This year's cultural and historic preservation conference will focus on "Community Preservation through Adaptive Reuse." Sponsored by Salve's Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, the conference will explore adaptive reuse as a form of community preservation and will feature a keynote address by James B. Lindberg, vice president of research and policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Adaptive reuse is a strategy commonly employed by preservationists, architects and planners to extend the use-life of historic buildings and sites. Perhaps because it is not as readily measurable as financial benefits, the ability of adaptive reuse to strengthen community relationships and identities is often overlooked. Despite this lack of attention, adaptive reuse has the potential to be a powerful form of place-making that promotes community solidarity. Taking this perspective, historic buildings and sites are seen as more than fabric. They are also seen as richly layered "texts" that combine material and non-material cultural narratives of a community's past, present and even future. In many cases, the range of narratives associated with a particular building or site is as diverse as the community itself, which has the potential to create a shared sense of history.