Historic Preservation Planning Student Helps Celebrate 50 Years of Historic Ithaca

Huckfeldt at Historic Ithaca

Huckfeldt in front of some of the exhibition panels she designed for Historic Ithaca. William Staffeld / AAP

March 28, 2016

Historic Ithaca (HI) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and historic preservation planning student Ana Huckfeldt (M.A. HPP '16) is helping bring the history to life.

Huckfeldt's role in the anniversary celebration started over the summer when AAP Connect, the college's office dedicated to helping AAP students locate jobs and internships, helped her secure an internship with the organization.

"I chose HI for an internship because I was interested in having real ties to the Ithaca community," says Huckfeldt. "My historic preservation planning work focuses on community engagement in local preservation. I had been to some of HI's programs, and this internship was a great way to learn about how preservation in Ithaca has worked."

Huckfeldt's role at HI was to research the history of the organization, and design exhibition panels for a 50th anniversary celebration that illustrate milestones in the organization's history, as well as the history of historic preservation in Ithaca.

Huckfeldt and Christine O'Malley, the preservation services coordinator at HI, spoke with people who were actively involved in the early years of the organization, and in the process, gathered and digitized many photographs and other ephemera. These materials make up the heart of the exhibition which includes ten panels, each focused on a single topic. The featured subjects are the Clinton House, the founding of HI, the Boardman House, DeWitt Park Historic District, Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission, St. James AME Zion Church, the State Theatre, HI's Significant Elements and Work Preserve program, and projects in rural Tompkins County. Each panel includes informational text about the history and HI involvement, and photos, news clippings, and drawings.

Huckfeldt designed each of the panels. "I have a fine arts background, so was happy to be able to produce these materials," she says.

In addition to the exhibition, the materials gathered during Huckfeldt's internship are being shared with the 50 for 50th series for HI's Facebook page. Each week in 2016, HI posts an image and text about a place, person, event, or program that was significant in the organization's history.

The experience was all positive for Huckfeldt. "I learned about the importance of community engagement in local preservation work, and saw how this support makes the work of a nonprofit possible."

By Rebecca Bowes

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