Since 2000, the CHC has sponsored an annual symposium on historic preservation that attracts faculty, students, and historic preservation professionals from around Texas and beyond.

Women in Preservation

A Virtual Event | Saturday, March 26, 2022, 9 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Featuring Keynote Speaker, Nancy McCoy, FAIA, FAPT, Principle, McCoy Collaborative Preservation Architecture, PLLC, with Sharon Park, Constance Lai, Taryn Williams, Deborah Slaton, Carolyn Kiernat and the student poster session featuring new and emerging preservation research.

Registration

The deadline to register to attend the symposium or to submit a student poster is noon CST on Friday, March 25. After you register to attend, you will receive a secondary email that will include your official link and information to access the symposium the day of the event.

About the Program

The program will include presentations and discussions that explore the impact and influence that women have had within the field of historic preservation and conservation since its emergence in the United States of America when the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association was founded in 1853. Invited speakers from around the country will provide presentations relating to architecture, engineering, construction, planning, policymaking, and education.

Students attending are encouraged to submit posters on new and emerging preservation projects and research they are participating in, that will be displayed during the lunch break and provides in full resolution on an external website that will be distributed to all participants.

To close out the day, participants are invited to attend the Texas Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT Texas) for their annual meeting that will be held following the close of the official event program. You do not need to be a member of APT Texas to attend. A link to this meeting will be provided on the day of the symposium.


Schedule

March 26, 2022 (all times CST)

09:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introduction; Andrew Billingsley, Director of the Center for Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University

09:15 a.m. | Keynote: Nancy McCoy FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, Founder/Partner at McCoy Collaborative Preservation Architecture, LLC

09:45 a.m. | One: Sharon Park FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, Associate Director, Architectural History and Historic Preservation, SI Preservation Officer at the Smithsonian Institution

10:35 a.m. | Break

10:50 a.m. | Two: Constance Lai FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C,Manager of Historic Preservation Services at Grunley Construction

11:40 p.m. | Three: Taryn Williams P.E., S.E., Senior Project Manager at Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, and current President of the Association for Preservation Technology International

12:30 p.m. | Lunch and Poster Sessions

01:30 p.m. | Four: Deborah Slaton FAPT, Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

02:20 p.m. | Five: Carolyn Kiernat AIA, Principal at Page & Turnbull

03:10 p.m. | Discussion

03:25 p.m. | Rapporteur: Priya Jain AIA, Associate Director of the Center for Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University

03:30 p.m. | Closing Remarks: David Woodcock, Director Emeritus of the Center for Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University

03:45 p.m. | Adjourn

04:00 p.m. | APT Texas Annual Meeting


Presentations

Keynote: Women’s Work

Nancy McCoy FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, Founder/Partner at McCoy Collaborative Preservation Architecture, LLC

Abstract: Women have played a dominant and influential role in the field known as historic preservation. This talk addresses the early history of preservation as a subject of advocacy, a cause taken on primarily by women of means who could afford to work without pay for things they believed in. Over the course of more than a century, this cause evolved into a professional career choice with expanding opportunities for men and women.  Thanks in part to the introduction of federal legislation, ties to public health, safety and welfare, and financial incentives, preservation has become entrenched in our culture. With women woven throughout its history in national leadership roles, has preservation retained a pronounced association with women?

Bio: Nancy McCoy, FAIA, FAPT is the founding principal of McCoy Collaborative Preservation Architecture. A seasoned preservation architect, she has national experience and recognition gained over thirty-five years of practice managing change in historic buildings. Her experience covers many facets of historic preservation but focuses on a holistic methodology for design that balances contemporary goals with the long-term preservation of the building or place. Projects adapting historic buildings include National Historic Landmarks such as the U. S. Custom House in New York City, the Kansas City Union Station, the Department of the Interior Building, and Fair Park in Dallas. Her work has been recognized with National Trust Honor Awards, state and local awards, and with Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects and the Association for Preservation Technology International.

One: Technology as a Tool for Preservation

Sharon Park FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, Associate Director, Architectural History and Historic Preservation, SI Preservation Officer at the Smithsonian Institution

Abstract: As a woman in preservation, it was hard to gain the respect of men on the job.  By learning more about how preservation projects were successful, I also learned that knowing how to preserve using technology as a base helped all on preservation projects.  Suddenly, I was a valued member of the team.  So, technology and putting buildings back together has been key to my success in preservation. I encourage all to write about their projects and share their knowledge so that our clients, really the historic buildings, can have a long and sustained life beyond our work.

Bio: Sharon Park, FAIA, FAPT, is the head of Historic Preservation for Smithsonian facilities and has over 40 buildings in her portfolio to protect.  She has developed numerous technical bulletins, many while at the National Park Service.  These bulletins have outlined using preservation as a tool when rehabilitating historic buildings and meeting federal guidelines.  She has had an extensive career in preservation and has also served as the American representative to the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy.  She has served on many  blue-ribbon panels assisting other agencies and organization with their preservation efforts. Her current projects involve the historic Castle of the Smithsonian, the Arts and Industries Building and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Two: Preservation and Construction: Repairing the Washington Monument

Constance Lai FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C,Manager of Historic Preservation Services at Grunley Construction

Abstract: Standing at 555 feet tall and located on the National Mall, the Washington Monument is the focal point of our Nation’s Capital. In August 2011, an earthquake struck the Washington DC region, and the Monument was closed to visitors due to the extensive damage that the structure sustained. The contract required that the construction team complete an existing conditions survey and work closely with the National Park Service to ensure that the Monument would be repaired properly. As the Survey Leader, Constance led the eight-person survey team who identified all the contract repairs and unforeseen conditions. This presentation will explain the entire construction process from beginning to end, highlighting the custom scaffolding designed by Michael Graves, the survey process, the stone repair techniques, and the construction sequence and schedule.

