We are delighted that Arlin Wasserman will give a key note presentation at the Closing Plenary on Saturday, October 6. Arlin is a leading expert in the development and marketing of rural branding. His approach follows the French concept of "terroir," thus he helps rural areas and producers bring together their unique assets of heritage, communities, countryside, locally grown foods, and other local products into a unique and authentic brand.
Arlin is founder and principal of Changing Tastes, a consultancy that provides strategic planning, economic development and marketing strategy insights to non-profit organizations, foundations, start-up food companies, and Fortune 100 companies. He is also a co-founder of The Robin Hood Center, a not for profit organized to create and manage branded food enterprises for the benefit of charities focusing on the alleviation of hunger and poverty.
The Washington Post on August 22 ran a feature on Arlin's work, entitled
"The Geography of Flavor - Bringing a European Idea Down to Earth: Producers, Farmers Pin Hopes on the Appeal of 'Terroir."
In addition to Arlin Wasserman, the Conference features a range of excellent rural field and ed sessions:
· Rosenwald Schools Information Session
· Farmsteads on the Fringe Field Session
· Preservation in a First-Ring Suburb
· Conspicuous Consumption and Rural Preservation Field Session
· Preservation Goals: Easements
· Preserving Local Dakotah Heritage Field Session
· Approaches to Reviving Small Towns
· Marketing Regional Flavor
· Preserve America Information Session
· Preservation Along Scenic Byways
There is a little bit of everything in this field session: something for the voyeur, something for the archaeologist, something for the historian and something for the consumer. I bet you’re wondering how this could be? Or maybe you’re not…but I’ll tell you anyway.
For the voyeur…visit the Country Club District. An early to mid 20th century planned residential district listed on the National Register for its effort to preserve more than 500 period homes.
For the archaeologist…take a walking tour of Williams Park. Here you’ll find the Edina Mills Archaeological Site and learn about the role of archaeology in historic preservation.
For the historian…visit the Edina Historical Society Museum, the Minnehaha Grange Hall(pictured below) and the Cahill School (pictured above.) Each of these sites represents a different story in the preservation of rural heritage and the integration of heritage preservation with city planning for community development.
For the consumer...visit the Southdale Mall. Enjoy a brief presentation on the history of America’s first indoor mall followed by a “self-guided tour”. You know what that means, right? Bring your money because you’ll have time to shop!
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 10:47 AM
Our thanks to Andrew, who sent us this fine missive:
"Excuse me if this place is already on your radar, as I have not yet read everything you have written. But it's such an amazing place that I had to risk the redundancy.
It's a Byzantine chapel in Lakewood Cemetery, resting place of Hubert Humphrey and scores of other famous Minnesotans. The interior is a huge mosaic that will blow your mind. Here are some photos of it:
The cemetery's website:
As a matter of fact, Andrew, Lakewood Cemetery is on the Minneapolis Overview Tour, and yes, that chapel is so spectacular, people get married in it....in a cemetery. How cool is that?
Andrew also sent some Lakewood, uh, residents:
Curt Carlson, Founder of Radisson Hotels
H. David Dalquist, inventor of the Bundt pan (Founder of the bundt pan?? should he not be sainted?)
Orville Freeman, 29th Governor of Minnesota, Former US Secretary of Agriculture
Lewis A. Grant, American Civil War General and Assistant U.S. Secretary of War
Hubert Humphrey, Vice President of the United States, U.S. Senator
Muriel Humphrey, Second Lady of the United States , U.S. Senator
William S. King, U.S. Representative
Robert Koehler, German-born painter
Charles August Lindbergh, Republican congressman, father of the pioneering aviator
Frank C. Mars, creator of the Milky Way candy bar (speaking of nominations to Sainthood...)
George Mikan, professional basketball player
Karl Mueller, Soul Asylum bassist
Floyd B. Olson, 22nd Governor of Minnesota , often considered the state's greatest governor
Rudy Perpich, 34th and 36th Governor of Minnesota
John S. Pillsbury, 8th Governor of Minnesota, Founder of Pillsbury
Carl Pohlad, owner of the Minnesota Twins (Pohlad is alive, but his gravestone has already been erected at the cemetery) 
James Sample, conductor of many orchestras including the Oregon Symphony
Tiny Tim, Musician & entertainer.
Paul Wellstone, Former US Senator
Juanita Wright, professional wrestler
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 11:10 AM
Just to show off, here’s a picture of us with Mr. Keillor who was as gracious as could be as he took us through his home.
Lori, Charlotte and I actually had the privilege of getting a preview of all the homes on the tour…and boy are we excited for those of you who decide to buy tickets! Each one of these gracious homeowners are excited to welcome you into their impressive homes which they have lovingly cared and decorated with a strong preservation ethic in mind.
