October 1, 2023

Center for Historic Preservation Awards Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation is proud to award this year’s Book Prize to Detroit Remains, by Krysta Ryzewski. Detroit Remains is a collection of six case studies in Detroit, Michigan, ranging from bootlegging, a log cabin, jazz site, and Detroit counterculture. This well-researched book masterfully blends an archaeological approach to historic preservation. Dr. Ryzewski highlights the crucial importance of community engagement – and student involvement – in effective documentation and action. The book engages economically, socially, and racially diverse groups, and emphasizes the relevance of recent history, which is still underrepresented in the literature. 

Detroit Remains highlights how history can be reassembled even when the physical site is already lost. Dr. Ryzewski also emphasizes that some mystery always remains, even after thorough analysis, which both points to the limits of our research and its next steps. The book provides practical tools, tips, and lessons learned for people working in urban archaeology. Setbacks are openly discussed, providing a road map for dealing with conflict. Though the book narrowly focuses on Detroit, it has broad application, largely thanks to its diverse sites and communities. Self-branded as archaeology, Detroit Remains nevertheless illustrates how contemporary preservation can effectively work with the recent past. 

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded this prize annually since 1989 to the book (or books) with the most potential for positively impacting the discipline of historic preservation in the United States. In making its selection, the jury focuses on books that break new ground or contribute to the intellectual vitality of the preservation movement. Winners receive a monetary prize and are invited to give a lecture at UMW. The jury was comprised of preservation academics, professionals, alumni, and a current student.

2022 University of Mary Washington Book Prize Committee:
Andréa Livi Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington (Chair)
Michael Spencer, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington
Brooke Prevedel, UMW Class of 2024, Historic Preservation and Classical Archaeology, University of Mary Washington
Lindsey Cochran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, East Tennessee State University
Karen Daley, President of Stratford Hall

Smith Presents at International Preservation Conference

Andréa Livi Smith, associate professor of historic preservation, presented at the Association of Preservation Technology International’s annual conference in Québec City on Oct. 29. She discussed the use of technology for cultural resource data collection in preservation. Her peer reviewed talk, translated live into French and Spanish, highlighted the survey site developed on the UMWBlogs platform with Martha Burtis of DTLT, and its application for the capstone preservation course. The survey tool is a new model for preservation and is at the bleeding edge of the use of technology in the field. Smith emphasized its practicality for practitioners and researchers. The survey itself can be found at survey.umwblogs.org

Honors Students Explore Washington, D.C. Architecture

group of students posed in front of Union Station.

Honors scholars in front of Union Station during the fall 14 field trip.

In August, incoming UMW Honors Scholars participated in a common reading experience, reading the book “The Devil in the White City” by Eric Larson. To expand on the theme of the planning and architecture of the Chicago’s World’s Fair, Andrea Smith, Department of Historic Preservation, led the fall field for the honors program on Saturday Oct. 4. Twenty six honors students, Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, Professor of Chemistry Kelli Slunt, and Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Melanie Szulczewski enjoyed learning about the urban planning and contributions of Daniel Burnham (one of the main characters in “The Devil in the White City”) while exploring Union Station, The National Mall, and the National Building Museum.

Smith Publishes Preservation Education Paper

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Andréa Livi Smith’s article “Development of a Preservation Planning Board Game” was published in Preservation Education: Sharing Best Practices and Finding Common Ground edited by Barry L. Stiefel and Jeremy C. Wells (University Press of New England).

Smith Speaks at Preservation Symposium

Andréa Livi Smith, assistant professor and director of the Center for Historic Preservation, gave an invited talk at the Directions in Twenty-First Century Preservation Symposium. The symposium was organized by Historic New England and hosted by Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI on March 29. The national audience included students from over a dozen institutions was well as professionals and researchers. Smith’s talk, entitled “Don’t be That Guy,” discussed the importance of garnering and maintaining allies in the process of preservation.

Andréa Livi Smith Presents at Conferences

Andréa Livi Smith presented at three national/international conferences in October.

  • Smith presented a paper on the urban renewal on the Eastern edge of Paris at the Association for Preservation Technology International’s annual conference, titled “Preserving the Metropolis” held in New York City.
  • Smith led a session on the links between sustainability, public health, and historic preservation at the annual conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation held in Indianapolis, Ind. Along with Dr. Smith, Dr. Tracy Hadden-Loh, director of research at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Nathan Holth, author of HistoricBridges.org provided context on the importance of blending the approaches for effective preservation.
Additional details about the conferences and Smith’s activities can be found on twitter at @smithpres with tags: #issotl13, #aptnyc, and #presconf respectively.

Andréa Livi Smith Hosts Preservation Education Symposium

Andréa Livi Smith, assistant professor and director of the Center for Historic Preservation, organized and hosted the second Undergraduate Historic Preservation Education Symposium (UHPES) on the UMW campus on June 20-22. Dr. Smith analyzed findings from the first symposium, held in 2010, culminating in an article published in the current edition of Preservation Education and Research. This second iteration of UHPES brought together faculty in historic preservation from undergraduate as well as graduate programs from around the country. Pedagogy, curriculum development, and student placement were the main topics of discussion. Findings from the second UHPES will be posted on the Center for Historic Preservation website. The event was held with the generous support of the Hofer Fund.