Between the Beams: State Historic Preservation Offices

Between the Beams:  SHPO (Pennsylvania)

What is a State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)?

As we began to discuss last week, there are a number of ways to perform due diligence on an older or historic property, likely beginning with the National Register of Historic Places, as governed by the National Park Service and in cooperation with the specific SHPO. 
“State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) play a critical role carrying out many responsibilities in historic preservation. Surveying, evaluating and nominating significant historic buildings, sites, structures, districts and objects to the National Register is one such key activity.” 
The Pennsylvania SHPO is part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).

Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office Resources:  

What is the role of the SHPO?  

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we have an official history agency that was created in 1945: the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).  The main role and purpose of the SHPO is documentation, conservation, preservation, interpretation, and education of PA History. 
  • collect, safeguard, and share
  • teach Pennsylvania history
  • promote economic development
  • help create vital places
  • save tax dollars
  • protect basic legal rights
  • attract tourists

What is the vision of the SHPO and PHMC?

“The PHMC enriches people’s lives by helping them to understand Pennsylvania’s past, to appreciate the present, and to embrace the future.”

How can I get involved?  

If you’re curious to learn more about how you can get involved in preserving Pennsylvania’s history, there are a number of different ways.  Whether you would like to volunteer at your choosing or if you would like a long-term employment opportunity, you can be a vital part of PHMC.  Learn more on their website.  

Go back and take a look at last week’s episode of Between the Beams to learn about the National Register of Historic Places and the National Park Service.  

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