This story appeared in the April issue of the PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door monthly? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!

One of the most valuable tools in historic preservation is the networking achieved by attending conferences and workshops. These interactions give you the chance to meet the craftspeople, consultants and product representatives that can make your project a success. It also is a chance to meet others with similar buildings, interests, challenges or solutions.

On May 2-3, the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation will host the 40th annual Louisiana Preservation Conference in downtown Baton Rouge, in conjunction with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation. Whether a student, volunteer, preservation professional or owner of a historic building, attending the conference is sure to benefit you.

The official start to the conference will begin in the Old State Capitol with a welcome by the Louisiana Trust, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and governmental leaders, including Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. Participants can attend sessions from three interest tracks: Main Street Communities; The Benefits of Preservation; and The Details of Preservation.

The Louisiana Trust will recognize preservation leaders from across the state at an awards soiree May 2 at the Captiol Park Museum. Photo by Brian M. Davis.

The keynote speaker will be Donovan Rypkema, principal of Place Economics and an international expert on the economic benefits of historic preservation. He will discuss a recent study of the impact of the Louisiana Main Street Program, which has 34 participating communities. Since 1984, this economic development program has logged more than 9,000 new jobs (net); nearly 1,900 new businesses (net); and more than $460.5 million in construction and renovations for small towns and neighborhoods across Louisiana. A full copy of this report may be found at
Other keys to revitalizing income-producing buildings are state and federal historic tax credits. A workshop on “Historic Tax Credits 101” will be held at the Capitol Park Welcome Center on May 2. This is a perfect way to learn the basics of historic tax credits and to visit several recent projects in Baton Rouge made possible through this economic driver.

Another great part of conferences is the ability to visit sites or projects not typically open to the public. Such is the case with one of the tours offered on May 2. Patsy and Dr. Jack Holden will lead guided tours of Maison Chenal, their property in Pointe Coupee Parish. This collection of historic buildings is filled with further collections the Holdens have gathered in their scholarly pursuit of Creole culture over the past 40 years. As the Holdens like to say, they study the tout ensemble or “all together,” from buildings to the objects that fill them and how they were used. Dr. Holden co-wrote the book on Louisiana furniture: “Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture 1735 to 1835.” The largest artifact in their collection is the LaCour House, which dates to the early to mid-1700s, and is one of the oldest surviving structures in the Mississippi Valley. This structure has been moved twice and was the childhood home of the late Lindy Boggs.

The 40th annual Louisiana Preservation Conference, held May 2-3 in downtown Baton Rouge, will kick off in the Old State Capitol. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation.

On the evening of May 2, the Louisiana Trust will recognize preservation leaders from across the state at its awards soiree. This event brings everyone in for food and drinks, music and a chance to catch up with friends, both old and new. It will be held at the Captiol Park Museum, and the first-floor exhibit space will be open during the event.

On May 3, the day begins with an Investor’s Breakfast at the Old Governor’s Mansion, co-hosted by the Louisiana Trust, Preserve Louisiana and the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. This informal gathering brings building owners, Main Street managers and municipal leaders together with the developers, investors, bankers and consultants who can make a preservation project a success. Participants are encouraged to bring information about their buildings, communities or services to share with others.

On May 2, Patsy and Dr. Jack Holden will lead guided tours of Maison Chenal, their property in Pointe Coupee Parish, as part of 40th annual Louisiana Preservation Conference. Photo by Brian M. Davis.

The Investor’s Breakfast and Preservation Luncheon at the Baton Rouge City Club are included with a general conference registration. Stand-alone registrations for those events also may be purchased without attending the conference. Space is limited for several tours and special events, so please register early. A room block for the conference has been designated at Hotel Indigo, 200 Convention St., Baton Rouge. Proceeds from the conference support the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation’s mission to advocate, promote and preserve historic places representing our diverse culture. A full schedule and online registration may be found at Registration closes on April 29.

For photos and updates about the 40th annual Louisiana Preservation Conference and other projects of the Louisiana Trust in all 64 parishes, please visit or follow us on Facebook at LTHPreservation and Instagram at @LouisianaTrust.