Georgia Statewide Historic Preservation Conference 2023

September 13 - 15, 2023

Augusta, GA

Click here to download the conference program

The Historic Preservation Division and Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation invite you to join us for the 2023 Georgia Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Augusta on September 13-15! 


official Conference program

Download here


Welcome Reception - Wednesday, Sep 13 5:00 - 6:30pm, Springfield Village Park, 1211 Jones St, Augusta, GA 30901

There is a public parking deck across the street – Nathan Deal Campus Parking for a small fee. We are not able to provide validated parking. Please note the deck is cashless, but accepts all major credit cards.

Main Conference Sessions - Thursday, Sep 14 9am-5pm & Friday, Sep 15, 9:45am-1:15pm; Marion Hatcher Center and 2KM Architects Chapel, 519 Greene St, Augusta, GA 30901

Please park in the Marion Hatcher center parking lots. DO NOT PARK IN THE 2KM ARCHITECTS LOT. See map below. The two venues are next door to each other and can easily be walked between (less than 1 minute walk). 


Opening Reception - Thursday, Sep 14 5:30-7:00pm; Old Government House 432 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901

Street parking is available along Telfair Street.

GAPC Breakfast and Annual Meeting - Friday, Sep 15 8:30-9:15am; Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home 415 7th St, Augusta, GA 30901

It’s a short walk from the Marion Hatcher Center (7 minutes), so if you’d like to park and walk over, we encourage that. There is a small parking lot available at the site, as well as parking along Telfair St

Registration and Check-in

Online registrants can stop by the registration tables to check-in and pick up their badge and program. For people looking to register onsite, please visit the registration tables at the beginning of the day of your arrival. Please note that onsite registration has an increased fee.


Sign-in sheets will be available in each session. Please be sure to sign in if you are looking to receive training credit.


All tour options are FULL. If you are on a tour list, you received an email on September 11 with instructions - please check your spam if you cannot find it in your inbox. The waitlists have been closed and cleared at this time.


We are excited to announce our keynote speaker, Sehila Mota Casper.

Sehila Mota Casper is the inaugural Executive Director for Latinos in Heritage Conservation, where she works to ensure that the preservation field is inclusive, equitable, and rooted in communities. She previously worked as a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the City of Austin, where she has championed systemic transformations and a just preservation movement. 

Over the past decade, she has organized national Latinx preservation conferences, led efforts to save National Treasure campaigns, such as the LULAC Council 60 Clubhouse and Rio Vista Farm, the first U.S. Bracero Reception and Processing Center. She serves on the board of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, Preservation Texas, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, the State Board of Review, and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. Sehila is the recipient of the 2014 National Trust for Historic Preservation Mildred Colodny Diversity scholarship and a 2013 Texas Historical Commission Preservation Scholar. Sehila is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University Department of Visual Arts and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. 



September 18-20, 2024 | Columbus, GA

We are excited to announce the 2024 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Historic Preservation Division and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, will be held in Columbus, Georgia on September 18-20, 2024. 

Stay up to date by signing up for HPD emails and following us on Instagram and facebook. And keep an eye on this space for more information as it is announced!

Keynote Speaker Announced

We are excited to welcome Brent Leggs as the 2024 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference Keynote Speaker. 

Brent Leggs is the executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and senior vice president of the National Trust. Envisioned as a social movement for justice, equity, and reconciliation, the Action Fund is promoting the role of cultural preservation in telling the nation’s full history, while also empowering activists, entrepreneurs, artists, and civic leaders to advocate on behalf of African American historic places.

A Harvard University Loeb Fellow and author of Preserving African American Historic Places, which is considered the “seminal publication on preserving African American historic sites” by the Smithsonian Institution, Brent is a national leader in the U.S. preservation movement and the 2018 recipient of the Robert G. Stanton National Preservation Award. His passion for elevating the significance of black culture in American history is visible through his work, which elevates the remarkable stories and places that evoke centuries of black activism, achievement, and community.

