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YPA to celebrate 10th anniversary at Union Project, Top Ten preservation opportunities list

The Young Preservationists Association (YPA) of Pittsburgh is celebrating its tenth anniversary on June 2nd at an event titled, "Ignite the Next Generation of Preservations Leaders," where it will release its annual report on the top ten preservation opportunities in the Pittsburgh area.

The event will be held at the Union Project in Highland Park, a building and institution that the YPA believes demonstrates one of the most successful adaptive reuses in Pittsburgh.

“It is a perfect example of preservation," says Dan Holland, YPA executive director.  "An old church has been restored, it's reused, it's constantly busy for events and activities.  It's really an ideal example of the kind of work we try to highlight with our organization.”

The former Union Baptist Church, built in 1903, was included in the YPA's Top Ten list in 2004.  The following year, it was awarded the YPA's Promise Award, which highlights persons or organizations showing potential in the field of preservation.

The recipient of this year’s Michael Eversmeyer Promise Award is Michael Stanton, director of East End-based Open Hand Ministries.

Holland says that this event, like all YPA programs, is intended to light a spark among young people for historic preservation.

"We feel that there's a lot of history to preserve," he says.  "At the same time, there’s a lot of history that's at risk.  And the next generation, it's placed at their feet."

The event's co-chairs are State Senator Jim Ferlo, and Cathy Niederberger, Senior Vice President of PNC Bank Community Development.  Special guest include WQED's Rick Sebak, and Tim Baker, President of Baker Leadership, who will be the event’s MC’s.  To register for the event by May 30th, visit the YPA’s site here.

Holland says he is proud that his organization has been at work for a decade, and points to a number of specific accomplishments in those years, where YPA’s advocacy has led to the restoration of numerous buildings and districts.  But most importantly, he says, is that his organization has successfully engaged young people in historic preservation.

"For the first time we have young people front and center in the preservation movement taking credit for and being part of the preservation of historic sites," Holland says. "I feel like we have accomplished our mission in that respect."

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Dan Holland
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