I write articles, reports, grants, and book chapters in clear, compelling prose. My work is grounded in a deep understanding of place, community, and storytelling. I am also an experienced editor and award-winning poet.



A New Approach to Preservation in Legacy Cities - and Beyond
Preservation Leadership Forum, March 29, 2016

"The excitement was palpable in Newark one evening last December. Stacks of the Action Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities, a new report from the Preservation Rightsizing Network (PRN) and a broad array of partners, sat on a table outside the Great Hall of 15 Washington, a newly rehabilitated building owned by Rutgers University—Newark. 15 Washington itself played a strong supporting role in the release of the Action Agenda, which advocates for new strategies in reviving America’s legacy cities—older industrial cities that have lost 20 percent or more of their population..."

Lessons from the Legacy City Conference
Preservation Leadership Forum, August 28, 2014

"There is a small and dedicated group of preservation pragmatists emerging in the U.S.... They cut deals with planners, help shape land banks, and talk shop with code enforcement officials. They are familiar with mothballing and signs of long vacancy. In some cases, they embrace demolitions. These are legacy city preservationists, with realism in one pocket and determined optimism in the other. They appreciate wood-sash windows as much as anyone, but they care more about keeping buildings occupied and standing in communities where the longstanding disinvestment and decades of population loss stack a high deck against them. They champion preservation where current community stories are told alongside long-dead history, where equity is a central issue, and where deals in which one vacant building is razed and six are left standing are deals worth doing..."

Preserving Neighborhood Character
4Culture, June 2, 2014

"...The Chinatown International District and Pioneer Square will be particularly impacted [by new and proposed City policies]. Together, the neighborhoods contain 120 unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings—15 percent of all URMs in Seattle—and more than 500 affordable housing units for low-income seniors, families with children, recent immigrants, and others. Both neighborhoods are also hotspots of small local businesses that need affordable commercial space to survive and thrive. Many of the historic buildings that house people and businesses will require work to comply with at least one of the new policies; some buildings will be affected by both..."

Survey Forth! Innovative Survey Methodologies
Forum Journal, Summer 2013

"...These technologies allow survey work to quickly cover large areas at lower costs by providing a means for the broader public to participate in survey work and viewing entire blocks in birds-eye view... For instance, the Austin Historical Survey Wiki brings preservation into the crowdsourcing age. The publicly accessible online database allows anyone to register as a user and enter information about any property in the city..."

Urgent Work in Good Company
Preservation Leadership Forum, December 10, 2013

"...The Preservation Rightsizing Network (PRN) aims to distill triumphs into preservation good practices—and to provide a forum for sharing ideas around persistent hurdles. Recent headlines highlight the pressing need for both. Even as a newly formed land bank in Syracuse considers taking title to several prominent vacant commercial buildings as a way to spur rehabilitation, Michigan is receiving $100 million in Hardest Hit Funds from the federal government for demolition of 'blighted' buildings... A demolition-as-planning article in The New York Times ran just a few days after two articles featuring preservation-inspired revitalization in Newburgh and Buffalo appeared on the same pages. PRN members were cheering, but with an eye to a long race..."

Rightsizing Right
Forum Journal, Summer 2013

"Over the past 60 years, hundreds of communities across the Rust Belt have lost population. Former manufacturing centers that once churned out automobiles, household goods, and war munitions to power the nation have seen up to 60 percent of their residents move away. Those who remain in these legacy cities and towns face a formidable swath of challenges: few jobs, struggling educational systems, high crime rates, and vacant buildings—to name a few.

"The scale of vacancy can be difficult for outsiders to fathom. Places that used to pride themselves on the affordability of single-family houses now have thousands of empty buildings and vacant lots. This is true in Cleveland and Syracuse, and certainly true in Detroit. It is true even in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where rising populations and new economic activity suggest regeneration and renewal, but reinvestment in the built environment lags behind..."

One-on-One Organizing for Affordable Housing Near Transit
Race, Poverty and the Environment, Fall 2007

"In San Leandro, the issues have always been housing and health care. Over two years, using the one-on-one organizing model, COR [Congregations Organizing for Renewal] built the support and momentum needed to pass a 2006 inclusionary zoning ordinance that requires 15 percent of units in the all new residential developments in the city to be affordable to moderate-, low-, and very low-income households..."


