columbus to see how a community can use quality design and planning to enhance livability.

Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum, a landmark of an earlier era, is a major financial sponsor of the National Preservation Conference. The Columbus Area Visitors Center helped coordinate the logistics of “A Day in Columbus.”

Groups will take turns visiting one of the finest expressions of American Modernism, the Miller House and Garden. The Miller House showcases the work of leading 20th-century architects and designers Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard and Dan Kiley. In 2009, the Miller family donated the house to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, so that it could be preserved and shared with the public. Participants will learn how the Indianapolis Museum of Art addressed the challenges of fundraising, furnishing, and opening the house to the public in a residential neighborhood through a cooperative agreement with the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

Speakers at the day's sessions include Mark Zelonis and Bradley Brooks, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Charlene Roise, Hess Roise and Company, Minneapolis; Ronald R. Sill, ASLA, RLA, LEED AP, Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc.; Patrick A. Eidman and Elizabeth Blackwell, History Colorado; Abigail Christman, Center of Preservation Research, University of Colorado Denver; Adrian Scott Fine, LA Conservancy; T. Gunny Harboe, FAIA, Harboe Architects, Inc.; and Theo Prudon, FAIA, Prudon Partners.

Participants will also tour the city’s historic downtown to analyze the dynamic between the city’s nineteenth- and early twentieth-century landmarks and its Modernist structures. Most guided tours associated with the conference are sold out. Many attendees are expected to take advantage of the Columbus Area Visitors Center’s self-guided map and cell phone tours.

For more information on the 2013 National Preservation Conference, hosted by Indiana Landmarks, visit

Source: Indiana Landmarks

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