Bio: Constance Lai, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, is the Historic Preservation Manager for Grunley Construction, where she bridges the worlds of architecture, preservation, sustainability, and construction. She is a licensed architect and has worked on some of the most high-profile landmarks in Washington, DC, including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, the Carnegie Library, the Jefferson Memorial, and multiple Smithsonian museums. She is a board member of the AIA Architects Foundation and the National Preservation Institute. Constance holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University, and an SMArchS from MIT in History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art. 

Three: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Rehabilitating the War Memorial Veterans Building

Taryn Williams P.E., S.E., Senior Project Manager at Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, and current President of the Association for Preservation Technology International

Abstract: Built in 1932, the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building is an icon of Beaux-Arts architecture and an important structure to many stakeholders, including veterans and the city of San Francisco. To repair pervasive water leakage and address life safety concerns in the event of an earthquake, the award-winning rehabilitation of this historic landmark included seismic upgrades, waterproofing, mechanical improvements, and conservation of interior spaces and the building enclosure.

Bio: Taryn Williams, P.E., S.E., is a Senior Project Manager at Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, and has over twenty years of experience in building technology and structural engineering. Clients and colleagues value Taryn’s grasp of both disciplines, as well as her diverse project experience, which includes building envelope investigations, construction claim investigations, condition assessments and repair designs for historic structures, seismic evaluations of existing buildings, and probable earthquake loss evaluations. Taryn’s collaborative approach to project management results in clear communication and productive meetings with clients, colleagues, and team members. Her knowledge of and enthusiasm for engineering principles make her a natural teacher, and she enjoys writing and speaking engagements intended to educate clients, colleagues, industry professionals, and the public. Taryn is the President of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) and the Past President of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC).

Four: Salk Institute for Biological Studies: Preservation, Conservation, Collaboration

Deborah Slaton FAPT, Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Abstract: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) is one of architect Louis Kahn’s most recognized works. After years of short-term repair efforts, the Salk Institute embarked upon development of a Conservation Management Plan, investigation and repair of the teak window wall assemblies, and repair of the concrete facades. The Salk Institute was founded, designed, and constructed by men; in recent years women have been increasingly involved in its preservation, conservation, and stewardship. The project presented numerous philosophical and technical issues, while underscoring the role of women (and challenges faced) as part of the collaborative effort to preserve iconic historic places.

Bio: Deborah Slaton, FAPT, is a Principal with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., where she specializes in historic preservation and materials conservation. Representative work includes numerous investigative reports and cultural resource studies planning documents for historic properties ranging from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, among others. Deborah is a Fellow of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT), a Director of the Historic Preservation Education Foundation, and a member of the APT Modern Heritage, Materials, and Sustainable Preservation committees and the Society of Architectural Historians Heritage Conservation Committee. She has published and lectured extensively on historic preservation and materials conservation, and is co-editor of the proceedings of the Preserving the Recent Past conference series, and author of National Park Service Preservation Brief No. 43: Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports, and co-author of Preservation Brief No. 15: Preservation of Historic Concrete.

Five: Turning 50: The Evolution of Preservation Practice

Carolyn Kiernat AIA, Principal at Page & Turnbull

Abstract: Page & Turnbull was one of the first firms in California to focus its planning and architecture practice on saving historic resources that were threatened with demolition, first in San Francisco’s Western Addition and later throughout the city. As the preservation movement matured, the firm’s practice evolved. What was started as an all-male partnership in 1973 has grown into a woman-owned business with four offices and nearly 60 professionals today.

How did this transition occur over the course of 50 years? What were the milestone moments and challenges the firm faced as it grew and what does it see for architecture, urbanism and preservation in the next half-century?  Carolyn Kiernat, who joined Page & Turnbull in 1997, relays the firm’s growth and future through a compilation of project stories and changes in the firm’s practice and management that will inspire the next generation of preservation professionals.

Bio: Carolyn Kiernat, AIA, and a Principal with Page & Turnbull, focuses on the rehabilitation and adaptive use of historic buildings for the way people live today. As prime architect, architect of record, and preservation architect, Carolyn has had a hand in bringing life to many landmarks including the Hotel Tioga in Merced, The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco, the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the Exploratorium at Pier 15 and the ACT Strand Theater. Carolyn’s practice of architecture & historic preservation weaves together new design, rehabilitation, materials conservation and navigating complex entitlements and tax credit regulations. She has an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. Carolyn has served on the National AIA Historic Resources Committee, as AIA San Francisco President, on the Sausalito Historic Landmarks Board, and on the board of San Francisco Heritage.


CHC Symposium Code of Conduct

The CHC has a zero tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment by participants, and we reserve the right to excuse participants from the virtual event should unacceptable behavior take place.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include but are not limited to:

Harassment of any form, such as inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language; unwelcome jokes or comments; unwanted attention; offensive images; photography without permission; and threatening any attendee, speaker, volunteer, CHC faculty and staff member, or other meeting guest.

Discrimination of any form, such as inappropriate actions or statements related to race, physical appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, political affiliation, religion, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, educational background, and/or any other characteristic protected by law.

Verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, CHC faculty and staff member service, or other meeting guest.

Disruption of presentations at sessions.

If you experience profiling or harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, the CHC asks that you inform either Director Andrew Billingsley (abillingsley@tamu.edu) or other CHC Faculty and Staff so that we can take the appropriate action.

This code is adapted from the Society of Architectural Historians and Vernacular Architecture Forum Codes of Conference Conduct.