- Associated Press - Sunday, April 19, 2015

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) - The City of Firsts is notching another milestone in its history as it prepares to host a conference that will bring attention to efforts to preserve historical landmarks across Indiana.

The “Preserving Historic Places” conference will be held in Kokomo from Wednesday through Friday.

Suzanne Stanis of Indiana Landmarks tells the Kokomo Tribune (https://bit.ly/1HjWvKU ) that the conference will offer educational sessions, workshops and tours of Kokomo landmarks, including the Howard County Courthouse, the Seiberling Mansion and Kokomo Opalescent Glass.

The workshops will include sessions on restoring historic glass and plaster walls and uses for historical school buildings.

“Essentially, it’s a chance for preservationists and professionals, as well as anyone else interested, to get together once a year and look at an area and how it’s being preserved,” Stanis said. “It also gives the opportunity to look at different trends in historical preservation.”

Stanis said Kokomo’s redevelopment efforts in recent years made the city an ideal place for the conference.

“We hope people see Kokomo as a model for other communities in Indiana of similar size,” she said. “This will be the first time a lot of people have gotten off the bypass to see it, so it’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about its history and heritage.”

Conference participants said they hope to shed light on the work that goes into preservation of items such as stained glass.

Artist Lisa Petty said Kokomo’s history of producing stained glass is a point of pride for the city but that many people don’t realize the work that goes into it. A typical stained glass work can contain 100 pieces and take up to 2 weeks to complete, she noted.

“There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that goes into it,” she said. “There’s a lot of physical labor, and that’s what I hope people see.”

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Information from: Kokomo Tribune, https://www.ktonline.com

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