Go on the tour and you'll see the interiors of these lovely homes....and more!
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 3:30 PM
As a self-professed traditionalist, I must admit that I was not thrilled about the prospect of spending a Saturday going off to explore Breuer's mid-century Modern church and the campus at the Saint John's University in Collegeville, MN. In my defense my only real interaction with modern architecture (and brutal at that) hails from my college days. As an exchange student at the University of St. Andrews (no, I don't play golf!) I was assigned to the Andrew Melville Hall designed by James Stirling. I lived in Andrew Melville for 9 months and it was brutal! Apparently the hall was designed with the notion of two ships passing, however, the way the students use to tell it was that the design was based on two ships colliding with each other. (See the photo at the right - they do look like they are colliding, yes?!) During my stint living in Andrew Melville is when I came to the conclusion that I am a traditionalist. Scottish winters can do that to you - cold and damp requires cozy and there was nothing cozy about our single rooms in Andrew Melville. But I digress - and you will see where I am going with this...
We had a glorious day to explore the Saint John's campus. After an hour's drive north through the Minnesota countryside we arrived at the Saint John's campus and were met on the front steps to the Abbey Church by Brother David Klingemann, the Abbey Archivist. Victoria Young, Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul and Anthony Rubano, Project Designer with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency have been working with our own Chris Morris, of the Trust's Midwest Office to put together a stellar program about Breuer's work at the campus.
We met on the stairs of the Abbey Church and from there the discussions began about how to lead the group through the campus to give the best "wow". This is hard to describe, as I was along for the ride and was the only one who hadn't been there before.
We began with the public areas of the monastery and then headed off to the undercroft of the Abbey Church. This is a glorious space, the use of concrete and it's contrast with the wood and granite used is quite spectacular. The way the concrete was cast created a pattern and texture that gives the concrete a curious warmth. You will see this throughout the Abbey Church. Then of course there are the stained glass windows, which I tried to capture here - but as with most things are best in person.
Admittedly my breath was taken away as we entered the sanctuary. Breuer was clearly a master and while I am not ready to admit that I am a convert, I can more readily embrace Brutalism and perhaps other Modern structures. I think in the end it is all about the experience. I don't think that I would feel the same way had I not had the opportunity to see Breuer's work, especially the Abbey Church, in person. This field session only re-confirms that we need to be proactive in saving structures from the recent past.
Attendees will have an opportunity to attend the noon service in the Abbey Church before heading to lunch in the Great Hall. During lunch Victoria will lead a discussion about the architecture and function of the Great Hall, the interior restoration and the interaction of the earlier church with the Abbey Church. The day promises to be very full with ample opportunity to do some exploring of the campus. So if you are on the fence about modernism or if you are nutty about modernism and the recent past - this is the session for you. Chris, Victoria and Anthony will be fabulous guides through the allure of mid-century Modernism and Marcel Breuer's masterpiece at Saint John's University.
Posted by Charlotte at 9:03 AM
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 12:37 PM
Lo these many weeks ago, I blogged about the field session "Parks, People and Preservation". Today, I was sent a link to a video, starring none other than the field session manager, MaryLynn Pulscher. Take a peek, then getcher ticket before it sells out (registration is open, you know, www.nthpconference.org)
Watch here (make sure to click the blue arrow to start the video): http://wcco.com/findingminnesota/local_story_084234100.html .
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Posted by Lori at 3:46 PM
So I figured that I would be in for a treat spending the morning to explore some of the Prairie style and FLW buildings in Minneapolis with Jennifer Olivarez, Associate Curator with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and I was not disappointed!
We began our morning with Cliff Johns at the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church (Originally Purcell & Feick's 1910 Stewart Memorial Church) Although the church has undergone some renovations the sanctuary still maintains it's original character. Cliff will be your guide through the church. He has lots of stories about the renovation - make sure he tells you about the outpouring of community support to raise funds to renovate and restore the sanctuary. It is amazing what can be done when your community stands behind you!
Our next stop was the Purcell-Cutts house. Designed in 1913 by the team of Purcell and Elmslie for Purcell's family, this home is pure whimsy. I won't ruin the experience for you - you will have to sign up to get the behind the scenes look for yourself, but I will offer a "peek" at what is to come. (Look for it when you are in the house - hint, you can see it from the inside and outside)
Jennifer has also arranged for a special exhibit at the MIA of the history, significance and restoration of the Malcolm Willey House. The group will also have an opportunity to explore a Prairie School gallery. I would highly suggest that attendees find their way over to the MIA. They have a fabulous collection - make sure you look up heading through the front lobby. (Those of you that are Chihuly fans are in for a treat!)
The last stop of the day is the Malcolm Willey House, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora, owners as well as their restoration staff.
