gears up to play host
to National Trust conference
will spend one day here
touring historic sites
MADISON, Ind. (September 2004) In 1997, the law office of
Eckert, Alcorn, Goering & Sage, located at 1 W. Sixth St. in downtown
Madison, Ind., received a first place award from the Indiana Main Street
Council for an adaptive use project.
by Ruth Wright
Gov. Joe Kernan (center) paid a brief visit July 30 to the African
Methodist Episcopal Church at 309 E. Fifth St. in downtown Madison.
He was given a tour of the restoration project by John Staicer
(right), president of Historic Madison Inc., which owns the building.
Also meeting the governor was State Rep. Markt Lytle (left), along
with other local dignitaries. In 2003, HMI received a $99,000
matching grant to use in converting the church into an African-American
interpretive center to explore Madisons connection to the
The award, presented annually during the state conference
at the councils Downtown Revitalization Awards ceremony, recognizes
projects that bring new use to buildings while maintaining their architectural
characteristics and historic integrity. The firm also received in 1997
first place in the American Bar Association Journals Law Office
Design Competition for Adaptive Re-Use.
The law office will be among sites visited during a field tour of Madison
on Friday, Oct. 1, as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservations
26th annual National Preservation Conference. The conference, Restore
America: Communities at a Crossroads, is scheduled for Sept. 28
through Oct. 3 in Louisville, Ky.
It will explore the role historic preservation continues to play
in preservation real estate development, affordable housing, heritage
tourism, smart growth, cultural landscapes, appreciation of the recent
past and the protection of diverse historic sites.
About 1,800 people attended last years conference, held in Denver.
We look for places to hold the national conference that have a
lot to offer in all realms of preservation, said National Trust
spokesperson Jeannie McPherson. Louisville, known for its historic neighborhoods,
distinctive landscapes and vital commercial areas, and southern Indiana
are ideal locations for exploring priority issues and strategies
in historic preservation, said National Trust president Richard
The conference will feature educational sessions covering a wide range
of topics and experience levels, opportunities for preservationists
to network with leaders in the preservation movement and unique field
sessions exploring the region.
Madison is one of three Indiana cities, including Columbus, New Albany
and West Baden Springs, chosen for field tours during the conference.
We try to chose places that have a good historic core and exceptional
opportunities for conference participants to experience and learn from,
A visit to Madison will be of particular interest to conference attendees
because it is one of three cities involved in the original pilot Main
Street Program instituted by the National Trust in 1976. Galesburg,
Ill., and Hot Springs, S.D., also were part of the original Main Street
program, which ultimately spawned a nationwide initiative to spur downtown
revitalization. From the program was developed a four-point approach
to Main Street efforts: organization, promotion, design and economic
The lessons learned about Madison have had an impact on thousands
of other Main Street programs now in existence across the country,
said John Staicer, executive director of Historic Madison Inc.
HMI, along with the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the
City of Madison and others, has since last year been preparing for the
National Trust field tour. More than 50 visitors are expected.
Following a welcome and orientation at the library, tour participants
will be treated to a trolley ride through downtown, a trip to the Visitors
Center and Lanier Mansion. After lunch at the Eckert, Alcorn, Goering
& Sage office, they will visit several Madison HMI properties, including
the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum, the Francis Costigan House
and the Shrewsbury-Windle House. The visitors also will take a walking
tour along Main Street and will be allowed free time for shopping.
Its a very busy day, said Stacier.
About 2,000 are expected to converge in Louisville for the National
Trust conference. This is the major preservation conference in
the country, said Stacier. HMI, the Madison Area CVB and the Lanier
State Historic Site will sponsor a booth at the conference.
In addition to playing host to a field session during the National Trust
conference, Madison on Oct. 28-30 will play host to the first joint
meeting of the Cornelius OBrien Conference on Historic Preservation
and the Indiana Main Street annual conference.
The state conference will feature presentations by local, regional and
national experts on various topics of historic preservation, archaeology
and Main Street issues. As many as 300 people are expected to attend.
Registration for the National Preservation
Conference in Louisville is open until Sept. 23 at a discounted rate
and also will be accepted at the conference. For more information, visit:
or call 1-800-944-6847.
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