This story appeared in the May issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door nine times a year? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!
The Preservation Resource Center is thrilled to welcome Anna Pernas to our staff as the PRC’s new Director of Conservation and Education.
Pernas is taking on an important new role for PRC, one that is a hybrid of previous positions but oversees some of our most important work. She will administer our Revival Grants program, which provides free home repairs to low-income homeowners in New Orleans’ historic districts. She also will direct all of PRC’s education efforts, including curating and hosting classes, workshops and acting as a resource for constituents with questions about historic building maintenance or renovation.
Pernas has jumped into action quickly in her new role, as she has overseen the launch of the new Maintain Right multimedia program, which includes videos, online classes, in-person classes (when COVID restrictions lift) and a web portal filled with articles, links and more important information focused on best practices for maintaining historic buildings. (Read all about the Maintain Right program on page 18.)
Pernas is amazingly qualified to take on this role at PRC. She comes to us after spending six years with the City of New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission. She worked with constituents from all walks of life, in many capacities, in her role at HDLC. Her knowledge of how buildings are put together, what the city’s code allows in various neighborhoods, and how to navigate the at-times complex process of building renovation will serve PRC and all of our members in incredible new ways.
Prior to her time at the HDLC, Pernas worked with Central City nonprofit Felicity Redevelopment. She is a graduate of Tulane’s Master of Preservation Studies program, and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Florida. She is originally from Miami.
While architecture school largely focuses on new design, Pernas knew from a young age that she had a love for historic structures, one that manifested in her appreciation for her high school, the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, housed in part in El Jardin, a gorgeous Spanish Revival building dating to 1918 in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood.
“I love new design, but I have a pull to historic buildings, especially making historic buildings more sustainable,” she said. So she was struck by New Orleans. On a visit here after finishing her undergrad degree, she met former Tulane Master of Preservation Studies Director John Stubbs. “He really sold me on the program and the city,” Pernas said. “Being in New Orleans, getting to know the city and understanding how the neighborhoods were formed…there’s so much beauty to preserve here.”
We are grateful and excited to have Pernas on our team, and know she will take our efforts to serve everyone in the City of New Orleans to new heights.
Danielle Del Sol is the Executive Director of the Preservation Resource Center.