Salem to Host Second Annual Preservation in a Changing Climate Conference

Salem, September 12-13, 2022


The threat of changing climates is real and can be seen across the globe with headlines of record high heats and forest fires. Sustainability and adaptation are key elements that come into play when developing strategies to combat climate change. Each individual has a role to play in the fight against climate change, and the Preservation in Changing Climate Conference is a step forward in the direction of progress on the discussion of these issues.

The City of Salem and the Salem Preservation Partners announce the second annual conference focusing on climate change impacts to the region’s historic resources. The 1½ day conference will be held in person on September 12th and 13th.

Building on the 2021 inaugural Preservation in a Changing Climate Conference, this year’s event will continue efforts to raise awareness of and discuss adaptation strategies to address climate change impacts on historic buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods. The conference will include an opening night speaker and educational sessions at the Peabody Essex Museum’s Morse Auditorium, tours of historic museum campuses that are addressing the effects of climate change on their historic buildings and a closing reception at The House of the Seven Gables. Keynote speakers from the National Park Service will discuss the new guidelines for adapting historic buildings to flooding. In addition, the City and the Partners are hosting an exhibit on the first floor of the City Hall Annex to highlight current efforts to address climate change impacts on Salem’s historic resources. The exhibit is open to the public during regular City Hall Annex hours.

Photo taken by Kate Fox

The North Shore of Boston, including Salem and surrounding communities, is witnessing first-hand the damaging effects of climate change on historic properties and neighborhoods. Coastal and riverine flooding, wind damage, excessive rain and rising humidity and heat all effect the future of our historic resources. To address these changes and protect the region’s historic resources, preservationists, engineers, city planners, legislators, insurers, historic homeowners and other decision-makers will be tasked to identify and implement adaptation tools to make historic buildings and neighborhoods more resilient and sustainable. This conference will explore these tools including nontraditional solutions, experimental approaches and alternative building materials.  

“I’m very grateful to the Salem Preservation Partners collaborative for continuing this critical dialogue through the annual Preservation in a Changing Climate conference,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll, who first convened the Preservation Partners in 2016. “Salem is forward-looking and pro-active in our approaches to managing the local impacts of global climate change. As a historic community, especially, we want to be intentional and thoughtful in how we plan and prepare for these challenges. In Salem we treasure our history because it has laid the foundation for our values and our hopes today. Dialogues like Preservation in a Changing Climate will help ensure that that can continue to be the case for future generations of Salem residents.”

Photo taken by Jim Mcallister

Salem Preservation Partners is a group of historic preservation organizations that gather bi-monthly to discuss issues and activities pertinent to the community. As owners of historic buildings and leaders in the preservation field, Salem’s Preservation Partners formed a subcommittee to help historic properties and neighborhoods plan to adapt to rising sea levels and other climate change challenges. Hosted by the City of Salem’s Planning and Community Development Department, the Partners include the Peabody Essex Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Salem Sound Coastwatch, Essex National Heritage, Historic New England, the National Park Service, Historic Salem Inc., Destination Salem, and many more. 

The fee for attending this year’s conference will be $30 per person, which will include the keynote speaker, access to PEM’s current climate change exhibits, education sessions, walking tours, light refreshments, and a closing reception. The Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Inn are offering discounted rates for conference attendees. For more information and to register for the conference, visit https://www.preservingsalem.com/preservation-in-a-changing-climate-1.

$30 per person. Advanced registration required.

To register for the conference, please click here

For information on special hotel rates for conference attendees, please contact the hotels below:

The Hawthorne Hotel 978-744-4080

The Salem Inn 978-741-0680

For Conference Program information click HERE

For Information in both English and Spanish, please us the link below 


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