Over the past decade, he has developed the Northeast African American Historic Places Outreach Program, and its theme, the Business of Preservation, to build a regional movement of preservation leaders saving important landmarks in African American history. As the project manager for several National Treasure campaigns across the country, he led efforts to create the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama, which President Barack Obama designated in January 2017. Other campaign successes include the perpetual protection of cultural monuments like Villa Lewaro, the estate of Madam C. J. Walker in Irvington, New York; Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey; A. G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham; Nina Simone’s birthplace in Tryon, North Carolina; John and Alice Coltrane’s home in Huntington, New York; and more.

Brent has taught at Harvard University, Boston Architectural College and the University of Maryland. He is a Senior Advisor and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites (CPCRS) and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s graduate program in Historic Preservation.

New this year: Conference Sponsorships

We are opening sponsorship opportunities! Various levels of sponsorship are available to organizations, companies, and individuals looking to support the 2024 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference. 

To inquire about sponsorships, contact Brynn Chanudet, Senior Director of Development with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation,

Sponsorship Flyer


Registration will open in May! Keep a look out on social media and sign up for our emails to be notified when it opens.

Session proposals NOW BEING ACCEPTED!

Proposals for speaker sessions and speaker nominations are being accepted through April 1, 2024. This year we're introducing an online application process. Submit your proposal on the new form.

The statewide preservation conference brings together preservationists, preservation professionals, preservation non-profit members, board members, planners, architects, architectural historians, archaeologists, city and county administrators, city and county council members, city and county attorneys, landscape architects, historic preservation commission members, genealogists, historians, and planning and preservation students from across Georgia. All sessions will be open to all attendees.

Sessions should highlight current Georgia preservation, history, architectural history, archeology, cultural landscapes, Georgia regional history, landscape architecture, preservation law, and other closely related topics. The conference session committee desires sessions that will be interactive, engage the audience, present fresh approaches, and be easily applicable to a variety of participants from all over Georgia.

Please submit your proposal via this form by Monday, April 1, 2024. Multiple proposals may be submitted, but please limit one session proposal per submission form. Applicants will be notified by email in early June.  Questions may be submitted to

Sponsors and Partners

We are happy to announce that the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network and Georgia Alliance of Planning Commissions are returning as sponsors for the conference. And we are delighted to welcome Historic Columbus Foundation as a Local Planning Partner.

By: Olivia Kendrick, Environmental Review Historian

If I were to ask you to name a cemetery in Georgia, you could probably name a few. From Oakland in Atlanta to Rose Hill in Macon, to Bonaventure in Savannah, it is no secret that Georgia has numerous noteworthy cemeteries that feature many incredible architectural structures and landscapes. What if I were to ask you to name the type and style of a cemetery? Could you, do it?  Or would you need to flip through National Register Bulletin No. 41, Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Cemeteries and Burial Places to jog your memory on terminology?  If you answered, “I might need a refresher on describing a cemetery,” there is a new and notable Georgia-specific cemetery resource you can check out! Through the work of New South Associates in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Transportation and the guidance of Historic Preservation Division staff, the new cemetery context allows historians and archaeologists to effectively evaluate these cultural resources. Since its publication in October 2023, the Georgia Statewide Cemetery Context entitled, Identification and Evaluation of Georgia’s Historical Burial Grounds has been aiding historians and archaeologists alike in evaluating these resources for the purpose of Section 106 reviews under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The document serves as a guide for determining if a cemetery carries enough significance to be considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Cemeteries present unique challenges when evaluating NRHP-eligibility for Section 106 purposes because of the dual nature of the above- and below-ground resource. The age of some cemeteries means that they have been utilized across multiple generations, resulting in an eclectic collection of different styles and time periods of architecture. The same cemetery may have been used by different cultural and religious groups, each with their own beliefs and funerary traditions. The Georgia Statewide Cemetery Context details burial traditions, beliefs, cultural influences, and the funerary industry in Georgia, while providing an approach for evaluating cemeteries’ NHRP-eligibility and guidance on identifying the types and styles that these cemeteries conform to. The context asks the evaluator to consider topics such as the socioeconomic status of those buried, artistic expressions in the markers, and associations with institutions or organizations. If a cemetery contains enough historical significance and adequate integrity to convey its significance, it can be considered eligible for listing in the NRHP. The new cemetery context provides both Section 106 practitioners and those interested in the history of Georgia a useful and insightful tool!