Unreinforced Masonry Buildings and Neighborhood Preservation
with SCIDpda, 2016

This report assesses the localized impacts of a proposed seismic retrofit ordinance and a new rental registration ordinance on two of Seattle's most historic - and most vulnerable - neighborhoods, the Chinatown International District and Pioneer Square. It incorporates findings from case study buildings, financial experts, and community feedback, with the goal of ensuring that local property owners can successfully upgrade and maintain their buildings for generations to come. 

Transforming Vacancy in Walnut Hills
with PlaceEconomics for the Cincinnati Preservation Association and Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, 2015

This report recommends coordinated strategies to build on strengths and leverage vacant properties in Cincinnati's Walnut Hills neighborhood, based on analysis of 70 quantitative metrics and community priorities via the Relocal tool. The 60-page report digs into six neighborhood subareas, as well as the neighborhood as a whole.

Little Saigon Housing Needs Assessment
with SCIDpda, 2013

This report provides information on housing needs in the Little Saigon area of Seattle’s International District. It is intended to inform community stakeholders and developers who are interested in investing in the area and in opportunities for future development. Research lead was Obinna Amobi.

Historic Preservation and Rightsizing
with PlaceEconomics for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 2012

This report examines how 20 older industrial cities are responding to sustained population loss, with a focus on their use of federal funds. It draws on the results of an online survey and 35 interviews with municipal planners, local preservation advocates, and state-level staff.

Wayne Junction Historic District nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
with Kim Broadbent for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, 2010

Charleston Preservation Plan
with Page & Turnbull for the City of Charleston, 2008
Received National Preservation Honor Award from National Trust for Historic Preservation

"Preservation is an everyday matter, especially in Charleston. Synonymous for many with quality of life, preservation encompasses far more than bricks and mortar. It is a social, economic, and cultural endeavor. Residents have affirmed this overlap of issues by calling for this Plan to tackle a vast sweep of concerns about transportation and traffic, affordable housing, open space, sustainability, and growth patterns. While preservation planning cannot single-handedly address these issues, it provides valuable input to these broader objectives."

Historic Tax Credit Applications Parts 1-3
with Page & Turnbull, 2007-09

Historic Resource Evaluations
with Page & Turnbull, 2007-09


I have written and managed more than $1.2 million in grants for nonprofit organizations and historic building rehabilitations.

City of Seattle
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Puget Sound Regional Council
Washington State Historical Society


Preservation in Middle Neighborhoods: Promising Results in Ohio
with Nicholas Hamilton in On the Edge - America's Middle Neighborhoods (The American Assembly), 2016

"At its heart, historic preservation is about recognizing and valuing what was created in the past. It offers a lens for recognizing the value of neighborhoods and telling the stories of the people who have shaped and continue to shape them. This chapter articulates the case for a community-oriented preservation model that supports long-time residents, creates pathways for newcomers, and strengthens neighborhoods for all. The idea that there is economic, social, and environmental value worth preserving in existing buildings, neighborhoods, and communities is an essential theme in stabilizing middle neighborhoods... When the process of reinvestment includes and honors local communities and their ongoing stories—their heritage—preservation can be a powerful tool for significant and sustainable change in neighborhood dynamics..."

Action Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities
Preservation Rightsizing Network, Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland State University, et al., 2015

"History is being remade in the Rust Belt, and historic preservation can play an indispensable role. From Cleveland to Birmingham, St. Louis to Buffalo, Detroit to Newark, legacy cities face unprecedented challenges in pervasive disinvestment, widespread abandonment, demolition by neglect, and extraordinarily limited resources. Yet they offer diversity, affordability, and irreplaceable urban character. To be effective here, preservationists must present new strategies for protecting cultural heritage when traditional growth-driven approaches fall short. How to preserve the stories of these places and communities—how to keep the legacy in legacy cities— is one of many urgent questions..."

Pocket Guide (editor)

Pocket Guide is an occasionally published zine featuring maps, prose, poetry, and more.

Prospectus 3 (editor)
University of Pennsylvania Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, 2011-12

Unpickling Preservation Blog



Christian Century, Minimum, August 2013

Texas Observer, "I Should Have Lived First in the Desert" and "The Space of Failure," February 2005


Poetry Awards

William Carlos Williams Prize, Academy of American Poets/University of Pennsylvania, 2010

Urmy/Hardy Poetry Prize, Stanford University, 2003