Brick by Brick: Building Community Development Through History, hosted by the Morrison County Historical Society, 2021.

In April 2021, the Morrison County Historical Society hosted Brick by Brick: Building Community Development Through History. The purpose of the program was to show the critical role history plays in community & economic development activities and provide methods for funding preservation efforts.

The Brick by Brick online event series featuring the following three programs (or Bricks, as we called them):

Brick One: Funding the Upkeep of Existing Buildings: The Little Falls Redevelopment Program

Focus: Discussed the challenges of taking care of older buildings and the creation of public programs to finance building projects.

Panel: Greg Zylka, Little Falls Mayor; Carol Anderson, Morrison County Community Development Executive Director; Jon Rademacher, Little Falls City Administrator; Mary Ippel, Taft Law Partner

Video of Brick One presentation on YouTube

Slides from Brick One presentation (includes all speakers’ presentations)

Brick Two: Tax Incentives for History: The Importance of Historic Tax Credits

Focus: How does the historic tax credit work in Minnesota? What has it helped to save? When is it due to expire?

Panel: Ethan Boote, Rethos Real Estate Manager; Erin Hanafin Berg, Rethos Policy Director; Shannon Wiger, Spring Hill Capital Principal; Natascha Wiener, MN State Historic Preservation Office Historical Architect

Video of Brick Two presentation on YouTube

Brick 2 Presentation by Ethan Boote – Who Is Rethos and How Historic Tax Credits Are Used

Brick 2 Presentation by Erin Hanafin-Berg – It Takes a Coalition: Advocating for an Extension to the MN Historic Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit

Resource: Nelson, Rick, “Why Minnesota tax credit for rehabbing historic buildings shouldn’t expire,” Star Tribune,, accessed February 20, 2021.

Brick Three: History Is Infrastructure: The Role of History in Community Development

Focus: Panel discussion on the various ways history is used for community development projects.

Panel: Mary Warner, Morrison County Historical Society Executive Director; King Banaian, Dean, School of Public Affairs, SCSU; Todd Holman, Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Coordinator; Melissa Wenzel, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Built Environment Sustainability Administrator

Video of Brick 3 Presentation on YouTube

Brick 3 Slide Presentation (includes all speakers’ presentations)

Thank you to our presenters, Amy Piekarski from Sourcewell, who served as the moderator, Ashley Zidon of Sourcewell for assistance with organizing the series, Phoebe Ward, fellow for the City of Little Falls for communications assistance, Ann Marie Johnson of MCHS for pulling this event series together, and Grace Duxbury of MCHS for communications & tech assistance.