Getting Your Historic House (Museum) in Order: Foundation Documents for Managing Your Historic Property

1-day workshop

This one-day workshop is designed for volunteer and professional stewards of historic house museums looking to improve the preservation and interpretation of their site. The course provides in-depth information about the planning documents that serve as the foundation for preserving, maintaining, and interpreting historic house museums. The workshop will focus on the components of each plan and how, together, the plans become the framework for site management. Participants will learn why planning documents are important, beginning with the Historic Structure Report (HSR), the foundation upon which all other plans develop. Instructors will offer guidance on the development of an HSR and how this plan supports preservation and interpretation of the site, as well informs additional plans to preserve, maintain and interpret a site’s landscape and interior. They will offer strategies to develop landscape plans, interpretive plans, furnishing plans, and maintenance plans. The instructors will also discuss how disaster planning and ADA compliance impact site preservation and interpretation and offer tips on how to find and work with consultants to meet their goals.

The workshop will include a tour of the nearby Walt Whitman House. The Walt Whitman House in Camden, NJ, was the home of Walt Whitman during the final years of his life. This restored National Historic Landmark is a prime case study on how planning documents serve as tools for site management. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage the instructors and the museum’s staff in a conversation on the practical applications of preservation planning.

Instructors: Dorothy Hartman and Margaret M. Hickey (fall 2016)
Credits: .7 CEUs; 7 AIA LUs

Dorothy Hartman is principle of History in the Making, an arts, public history and historic preservation consulting firm located in northern New Jersey. Previous to forming History in the Making, she was vice president for Programs and Planning for Save Ellis Island. Over the course of her career, she has planned major exhibitions, instituted education programs on Ellis Island and at Waterloo Village, led fundraising efforts, and produced interpretive, strategic, and long-range plans for a wide variety of history and arts organizations. She holds a BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MA from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Margaret M. Hickey, R.A., is the principal historic preservation specialist for Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects, located in Cranford, NJ. Connolly & Hickey is an architecture and historic preservation firm specializing in the restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive use of a variety of historic resources. Margaret received her MS in historic preservation from Columbia University and her BA from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. As the historic preservation specialist for the firm, she develops the overall preservation strategies for projects involving historic resources. Her experience includes the preparation of condition assessment reports, historic preservation plans, historic structure reports and interpretive plans, and the development of design and contract documents, including drawings and technical specifications for historic preservation projects.

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