With Modern architecture and international preservation issues featured in Tradition and Transition: Oklahoma’s 27th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference (June 3-5, Bartlesville), a January 2015 announcement by the U. S. Department of the Interior came at the perfect time. DOI Secretary Jewell announced that the United States is nominating “Key Works of Modern Architecture” by Frank Lloyd Wright to the World Heritage List. The group consists of ten buildings from seven states, including Bartlesville’s Price tower. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will consider the nomination in the summer of 2016. If approved by the committee, the thematic group will become the twenty-third United States WHL inscription.
On Wednesday, June 3, George C. Papagiannis, External Relations and Information, UNESCO, will highlight the work of the international organization and the importance of the WHL in UNESCO, the U.S. and World Heritage. George handles external relations for UNESCO in the United States, raising awareness and advocating for the organization, as well as providing a point of contact to the U.S. Government, civil society organizations and other interested parties working on issues of interest to UNESCO, including the protection of cultural and natural sites around the globe and the designation of World Heritage Sites (WHS).
Before assuming his assignment in the U.S. in the spring of 2012, he was the officer-in-charge of the UNESCO’s Iraq Office in Baghdad. Among his efforts, George emphasized the role of women in new media, supported initiatives to protect journalists and led two cultural assessment missions in Iraq, evaluating the Kirkuk Citadel and sites in the holy city of Najaf, which were under consideration for the Iraq World Heritage Tentative List. Prior to joining UNESCO in 2007, he had a distinguished journalism career.
Then, Valerie Hauser, Director, Office of Native American Affairs, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, will discuss the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She advises ACHP leadership on policy matters and historic preservation issues affecting Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and provides technical expertise to federal agencies regarding tribal and Native Hawaiian consultation. Valerie also represents the ACHP on government-wide initiatives involving indigenous issues. Before joining the ACHP in 1989, she served as Director of Archeology at an environmental education center in New York City. She received her Master of Arts in Anthropology from New York University.
The closing plenary session (Friday, June 5) will feature Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian, City of Chicago, Cultural Affairs & Special Events. Tim is an authority on the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, as well as other Modern style buildings. He will present “Thinking in Three Dimensions.”
Tim has been instrumental in celebrating and protecting Chicago’s past for more than twenty-five years. He is highly regarded for his stewardship of the cultural and architectural history of the city at the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the Chicago Historical Society. But Tim’s work on behalf of Chicago’s cultural treasures does not stop at his office door. He volunteered his time to work on the restoration of such landmark structures as Union Station, Chess Records, and the Pilgrim Baptist Church. He led the fight to save historic Bronzeville in the 1970’s and pushed for its landmark designation. He continues to work with the Landmark Commission as an advocate for the preservation of buildings that represent diverse aspects of the city’s cultural history. He possesses a wealth of knowledge about Chicago’s neighborhoods the people, the stores, the factories, the labor history. He shares this history by presenting Chicago Neighborhood Tours and by organizing exhibitions that portray subjects relating to popular culture and architecture in an accessible way. As he says, the goal is to get people excited about history especially those who never imagined they would be.
Full conference program and registration information will be available in late April. Follow conference developments at http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/conference.htm and
If you may have questions, contact Melvena Heisch, Deputy SHPO (405/522-4484 or firstname.lastname@example.org).