Due to COVID-19, the DC Preservation League is putting in-person events on hold until further notice; however, we are offering virtual events during this time. Below are recordings of past online programs hosted by DCPL. We will continue to update this page with recordings of future events.
Exploring History Online Virtual Workshop (June 3, 2020)
Led by DCPL staff, this virtual workshop teaches viewers how to explore the history of your house, neighborhood, or favorite historic site from home! It includes information about helpful online resources such as maps, newspaper databases, repositories for historic photographs, and more.
Flood Risks to Historic Structures (August 26, 2020)
Overdevelopment, sea level rise, and increased precipitation associated with climate change are increasing the frequency and severity of coastal, riverine, and urban flood hazards. Compounding this issue, historic buildings located on sites that are susceptible to flooding often also contain numerous vulnerabilities to heighten the risk of substantial flood-related damage. This webinar, led by Adam Rush, P.E., Senior Consulting Engineer with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, explored historical and contemporary flood mitigation solutions within the context of historic preservation and increasing flood resilience. This presentation also discussed the actions local communities and governments are taking to address this problem and how regulation changes impact historic preservation projects.
(October 1, 2020)
Contemporary Photographic Documentation of America’s Historic Architecture
This webinar was led by Large Format Photographer Jarob Ortiz and HABS Architect Paul Davidson from the Heritage Documentation Programs (HABS/HAER/HALS) of the National Park Service. It discussed the Heritage Documentation Programs’ photographic practices for recording historic structures across the nation and the program’s traditional method of utilizing large format analog photography to produce highly detailed archival products. Accompanying this discussion was the topic of digital photography; how the program is transitioning into born digital formats; and how the program’s architects are utilizing its advantages in ways that most people overlook.
Landmark Nominations: From Inspiration to Designation (October 29, 2020)
A completed landmark nomination form can seem like a master’s thesis with an income tax return pasted in. DCPL Trustee and Landmarks Committee Chair Peter Sefton, who’s prepared many successful nominations, presents some straightforward strategies for preparing a successful nomination efficiently and expeditiously. He describes how to navigate the life cycle of a nomination from inspiration to designation, as well as effective research and writing approaches that cut through the complexities of the National Register form. He also discusses the critical and sometimes neglected role of outreach and community participation in every landmark designation.
The Legacy of Streetcars in Washington, DC (November 10, 2020)
For 100 years, from 1862 to 1962, streetcars were a vital element of the District’s transportation infrastructure. The development of streetcar lines enabled the development of many of the city’s neighborhoods outside of the downtown core. For decades, streetcars were the primary means of commuting for most Washingtonians. Now, more than half a century after streetcar service ended, there are still many reminders of the streetcar system around the city, and some of these historic structures are threatened. Historian, author, and DCPL trustee John DeFerrari discussed the colorful history of streetcars in the nation’s capital as well as the remnants of the streetcar system that have survived and their preservation status.
47th Annual DC History Conference: "Historic Preservation: Of the People, For the People, By the People?" (November 13, 2020)
DC’s built environment reflects the diverse layers of history of its residents, but landmark listings on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites or National Register of Historic Places often fail to represent all those histories. In recent years, there has been an invigorated effort by preservationists, local organizations, and community members to promote and protect the many stories represented in Washington’s historic places. This initiative requires identifying and nominating sites important to communities who have historically gone underrepresented in the Inventory and National Register.
In addition to the DC Preservation League’s Executive Director Rebecca Miller, panelists from the 1882 Foundation, Quinn Evans, Prologue DC, LLC., and the DC Historic Preservation Office explored the process of ensuring local and national protection of the places these projects recognize; identified obstacles that may arise; discussed the role of community activism in these initiatives; and delved into the importance of having these sites and their associated histories protected as historic landmarks or districts.
2020 District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation (November 18, 2020)
Since 2003, more than 100 outstanding preservation projects and dozens of individuals and organizations have been recognized for their exceptional contributions in support of historic preservation in Washington, DC. Awards are presented in the following categories: Stewardship, Volunteerism and Community Involvement, Education, Design and Construction, as well as the State Historic Preservation Officer’s Award, HPRB Chair Awards, and Individual Lifetime Achievement.
Hosted by the DC Preservation League, the DC Office of Planning, and the DC State Historic Preservation Office.
"Images of America: Washington Canoe Club" with Christopher Brown (December 8, 2020)
In this virtual presentation, author Christopher N. Brown explores his new book, “Images of America: Washington Canoe Club.” This photographic tour invites readers to learn more about the Washington Canoe Club- a landmark on the Georgetown waterfront of the nation’s capital for over a century. Its iconic Victorian boathouse, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has survived floods and fires as well as changing land uses along the Potomac shoreline. In addition to exploring his work and the Club’s history, Christopher also delves in to current preservation efforts to save this historic site.
Visit the Washington Canoe Club’s website today to see more details and purchasing options for this book. Proceeds of all book sales will be donated to the boathouse restoration effort.
St. Elizabeths Hospital Virtual Tour with the DC Preservation League (January 27, 2021)
Rebecca Miller, Executive Director of the DC Preservation League, leads the organization’s first-ever virtual tour of St. Elizabeths Hospital. This program explores the fascinating history of the country’s first federally funded mental health hospital and discuss the preservation of its campus and buildings.
Since its founding in 1852, the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital has had an important impact on the treatment of the mentally ill in the United States. Sited on a wooded ridge in the Anacostia Hills, this National Historic Landmark consists of buildings, landscapes, and viewsheds that convey the history and significance of this 350 acre campus. The 350 acre campus is in various phases of mixed use development and is a living example of how public attitudes and policy shape the built environment and how the built environment can shape public attitudes.
Riding Through the Past: New Metrobus Tours on the DC Historic Sites App (February 24, 2021)
Led by DC Preservation League, this presentation explores “Riding Through the Past”– a series of new bus tours on the DC Historic Sites mobile app and website.
In 1976, Don’t Tear It Down (DTID) published a series of brochures on various public bus routes across the nation’s capital, titled “Take One Tour.” They aimed to make riders aware of the historic sites along their bus route. Today, the DC Preservation League continues its predecessor’s work with a series of digital tours offered on the organization’s mobile app. These tours take inspiration from “Take One Tour” and encourage present-day Washingtonians to explore the history of DC’s built environment on their everyday commute.
The recording of this presentation is being used for the National Council on Public History’s 2021 Annual Meeting. DCPL Staff will be leading a live Q&A about Riding Through the Past for NCPH on March 26th at 12:30pm. Learn more about the conference.
[The app can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store]
The Slowe-Burrill House with EHT Traceries, Inc. (March 30, 2021)
The event included a presentation on the history and significance of two remarkable African American women who were pioneers in local education in the early twentieth century: Lucy Diggs Slowe and Mary Powell Burrill. They resided at their house on Kearny Street NE from 1922-1937. The presentation discussed the careers of both women and explain their 15 year occupancy of the house, where Lucy Slowe and Mary Burrill hosted parties and intellectual gatherings attended by female Howard students and prominent writers and artists, including Jean Toomer and Georgia Douglas Johnson.
On December 18, 2019 the DC Preservation League (DCPL) in partnership with homeowners Ben and Dawn O’Connell submitted the nomination prepared by EHT Traceries, Inc. On April 30, 2020, the Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to designate the Slowe-Burrill house.