|Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources
Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources
ABOUT THE ROLE: Reporting to the Executive Director of the Historical Commission, the Preservation Projects Manager will have responsibility for the maintenance and expansion of the department’s marker program. This includes the following public monuments, site markers, and interpretive panels:
- Old Burying Ground: 1,200 historic grave markers, ca. 1700-1830. CHC contracts for annual maintenance by conservators. CPA-funded at about $15,000 per year.
- Bronze sculptures and plaques (Civil War monument, Charles Sumner and John Bridge statues, Longfellow monument, miscellaneous plaques) not accessioned by the Cambridge Arts Council. CHC contracts for maintenance, usually funded by DPW operating budget.
- Revolutionary cannon (Cambridge Common). CHC replaced the wooden gun carriages and restored the cannon in 2016. Painting and repairs funded by DPW under CHC supervision.
- Blue Oval Bicentennial markers. About 80 porcelain enamel markers were installed in 1976-80; about 20 remain to be installed for various reasons. Others have been vandalized or gone missing. There is significant demand for new markers, but production is technically difficult and has not been attempted in recent years.
- History Stations. Seven neighborhood sites with between two and eight 4’ square porcelain enamel historical markers with 600-750 words of text each, some mounted on concrete plinths, installed 1976-1985. Some markers are deteriorating; others are missing. Marker design and fabrication costs need to be calculated and funding sought.
- Winthrop Park markers. These markers describe the founding and early development of Cambridge. Installed in 1980, they have been criticized as presenting a one-sided view of history. A consultant is currently preparing revised texts describing the roles of Indigenous, African American, and European people in the founding of Cambridge with the intent of replacing the markers. Marker design and fabrication costs need to be calculated and funding sought.
- North Cambridge Markers. Fourteen porcelain enamel markers installed in 2000. All are in good shape except for one lost to street construction. Replacement cost estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
- Miscellaneous site markers. Sacramento Field (2015), Sennott Park (in preparation) partly funded by CDD and CHC CPA funds.
African American Trail Markers. Twenty markers were installed in 1993. All need to be replaced. CPA funds in the amount of $240,000 have been appropriated for ten replacements and ten new markers, which have to be composed and manufactured. The Commission benefits from the participation of the Cambridge Black History Project but bears responsibility for implementation. Completion of new marker texts, preparation of bidding documents, and installation are next steps.
- Washington Elm Plaque. Circular bronze plaque removed from intersection of Mason and Garden Streets. Marker design and fabrication costs need to be calculated and funding sought.
- Indigenous Language markers. African American and Indigenous Peoples Historical Reckoning Project . $180,000 appropriated in FY 2023 through Participatory Budgeting. CHC has formed an Indigenous advisory committee that has begun to explore the form this project will take. Implementation could occur in FY 2024.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: Historic markers are a primary method for communication with the public. Marker texts must be factually correct and clearly communicate narratives that reflect the city’s goals for diversity and inclusion. Markers should be designed to the highest graphic standards and produced with high quality durable materials.
The Preservation Projects Manager (PPM) will work under the supervision of the Executive Director and assume substantial responsibility for development of new markers and maintenance and/or replacement of existing markers.
Existing markers and public monuments. The PPM will assess existing markers for maintenance or replacement, evaluate existing texts for accuracy and appropriateness, prepare specifications for fabrication and installation, and develop a budget. The PPM will supervise graphic design, fabrication, and installation of the replacement markers and panels through a public bidding process. Substantial funds have been appropriated for these activities. Maintenance of other monuments, including grave markers, will follow established procedures.
New markers. New marker programs include extension of the African American Trail, currently funded at $240,000, the African American and Indigenous Peoples Historical Reckoning project, funded with $180,000, and a Sennott Park marker, funded at $20,000 . The PPM will work with CHC staff to write first draft of text and select illustrations; and edit, refine, and fact-check subsequent drafts; in collaboration with a graphic designer develop suitable sign design; and oversee fabrication and installation.
Undertake related tasks as directed.
Serve on various staff committees as assigned.
Perform related duties as assigned.
37.5 hours per week, generally Mondays 8:30AM-8:00PM, Tuesdays-Thursdays 8:30AM-5:00PM, and Fridays 8:30AM-12:00PM. Schedule will also include occasional evening and weekend hours for meetings and special events. Flexibility is required.
The Preservation Projects Manager will have academic qualifications in history and practical experience in historic site marker design and implementation.
Education & Experience:
A Master’s degree in American history, public history, historic preservation or a closely related field and two years of full-time project management experience, or a Bachelor’s degree in American history, public history, historic preservation, or a closely related field, and four years of full-time project management experience. The successful candidate will be knowledgeable about historic marker production and will be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing with historians, designers, contractors, building owners, and the general public.
Experience with government project administration.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
Excellent research and writing abilities, a high level of organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
Good judgement; demonstrated customer service skills, excellent interpersonal, presentation, and communication skills (written and oral)
Strong computer skills including demonstrated proficiency with essential software (primarily Word, Excel, Outlook)
Excellent organizational, time management, and project management skills; Ability to set priorities, manage multiple responsibilities, and meet deadlines
Ability to interpret and work with complex procurement regulations; ability to understand, interpret, summarize, and communicate with project sponsors and others
Ability to gather, assemble and analyze relevant data for program development
Capacity to work collaboratively and cooperatively with colleagues and community groups
Ability to communicate effectively and exchange accurate information with coworkers and members of the public
Ability to read and organize written and graphic material;
Demonstrated success in similar project implementation in a municipal, state, federal or private organization
Knowledge of American history
Knowledge of the Cambridge community
Basic DIY mechanical skills.
Valid driver’s license.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Hand-eye coordination is necessary to operate computers and various pieces of office equipment. Ability to negotiate obstacles such as staircases and stepladders and to visit sites throughout Cambridge without assistance. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and occasionally perform basic manual functions related to installation and maintenance of markers. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work is performed primarily in an indoor, shared setting with normal office exposure to noise, stress and interruptions. Work in the field may involve inventorying existing markers, performing basic maintenance, and supervising installation of new markers. This position may be eligible for hybrid work under the City's Telework Policy, depending on operational needs.
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