By Caitlyn McSwigan, Tax Incentives Architectural Reviewer

Last October, the National Park Service published an updated version of one of their existing briefs, Preservation Brief 16: The Use of Substitute Materials on Historic Building Exteriors. While the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation act as the primary set of regulatory guidelines for state and federal rehabilitation projects, Preservation Briefs are used to interpret the Standards and focus on specific steps and issues during the rehabilitation process.

Technical Preservation Services' staff, John Sandor, Amy Elizabeth Uebel, and David Trayte, revised the brief and hosted webinars to explain the updated guidance. With this brief being first published in 1988, Trayte noted that its update was “a project long time in the making.” The revised brief demonstrates greater flexibility concerning replacement materials for rehabilitation projects. The National Park Service defines rehabilitation as “the act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values.” The brief expands previous guidance to adhere to this definition while recognizing the public’s desire for more options when selecting compatible materials.

A recent report from Advisory Council on Historic Preservation points out there is a noticeable “shift in the treatment of substitute materials, which prior guidance suggested avoiding.” The brief poses several explanations for  why a substitute material may be acceptable in specific instances. These include the unavailability of historic materials/skilled artisans, lack of durability of the material used historically, additions, reconstruction, secondary-features, code-required performance, and sustainability. The brief is broken down into historic building features and recommended substitute materials. These features include masonry, architectural metals, siding, roofing, decking, and molding/trim and the spotlighted substitute materials include aluminum, cast stone & precast concrete, fiber reinforced concretes, glass fiber reinforced polymers, fiber cement, mineral/polymer composite, cellulose fiber/polymer composite, non-composite polymers, and cellular PVC. While the list of allowable materials has expanded, there is a disclaimer within the brief that cautions “any substitute materials should be selected based on its specific physical and visual characteristics, conditions, and intended application consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.”

Georgia’s rehabilitated properties make an appearance in the updated brief. Shown on Page 20 of the brief is the Thomson Fire Hall, a state and federal tax credit project reviewed by Georgia Historic Preservation Division Tax Incentives Team. Non-historic infill was removed and replaced with cement board, a compatible substitute material that was chosen to replicate the vehicular door that existed during the Period of Significance. The successful tax credit project executed by Historic Augusta now houses four apartments and shows that the retention of historic character can be achieved even when replacement does not involve using the same material as that of the historic feature.

Further Reading:

  • Preservation Brief 16: The Use of Substitute Materials on Historic Building Exteriors By: John Sandor, David Trayte, and Amy Elizabeth Uebel
  • Report and Recommendations on  the Application and Interpretation of  Federal Historic Preservation Standards By: Chair Sara C. Bronin

The National Park Service issues periodic updates to the National Register nomination process - including this new photo policy! When these updates are issued, our National Register Team ensures nominations conform to these revisions before they are submitted to the NPS.

Recent updates include: 
  • Updated Photograph Policy, Jan 2024
  • Best Practices Review on Preparing a Concise Statement of Significance, Sept 2023
  • Best Practices Review on Evaluating Garages and Outbuildings, Jan 2023
  • Best Practices Review on Evaluating Common Resources, July 2023

You can access these guidance documents any time on the National Park Service website,, to read about each of them in more depth. The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) National Register team also updates instructions in our Packets to reflect these changes.

A big change that we are particularly pleased to announce is the acceptance of National Register photos in JPEG format! Until earlier this year, the National Park Service required National Register photos be submitted in TIF format, which was often challenging for applicants to produce and resulted in incredibly large file sizes that were cumbersome to manage. The ability to submit photos in JPEG format should greatly simplify the photography portion of National Register nominations!

