Ben Ford, a member of the IUP Anthropology Department, was appointed chair of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board at the Board's October meeting. Ford will serve as the chair for two years. This is his fifth year on the board.

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board meets three times a year and includes 11 architects, planners, archaeologists, developers, and preservation specialists from across Pennsylvania. The board advises the State Historic Preservation Office, reviews the State Historic Preservation Plan, and approves nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

Reviewing the National Register nominations is Ford's favorite part of the job.

"Each nomination is a window on an interesting, and often a bit wacky, piece of Pennsylvania history," he said. "Reviewing the nominations is a virtual tour of the places that make Pennsylvania special."

The board often visits the nominated places before reviewing them, but Ford also keeps a list of ones he wants to visit with his family. Even relatively nondescript buildings can contain great history. Ford recalled that, "two recent nominations were where Raisinets and Flexible Flyer sleds were developed. These buildings don't jump out at you, but are good examples of how history and heritage are around every corner."