Monthly Event

Historic Preservation, Public Memory and Social Justice


Thursday, March 5, 2020

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM


Center for Architecture + Design, 1218 Arch Street


At its core, historic preservation is about storytelling. Whose story is told and whose story is preserved? The built environment reflects racial inequalities. Places associated with African American history and culture typically lack architectural significance. But these unadorned places matter. They hold stories of faith, resistance and triumph. “The Negro Motorist Green Book” tells the story of the architecture of segregation. Green Book businesses were clustered in African American neighborhoods. In the wake of Philadelphia’s development boom, the invisible map of safe and welcoming places is now a map of gentrification, displacement and erasure of black presence from public memory. Read Faye's recent article in The Inquirer on preserving the John Coltrane house here: Read this follow up to her article on preserving other jazz sites by Paul Steinke:

Previous DAG Monthly Events

Archived | 2020-02-06

Balancing New with the Old: Renovation, New Construction & Adaptive Reuse

Archived | 2020-01-09

Beyond Neutrality - A New Vision for Eastern State Penitentiary

Archived | 2019-12-05

Learning from Undoing: The Reimagined Library for 21st Century Uses and Users


Faye M. Anderson

Faye M. Anderson is the founder of All That Philly Jazz, a public history project that is documenting Philadelphia’s lost jazz shrines and the social history of jazz. Faye is also the director of Green Book Philadelphia which breathes life into businesses advertised in “The Negro Motorist Green Book.” The travel guide helped African Americans navigate Jim Crow laws in the South and racial segregation in the North. Her Green Book walking tour is included in Airbnb Experiences.

Oscar Beisert

Oscar Beisert’s local preservation efforts began after he observed the demolition of an unusual row of four undesignated Federal style, frame dwellings (c. late 1700s) across from Penn Treaty Park. Since then, he has successfully nominated dozens of properties to the local register. With a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in American Studies—American Architectural History and Decorative Arts, he has almost ten years of experience in Historic Preservation and Section 106 Compliance. Oscar works for the Federal government, is the founder of the Keeping Society of Philadelphia, and has recently renovated a 1880s carriage repository in Germantown. For his work in Philadelphia, Beisert has received the Board of Directors Award for exceptional contribution to historic preservation, as well as recognition from Save Our Sites and the University City Historical Society.