Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

Real Places 2019 Conference



As you know, Texas has an almost-embarrassing trove of historic and cultural treasures. They’re spread across hundreds of thousands of acres—from the beaches of South Padre Island to the high plains of Amarillo, from the forests of Texarkana to the mountains of El Paso. It’s a BIG state with a BIG history and heritage.

It’s our job to protect and preserve that rich legacy wherever it is found—in booming big cities and charming small towns alike.

If you are passionate about seeking out, saving, and leveraging the real places and real stories of your community, Phoenix I Restoration & Construction, Komatsu Architecture, and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission invite you to join us January 16–18 in Austin for REAL PLACES 2019—a Texas Historical Commission conference focused on preserving, revitalizing, and experiencing the Texas mystique.

Featured speakers include Gene Kranz, legendary leader of the flight team that brought Apollo 13 safely home, noted museum expert Colleen Dilenschneider, bestselling author and speaker Nina Simon, architect and urban planner Curtis Davis, and author and TV personality Brent Hull. We’re also offering eight pre-conference workshops, a tour of the painted churches around Schulenburg, and we’re working on establishing continuing education credits for architects and planners. (View the full schedule.)

At REAL PLACES 2019 you will:

  • Network with Main Street programs, municipal and county governments, County Historical Commissions, chambers of commerce, convention and visitor bureaus, museums and historic sites, preservation organizations, and travel industry experts
  • Learn best practices and strategies to promote and increase visitation to your community's historic places
  • Understand the power of historic preservation tax credits to revitalize communities
  • Hear about the vital role of sacred places and public spaces in cultural tourism and historic preservation
  • Embrace historic courthouses and Main Street districts at the heart of many Texas communities
  • Empower organizations to be inclusive of local communities for sustainability and relevance
  • Discover the dramatic history and preservation challenges facing NASA's Apollo Mission Control Center
  • Gain insight and technical advice on design guidelines, historical surveys, narrative-based planning, building materials, masonry, and more

See more reasons why you should attend Real Places 2019.

In addition to the regular conference schedule, Real Places 2019 offers special programming and pre-conference workshops for various audiences. The THC’s award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program will present its annual Texas Courthouse Stewardship Roundtable Discussion for county officials and facilities managers, as well as special technical preservation sessions on maintaining historic buildings. The Friends of the THC will again offer its popular development seminar, which is geared toward helping nonprofits build sustainable fundraising programs. The THC will provide training for new Texas Main Street managers and board members, as well as Certified Local Government staff and historic preservation officers. Aligning these training opportunities enables municipal and county representatives to explore the connections between their various stewardship responsibilities and understand how they directly relate to other preservation and heritage tourism efforts.

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) members can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for many workshops and sessions.

Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) can earn Learning Units (LU) and health, safety, and welfare (HSW) credits for many workshops and sessions.

The deadline for hotel stipend applications has passed. The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is pleased to have awarded 40 complimentary room nights to 30 participants from across the state. Selections were based on demonstrated need, with a priority to preservation volunteers and those participating in THC programs. Recipients have been notified.