We consistently update the guidance in the Packets to provide our constituency with the most current information needed to process nominations as quickly as possible. The updated HPD Packets reflecting the most up to date National Park Service guidelines can be found on our website, Part 2: Formal Nomination | Georgia Department of Community Affairs (Gago)

Agenda for the November 3, 2023 National Register Review Board Meeting

The following properties were listed on the Georgia Register of Historic Places during the November 3, 2023 National Register Review Board Meeting.

Browns Mill Battlefield; Coweta County


Dooly County Campground; Vienna, Dooly County

Summary and Map


Fountain Hill; Conyers, Rockdale County


Lemon Street School; Marietta, Cobb County

Summary and Map


By Noah Bryant, Environmental Review Archaeologist, Historic Preservation Division


Archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the materials that people left behind. The identification and analysis of this material hinges on the proper identification of archaeological sites. Understanding what makes a place an archaeological site is the foundation for archaeology as a discipline, as it establishes the framework for interpreting the materials left behind by people who previously lived on and used the land that we occupy today.

A general definition of an archaeological site is as follows:

a site formed from a concentration of cultural materials, typically referred to as artifacts, ecofacts (naturally organic or inorganic remains found in a site – think charcoal, seeds, minerals, or unmodified shell or bone), or areas of modified landscape that are associated with past human activity.

Burying a bunch of objects in a backyard does not automatically form an archaeological site. To clarify historic classification, the age of the deposits is taken into account when identifying sites. The magic number for archaeology and above-ground resources is 50 years, that’s when a simple trash dump site can become a “historic” trash dump.

Now that we have established the basics of defining an archaeological site in the most general terms, let us turn our attention to more specific criteria. In Georgia there is no legal definition of an archaeological site; however, the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists developed standards and guidelines that help define more precisely what is considered an archaeological site. In addition to the age requirement of 50 years or older, The Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists defines a site as:

  • Surface scatter that yields three or more artifacts from the same broad cultural period (i.e., historic (after written documentation introduced) or precontact (prior to 1492)) within a 30-meter radius;
  • Two or more shovel tests yielding at least one artifact each within 30m of each other;
    • Shovel tests are used by archaeologists to systematically test an area for archaeological materials below the ground’s surface.
  • A single shovel test that yields three or more artifacts from the same broad cultural period, as long as the artifacts cannot be fitted together (i.e., they are not fragments of the same artifact);
  • An area with visible or cultural features (e.g., shell midden, graves, rock shelters, petroglyphs, chimney fall, brick walls, stone piled features, piers, stills, prospect pits, military earthworks, etc.);
  • An abandoned cemetery or grave; or
  • A singular artifact if its significance can be justified as culturally meaningful (e.g., Paleo projectile point) and/or it is associated with specific surface or landscape features.

That seems like a lot, but standards like those listed above help archaeologists properly identify and record archaeological sites throughout Georgia. You may be wondering, what do archaeologists do once they identify an archaeological site in the field – well they record and report! Properly recording and reporting the location and type of site that has been identified is an important part of archaeology. In Georgia that information is recorded using an Official State Site Form, which is submitted to Georgia Archaeological Site File,  housed at the University of Georgia then the site can receive an Official State Site Number. For example, the Etowah Mounds State Historic Site has the site number 9BR1. Nine indicates the state of Georgia, BR indicates Bartow County, and one since it was the first site recorded in the county.

While anyone can submit an archaeological site form to get an official site number, it is typically the best practice to employ a professional archaeologist to identify and complete the form, as they are familiar with the ins and outs of archaeology. HPD maintains a self-nominated directory of consultants that may be able to assist in investigating potential archaeological sites on your property.

