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Adapting Historic Buildings to Flooding

For more information, contact:

Greg Griffith
(360) 890-2617

Feb 25-26, 2020 | Tacoma, WA | Washington State History Museum

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) together with the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS), is pleased to announce that registration is now open to participate in this one and a half day workshop at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.  Designed and presented by staff in the Cultural Resources, Partnerships & Science office at the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. the workshop content and activities are based on the recently released Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabiliting Historic Buildings (2019) by Jenifer Eggleston, Jennifer Park, and Jennifer Wellock.  


Workshop Goals:

Generate awareness of the threat posed to historic buildings from flooding events, and by extension, the impacts of sea level rise on historic communities in coastal areas. Also, to examine approaches to protecting historic properties and communities from damage resulting from flooding events/rising sea levels in the short-term, and in the long-term, adapting historic properties while preserving historic character.

View Draft Agenda here.

Target Audience: 

Historic preservation professionals in historical architecture and architectural history; historic property owners/managers; cultural resource managers at the local, state, and federal levels; local historic preservation planners and historic preservation commission staff/members; practitioners of historic building rehabilitation trades and craftsmanship.


Familiarity with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties


On Tuesday afternoon, workshop participants will enjoy a tour to downtown Olympia to learn how that city is planning to protect the downtown area, including the Downtown Olympia Historic District, from projected impacts of sea level rise. A chartered bus will leave the History Museum at 1:00 and return by 5:00 pm. The tour is designed to be a part of the learning experience and will include presentations by City of Olympia planning and historic preservation staff.  In addition to presentations, there will also be a walking tour of the downtown area; so wear appropriate shoes and dress for the weather.


FREE! However, the workshop is limited to a maximum of 40 participants. Since we expect strong interest in the workshop, registering early is highly recommended. We will maintain a waiting list once we have received 40 registrations. Therefore, we ask that if you register but later change your mind or for some reason cannot make the workshop, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer those on the waiting list the opportunity to attend the workshop.

To register:

Click here to Register.

Registration is limited to 40 participants.

Please note:

Lunch will be provided on site on Tuesday, February 25. Coffee, tea, water, and breakfast pastries will be provided on both mornings of the workshop.
On-site metered parking is available at the History Museum. Free parking is available at the Tacoma Dome garage across from the Sounder station at Freight House Square. Free Link light-rail transportation is available from Freight House Square to the History Museum.
If you will be needing overnight accommodations in Tacoma, you will need to make your own arrangements. However, there are several options available to you in downtown Tacoma, all within easy walking distance to the History Museum.
The workshop will involve activities working in teams. All materials for the team activities will be provided.


Contact Greg Griffith at or 360-586-3073 or 360-890-2617.  


We wish to thank staff of the NPS Cultural Resources, Partnerships & Science office who have designed the agenda and will be facilitating the workshop. We also thank the Washington State Historical Society for generous support in providing meeting space at the Washington State History Museum.   

Similar conferences and workshops have occurred as part of the Keeping History Above Water initiative of the Newport Restoration Foundation in Palo Alto, CA, Annaopolis, MD, and St. Augustine, FL.  Many resources continue to be developed regarding this issue as communities become more proactive in mitigating sea level rise, climate change, and develop resilient strategies for the built environment.