City Hosts National Architecture Conference, May 7-10
In the Garden of the Sun: California's San Joaquin Valley

The City of Fresno’s Planning and Development Department and the Fresno Historical Society are co-sponsoring the annual conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) May 7-10, 2008. The VAF is a national organization of scholars, professionals and graduate students with an interest in regional building, historic landscapes and cultural heritage. Each year a conference is held in some part of the United States or Canada --- this is only the second time in 30 years that the group has held its annual meeting in California.

Over the four days, conferees will attend lectures, take themed tours of the area and enjoy numerous meals that highlight our region’s ethnic heritage, including a catered lunch by the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. The final day of the conference, Saturday May 10th, will feature a full slate of scholarly papers. A preservation roundtable with California’s State Historic Preservation Officer Milford Wayne Donaldson will close the formal session, scheduled to begin at 4pm.

The conference will include several talks that are open to the public free of charge. The first night plenary on May 7 will be held at the Fresno City Hall and will feature a keynote talk by author Gerald Haslam, Ph.D. on “The Other California.” Thursday evening, May 8, John King of the San Francisco Chronicle, will talk about “Today’s Vernacular Architecture.” A Saturday Presidential session at 12:45 pm will feature slide talks by Gray Brechin on the New Deal and Donna Graves on California’s Japan Towns. The Thursday evening and Saturday talks will be in Salon A-1 at the Radisson Hotel and are underwritten by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For addition information regarding the conference, please call Karana Hattersley-Drayton at (559) 621-8520.