Make sure to get your tickets early! This is a session that is not to be missed. Lots of behind the scenes and exclusive access - a particular treat for those of you (like me) that are fans of the Prairie School style and FLW.
Posted by Charlotte at 4:44 PM
Let's play a little game of association: I say "Red Wing", you say.... "puffed rice". No? Would you have said ... Art? No? I guess most of us would answer "shoes", or possibly "pottery". And Red Wing does have shoes, really big shoes (see example at left), and some wonderful pottery. But, as you'll learn, Red Wing is full of surprises, not the least of which is your first stop, the Anderson Center, originally the home and research laboratory for Alexander Pierce Anderson, who revolutionized breakfast by developing the method by which rice and wheat grains are puffed. It now serves as an arts and residential study center, offering a peaceful and contemplative place for creative types to, well, create.
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 5:46 PM
(Minnesota State Capitol Building)
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As an adult it is sometimes difficult to remember what it is like to feel like a kid again. But if you go to Fort Snelling you might just be reminded. This field session is a literal blast from the past. When visiting school kids are on the grounds you can hear the startling sounds of gun and cannon fire as the Fort’s interpreters, dressed in period costume, try to entertain and educate.
Fort Snelling is the state’s first National Historic Landmark and is often referred to as the birthplace of Minnesota. You will have a chance to view an exhibit that details the fort’s history at the visitor center and then take a walking tour of the grounds. Only three original buildings remain standing but every effort has been made to capture the fort’s original atmosphere and is used as not only an interactive historic teaching laboratory but is also an example of multi-interest partnerships in producing a renovation and restoration project open for both public and private use.
This field session will take you through not only the interpretive side of the Fort, but you will also have the chance to explore the currently undeveloped “upper post” where plans for restoration, renovation and usage are still pending.
So fill up your water canteens, dust off your compasses and put on your marching boots because if you open your eyes and ears you’ll learn a lot about historic preservation. But if you close them…you might see yourself as an officer in the infantry or as a lady in one of the officers’ families….and then only you know where you will go from there….
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 8:12 AM
You’ve seen it in the movies a hundred times. Your favorite star must escape the bad guys by seeking refuge in some sort of power plant. You feel your adrenaline pump as they run through a maze of steel grates, high above the concrete floor, winding through a forest of pipes.
You might feel your heart pound in the same way when you take a tour of the University of Minnesota Southeast Steam Plant. Of course they’ll be no running for your life in this session. What there will be, however, is tons of information on how this Steam Plant reportedly became one of the cleanest burning and environmentally conscious facilities in the world while preserving the historic aesthetic of the original building.
Oh by the way, to add to the drama…this is a “hard hat tour”. So, you’re going to look as fabulous as I do in this picture when you’re on the tour. Come prepared with good walking shoes. High heels will not do on this tour.
Along with the steam plant you will visit the Science Museum and the Saint Paul District Energy building to learn how the past is being preserved while developing a plan to sustain future generations.
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 9:00 AM
Growing up, I can’t say I was really all that interested in American history. I remember taking a history class in high school and not being able to answer the question: What was the Kellogg Pact? To tell you the truth I still can’t answer that. But I do remember my friend’s response: “To put 2 scoops of raisins in every box of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran”. Hahaha…I’m still laughing at that one!
But working for the National Trust has changed all that. To dry run these field sessions and use a city, and its past, as a living laboratory makes the past seem…well….the past seems more present. You can have that same experience on any one of the field sessions offered at the Conference.
For instance, “Preserving Local Dakotah Heritage” focuses on two of Saint Paul’s important spiritual and cultural preservation projects, the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and the Gibbs Museum. Each of these projects has a unique story as to how the Dakotah tribe was approached to participate, what the process was to establish each of these sites as local preservation efforts and how each site continues to develop.
Your first stop at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary (picture at right) allows you to commune with nature and tells the story of how this sacred Dakotah site is slowly being preserved while simultaneously being made accessible as a living, authentic, educational experience for the surrounding public.
And then find yourself at the Gibbs Museum which is an interpretation of a time of peace and friendship between the Pioneers and the Dakotah people. The focus here is on the story of an early settler, Jane Gibbs, and her close relationship with the Dakotah. It is the Gibbs Museum’s mission to show how these native Indians were prolific farmers, quality craftspeople and good friends to Jane...who was kidnapped by missionaries and practically raised by the local Indians her kidnapper was trying to convert...
Makes you want to learn more, doesn’t it?
