The Lower Merion Conservancy, a private non-profit community preservation organization that conducts a diverse array of programs and projects to protect and preserve open space, historic resources, and the natural environment in Lower Merion Township and Narberth has an immediate opening for its full-time Historic Preservation Coordinator.
The Conservancy is active in the Main Line communities of Lower Merion and Narberth. These communities include a variety of built environments such as urbanizing suburban commercial corridors, village centers and the historic neighborhoods around them, traditional suburbs, estates and institutions – and a wide range of unique historic resources with varying levels of local and federal recognition.
The Historic Preservation Coordinator leads the Conservancy’s historic preservation programs and projects – acting as the community’s preservation advocate and serving as a technical resource for historic preservation – and collaborates with other Conservancy staff involved in environmental programs, community education, and membership and development.
The ideal candidate will have the capability of managing our ongoing preservation programs, growing our work in new directions such managing change in the built and natural environment and interfacing with the green building movement. He or she will also have a presence that continues our strong public visibility and expands our membership constituency interested in preservation.
The Coordinator reports to the Conservancy’s Executive Director, serves as staff liaison to the Preservation Committee of the Conservancy’s board, and works with a community-based advisory committee whose members include realtors, historic society members, civic association leaders, preservationists and others.
Manage and coordinate all aspects of the Conservancy’s ongoing historic preservation program, including educational and advocacy programs; working with public agencies and communities to protect historic and cultural resources using tools including, but not limited to, creating historic districts, establish historic markers, and to nominate buildings and districts to the National Register; monitoring planning and development actions as they might impact the community’s historic fabric; establishing and monitoring facade easements and deed restrictions on historic properties; and related activities.
Manage the process that results in the Conservancy’s annual Preservation WatchList, which identifies locally threatened historic resources and important issues. Produce the spring and fall Historic Preservation Lecture Series, each including five lectures and/or walks focusing on the built environment. As appropriate expand the Architectural Hall of Fame to honor locally significant buildings. Create and lead other public programs and special events relevant to historic preservation.
Advocacy and Education
Work with community leaders and residents, local elected officials, township and borough staff, and regulatory agencies as an advocate for the community’s diverse historic fabric (buildings, neighborhoods, special elements of the landscape), and engage the community through lectures, events and public testimony. Support the Conservancy’s broader missions by identifying and developing opportunities for integration with our environmental and education activities. With the Education Coordinator, conduct fall history hikes for students in fourth grade. Recruit and supervise interns as necessary.
Prepare articles and press material as necessary; edit the Landmark, the Conservancy’s quarterly newsletter; develop the annual Preservation WatchList; assist director in developing bi-weekly newspaper columns. Coordinate with the Conservation Director to connect and integrate conservation and historic preservation initiatives. Support the Conservancy’s development activities, by identifying and developing opportunities for preservation-related grant writing, program sponsorship, general membership and individual donor campaigns.
While the successful candidate should possess a Masters degree or equivalent in historic preservation, urban planning, and/or architecture, comparable experience in a similar position at a preservation organization will be strongly considered as well. The successful candidate will be an experienced communicator and solid researcher, possess sound technical and popular writing skills, and be proficient in use of routine computer programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Coordinator must be prepared to conduct public outreach and give public testimony with delicate or controversial issues. Experience coordinating events is also essential. Additionally, the Coordinator must provide his/her own transportation to and from programs and hold a valid driver’s license.
About the Company/Organization
The Lower Merion Conservancy protects and enhances our quality of life by engaging residents in preserving open space, the natural environment, and the historic character of the community. Through education, advocacy and research, we promote collective responsibility for these shared resources.
The Lower Merion Conservancy was formed in September 1995, when the Lower Merion-Narberth Watershed Association merged into the Lower Merion Preservation Trust, and organizations joined forces as the new Lower Merion Conservancy.
The Lower Merion-Narberth Watershed Association was founded in 1974 by Dr. Arthur Wolfe, a science teacher at Lower Merion High School. Art Wolfe orchestrated a variety of stream improvement projects, mostly in Mill Creek, focused on improving the stream’s flow and restoring a population of native trout. At first, his science students volunteered in his projects, but he soon created a community non-profit to organize larger efforts.
Over the years, LMNWA built stream bank improvement projects in a variety of locales, like Harriton House and West Mill Creek Park, planted trout eggs, monitored stream chemistry and more.
The Lower Merion Preservation Trust was formed in 1991, the outgrowth of a Lower Merion Township study on disappearing open spaces. LMPT organized to advocate for the preservation of landscapes and community character, and grew to embrace protection of historic resources as well. The trust invested extensive energy in contacting owners of large properties, arranging for these properties to be set aside in perpetuity.
In 1994, these efforts bore fruit, when Lower Merion Township agreed to purchase the former Walter C. Pew estate in Gladwyne, a 103-acre property now called Rolling Hill Park. The trust served as a conduit for public fundraising for the park’s purchase; ultimately, more than 900 area families donated to the purchase this new park.
Both the Trust and the Watershed held an abiding interest in landscape preservation, and entered merger discussions in spring 1995, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Conservancy.
In 1997 the Conservancy began a campaign to restore the 1895 caretaker’s cottage at Rolling Hill Park. The cottage, completely restored by May 2000, serves as the headquarters of the Conservancy.
Salary or Pay Rate
This is a full-time salaried position with benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation, compensatory time, fully paid health coverage for individuals, and retirement IRA contributions after three years of service.
How To Apply
Review of applications to begin immediately and continue until position is filled. Send résumé and cover letter with three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. While electronic submission is preferred, applications can also be mailed to the attention of Patty Thompson, Executive Director at 1301 Rose Glen Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035.
Prior to hiring, candidates must consent to standard background checks including a child abuse clearance, and criminal background screening. The Lower Merion Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.