Archaeological sites and the artifacts documented from them are crucial for understanding the history of Georgia. During the Environmental Review process, our team works closely with projects when Section 106 review is triggered. If you would like to know more about our Environmental Review Archaeology program, please email

Additionally, our colleagues at the Office of the State Archaeologist handle archaeology in the state more broadly. Learn more about their work at

Now that you are familiar with what makes a site a site, you’re on your way to becoming a regular Archaeologist; however, it is always best to consult a professional archaeologist if you ever have questions about what you can and cannot do to archaeological sites. Please use your resources and follow all related laws and regulations before disturbing any archaeological site.

In 2020, Georgia HPD received a federal grant to rebuild and enhance Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources Geographic Information System (GNAHRGIS). This project was completed this summer, and new tools are available for surveyors completing data entry in the Historic Resources module of GNAHRGIS. The consolidated rebuilt platform now allows users to download results of searches to Excel. Users can also query historic resources by survey attributes, as well as via the map. For example, a user can layer attributes to perform advanced searches, such as how many front gable bungalows in Lowndes County have been recorded in GNAHRGIS. Another new feature is that all of the properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia have been added to the database, along with digitized nominations and maps. Currently, there are 127,384 historic resources in GNAHRGIS.

Along with these research tools, GNAHRGIS now includes two new tools aimed at facilitating data entry for surveyors – the windshield district polygon tool and integration of the mobile app, ESRI Field Maps.

Windshield District Polygon tool

The windshield district polygon tool allows surveyors to record the following attributes for a grouping of physically similar or related, geographically proximate resources: resource category, basic resource information, general characterization, approximate resource count, primary resource types, primary architectural styles, development time period, boundary types, acreage, boundary description, boundary justification, description, history, and field survey evaluation. Surveyors can also attach photographs and other documentation. These records can now have polygon data attached via ArcGIS Online. This tool allows surveyors to represent these resources as polygons in GNAHRGIS, instead of just points. HPD’s Historic Resources Survey Program offers specific guidance and training for using this tool. It can be used to record neighborhoods of similar resources, resources with large acreage, complexes, and resources with multiple buildings.

esri field maps app integration

As part of the GNARHGIS rebuild and update, HPD partnered with ITOS of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Transmission Corporation, and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) to integrate the NAPC’s CRSurveyor App to GNARHGIS. The app is designed to help communities survey cultural resources digitally. This solution allows a survey team from a community or organization to take phones or tablets into the field and accurately capture location and specific details about historic sites. The data is saved into a data structure that matches the National Park Service cultural resource standards and catalogs many historic resources survey attributes. This data can be collected offline and ‘synced’ when the surveyor obtains connectivity.

The solution uses the ESRI ArcGIS platform and was designed using Field Maps for ArcGIS. Field data is collected using the ESRI Field Maps Application on a mobile device. The data and maps are stored in the ESRI cloud-based ArcGIS Online platform. Surveyors will access ArcGIS Online through ITOS, so a surveyor does not need an independent ArcGIS license to use the tool.

Field Maps is available for communities to use in CLG surveys, locally funded surveys, and environmental review mitigation surveys if the survey area does not contain any resources that are already in GNAHRGIS; the app does not allow for resurvey of pre-existing resource points. HPD hopes that Field Maps is a useful tool in reducing the amount of time required for historic resources survey data entry, facilitating survey work statewide.


Ready to get started?

If a CLG or community is interested in using Field Maps or the windshield district polygon tool for a forthcoming project, please contact to ensure the project is a good fit for the tools. Both the app and the polygon tool should be used by professional consultants or volunteers with required additional training. Field Maps may be used in conjunction with traditional fieldwork and GNAHRGIS entry if clear boundaries are defined for the project for areas previously surveyed. CLGs and communities would be expected to work with HPD staff to clearly define the project in this way.

Additional information on windshield surveys and user guidance for the polygon tool and Field Maps is available on HPD’s website here.

HPD is looking forward to working with communities and surveyors statewide to experiment with these new tools in support of improved historic resources survey in Georgia!

The next Georgia National Register Review Board Meeting will be held on May 5, 2024. Information about recently listed properties can be found here

For further information contact Donald Rooney, National Register Specialist at