Minnesota State Preservation Office Weblog

Archive for December, 2012


Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Treats from our neighbors down the hill (no, not Catholic Charities)

Treats from our neighbors down the hill (no, not Catholic Charities)

The State Historic Preservation Office will be open, as usual, over the next two weeks, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Many staff members will be on vacation, but those of us who drew the short straws will be available to assist you during regular office hours.


We’d like to thank our many admirers for the holiday treats we received over the last few weeks.  Disclaimer: The treats were made available to the public at all times.  But in the interest of public health and welfare, SHPO staff—pictured above—worked diligently to remove the threat of sugary snacks to the public’s waistlines.  Participating staff will remain anonymous and resolutely uninfluenced in the performance of their duties.



SHPO’s Holiday Hours:


Mon., Dec. 24 – Staff are working, but the building is closed to the public

Tues., Dec. 25 – Closed

Wed., Dec. 26 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Thurs., Dec. 27 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Fri., Dec. 28 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM


Mon., Dec. 31 – Staff are working, but the building is closed to the public

Tues., Jan. 1 – Closed

Wed., Jan. 2 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Thurs., Jan. 3 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Fri., Jan. 4 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Eye-popping Number of Projects

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012


Mary Ann Heidemann, Leslie Coburn, and Kelly Gragg-Johnson

Mary Ann Heidemann, Leslie Coburn, and Kelly Gragg-Johnson

At the end of every fiscal year, the Compliance team sends a year’s worth of projects to archives to make room in its cramped files for another year’s worth of work—typically 3,000 to 4,000 projects.  Here, Manager Mary Ann Heidemann, Leslie Coburn, and Kelly Gragg-Johnson, with tears in their weary eyes, give a fond farewell to 15 boxes of projects from 2007.  For the past few years, camera-shy volunteer Kathy Matson has been preparing the boxes for their journey.  (We offered Kathy a Droopy Eyes disguise for her photo, but she didn’t go for it.)


The stack of boxes will be higher when the 2010 files are archived.  Federal stimulus funds (via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) caused the number of projects to spike to just over 5,000.  Residential rehabilitations and demolitions accounted for the majority of federal stimulus projects, followed closely by energy-related projects, such as small wind turbines, geothermal systems, and weatherization.


Intern Marais Bjornberg Working on Preservation Specialists Directory

Thursday, December 6th, 2012
SHPO Intern Marais Bjornberg
SHPO Intern Marais Bjornberg

Have you ever wanted to hire a contractor to work on your historic preservation project, but you had no idea where to find someone with the expertise to do the right thing?  Staff at the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) have recognized this dilemma and are working on a directory of historic preservation specialists, to include trades people, architects, archeologists, researchers, historic tax credit specialists, among others.


Minnesota Historical Society IT staff are creating an online interface with the directory database so that anyone can search for individuals and firms by name, specialty, or location.  The tentative roll-out date for the online directory is March 2013.  For an idea of what the directory will look like, see the Utah SHPO’s online directory at .


This fall, intern Marais Bjornberg has been contacting preservation specialists throughout the state to add to the directory.  Marais has a BA in Architecture, with a Sustainability Studies Minor, from the University of Minnesota.  Part of her time at SHPO has been spent talking with various staff members to help inform her plans to return to school for a Masters in Architecture and/or Historic Preservation.  Thanks to Marais, we’ll be able to debut over 150 contractors in our directory.  Best of luck to Marais in her future endeavors!