(The Gibbs Farmhouse)
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 11:32 PM
To be perfectly honest I didn't know much about Owatonna when I set out Thursday morning. After a drive down Interstate 35 from Saint Paul I arrived at the Minnesota State Public School for Neglected and Dependent Children. Little did I know that I was about to meet Harvey Ronglien, a very vibrant, positive and energetic man, who lived at the State School from the age for 4 for 11 years. At the age of 4 Harvey's mother was sent to a sanatorium with TB and his father was put in jail in Stillwater. Harvey and his seven siblings were lined up at the courthouse in Appleton, MN and offered in an orphan "firesale". By day's end Harvey and his brother Oscar remained and were sent to the State School in Owatonna. (Check out Harvey's book, A Boy from C-11: Case #9164 for more of his story) Harvey greeted me along with his wife, Max, Lisa Krampitz MainStreet Director with the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, and Nancy Vaillancourt, a local historian.
Owatonna which now uses this campus for its town office, council meetings and a number of other service programs.
Posted by Charlotte at 5:22 PM
As I opened my St. Paul Pioneer Press this morning, what did I see but an article about Larry Millett's new book, The AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, a neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Link here for the article. We'll be sure to have copies of the book at the Preservation Book Store on site during the conference.
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 7:28 AM
Not an easy balance to maintain. We started out on the Winchell Trail, which is just over the Minneapolis/Saint Paul border. Mary Lynn, the session manager, took me to a place where she could describe the ways that the park system maintains the landscape - challenging, thanks to a huge number of invasive plant species (in fact, invasive species of plants have come up in several field sessions). She encouraged me to gather bunches of garlic mustard, as it makes great pesto. I'll pass on the pesto, but was interested to hear that they have agreements with neighbors to come and gather the stuff periodically, as it is an evil invader. Those neighbors better get busy, it's EVERYWHERE.
Minnehaha Falls were running strongly at our next stop, where we also saw a real restaurant that Mary Lynn said was actually very good - does your city's park system have a restaurant? I thought not. We'll endeavor to try it before we leave, but, hey, we're only three mouths here.
There were many cool preservation stories at the Falls, including a 3/5 scale replica of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's House....in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Huh? Ask about it.
We then toured the other 9,999 Lakes in Minnesota. OK, not quite that many. Four. It's only a half-day session, so we kept it moving and saw much of the 50 or so miles that make up the Grand Rounds - a really unique urban park system. At Lake Harriet, we saw the band shell, and used a ladies room that was built in the late 1800s. OK, we used it when we were on the Overview tour dry run the NEXT day, but the important thing is that it was saved. And that it has a fireplace.
Some of the loveliest neighborhoods I've ever seen surround these lakes. There are a few stories of teardowns, and a few comical new homes (and what city doesn't have those), but overall the flavor of the era has been maintained.
Posted by TEAM TWIN CITIES at 8:53 AM
Do you remember the Gordon Lightfoot song, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald? Well, out of the blue memories of singing this song in 5th grade came flooding back, but I digress. The lake is vast! Carolyn Sundquist, National Trust Advisor and field session manager, has put together a full day exploring this part of the western shore of Lake Superior. This session sets out early (7 am), but the ride is definitely well worth it. After loading up with coffee, Lori, Farin and I set out for Duluth. Our first stop was the Thompson Hill Rest Area where we got a great view of the city - practically at our feet. Carolyn met us here and after piling into her car we were off along the Skyline Parkway and heading to Glensheen.
From the exterior Glensheen is stately and stunning. However, once inside it is breathtaking! The Congdon's ordered the furnishings while the house was being built, so 99% of the furnishings and finishes were expressly made for the house.
Posted by Charlotte at 7:07 AM
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Did you think that field sessions were only by bus, bike, or foot? Well, not this year. We spent this afternoon with David Mather, National Register Archeologist with the Minnesota Historical Society checking out Fort Snelling and Pike's Island from the water, yes you read that right, the water! Lori, Farin, and I, your intrepid Trust staffers, helped paddle a 240 pound cedar canoe on the Mighty Mississippi River (bet you forgot that she started so far north!) and around on the Minnesota River. It was wild - think a cormorant, an egret, a peregrine falcon, blue heron, swallows and lots of ducks - and truly wonderful! Jim Cummings our guide and steer master regaled us with tales of the discovery of Pike's Island, Picnic Island (yes, there are picnics tables on it) and other really cool stories.
Truth be told we didn't really do this all on our own. David, Jim, Pat, Stacey, Mike, and Joseph did some of the paddling and story-telling too. I hadn't gone canoeing since I was 12, which means that any of you can do this. No experience is required - I don't think that Farin has gone canoeing before - and you go as you can. (Something tells me that Farin wasn't paddling at the back of canoe - she rode more like Scheherazade, but she can tell you all about that!)
PS I stand corrected Farin has been canoeing!
PPS: Watch the video that follows the path you'll be taking in your canoe - and a touch of the history you'll be experiencing:
Posted by Charlotte at 10:19 PM