The goals of historic preservation are often at odds with efforts to protect properties from climate change. While preservation encourages maintaining a property’s historic appearance, climate change adaptation often requires change, sometimes radical change, to maintain the safety of a building and its occupants.
As the impacts of flooding and intense storms are increasing in prevalence, property owners and communities are trying to balance their desire to increase resiliency in their communities, while maintaining their historic character and sense of place. Property owners seek options to improve resilience in response to parcel vulnerability. At a community level, municipalities are developing policies, programs, and requirements to address vulnerability on a larger scale, often without considering the impacts on historic resources.
To specifically address the impacts of severe storms on the state’s historic resources, Florida’s Division of Historical Resources, the SHPO, sought to prepare three guidance documents to address the impacts of severe storms. Going beyond a regulatory review, the guidance relied heavily on information gained through site visits in in-person interviews with eighteen small to mid-sized communities across the state. The site visits provided a first-hand opportunity to document prior storm damage, recovery efforts, and vulnerability as well as the implementation of community-wide and property specific resiliency measures. The information gained during the site visits was compiled to serve as a reference for similar communities. The resulting guidance documents provide a holistic approach for three separate audiences: property owners, municipalities, and state agencies. They described flood and wind mitigation vulnerability and resiliency measures for historic buildings and archaeological sites, and include an analysis of severe storms on tourism, a key state industry.
The presentation will review the challenges of addressing flood and wind vulnerability across a wide geographic area. It will include a breakdown of the roles, responsibilities, and regulatory requirements of the owner, federal, state, and local governments when addressing the mitigation of historic properties.
About the Speakers
Dominique M. Hawkins, the founding principal of Preservation Design Partnership [PDP], was one of two individuals to complete dual Master’s Degrees in Architecture and Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing her degrees in 1992, she apprenticed with two of the most respected preservation firms in the Mid-Atlantic Region and served as a Preservation Specialist with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office. In 1995, Dominique established Preservation Design Partnership [PDP] as a planning and design practice focusing exclusively on offering high-quality professional services for clients with nationally – significant historic sites and buildings.
Dominique’s nationally recognized and pioneering work in the understanding of the regulatory review process has been the foundation for preparing Design Guidelines for historic communities and districts throughout the country. Some examples are the 19 Historic Districts of New Orleans, including the Vieux Carre [a.k.a. the French Quarter], a National Historic Landmark; Newton, Massachusetts, containing over thirty National Historic Districts; Oak Park, Illinois, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to name a few. Through this work, Dominique has developed unique collaborative and public education skills in working with client groups, stakeholders, community leaders, and the public in shaping projects, achieving consensus, and reaching conclusions in an effective manner.
She has authored the Flood Mitigation Guide: Maryland’s Historic Properties; Flood Mitigation Guide for Historic Properties and Elevation Design Guidelines for Historic Properties for the NJ Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Preservation Master Plan and Flood Mitigation Guidance for the City of St. Augustine, Florida. She recently completed the Storm Guidance resource for Florida’s Division of Historical Resources which developed flood and storm mitigation guidance for property owners, local governments, and state entities. She is currently working with the community in Charleston to identify equitable resilience strategies. Her work has been recognized with several preservation and design awards.
Jennifer M. Wolfe, AICP is a Preservation Planning Specialist with Preservation Design Partnership, a heritage planning and architectural firm based in Philadelphia. Her previous work as the Historic Preservation Officer in St. Augustine included confronting the impacts of hurricanes and nuisance flooding with vulnerability studies and adaptation analysis. With PDP, she worked on a statewide storm guidance document for all audiences and continues to engage other communities in similar challenges. Jennifer is Past President of the Board for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and a graduate of the University of Florida’s architectural preservation program.