This year's 13th annual Nebraska Historic Preservation Conference, a partnership between Restoration Exchange Omaha and the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS), offered education and motivation to restore, revive, and preserve our beautiful older homes and buildings. The event opened Friday, March 2nd and ended the evening of Saturday, March 3rd. Over one dozen breakout sessions allowed attendees to learn about topics ranging from door hardware to repairing plaster, painting and even acquiring financing for historic restoration projects.
On Friday afternoon, representatives from P.J Morgan Real Estate and Dundee Bank gave tours of the Blackstone and South 13th Street commercial districts. Attendees were treated to tours featuring several recent or ongoing redevelopment projects. Tour sites included Dundee Bank, Archetype Coffee and the Colonial Hotel.
Saturday's conference began with columnist Matthew Hansen and food critic Sarah Baker-Hansen discussing some of Nebraska's hidden treasures that make our state unique after traveling the state for a year. The keynote was given by Amy Nicole Swift, founder and CEO of Building Hugger, where she discussed the social barriers preventing young people and women from pursuing a career in the trades. After the keynote, a group of panelists gave input on topics including encouraging diversity, the impact DIY shows are having on the trades and the current state of apprenticeship programs. The conference was a fantastic opportunity to network with preservation leaders across the state and get restoration tips from some of the best craftspeople in the industry.