Meet CCPC's New Heritage Preservation Coordinator

Posted January 17, 2024

David Blackburn

The Chester County Planning Commission helps to preserve and tell the story of Chester County's past through many avenues. To carry out this task, we are excited to welcome CCPC's new Heritage Preservation Coordinator, David Blackburn!

David spent most of his career working for the National Park Service including working at 14 different park units across nine states. After retiring from the NPS in 2020, he joined the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission where he spent the last three years.

With an extensive background in preserving and interpreting historic structures and landscapes, CCPC's Historic Preservation Coordinator position became a natural fit for David. "When the opportunity to work in the field of historic preservation arose, in the place that I lived, I leapt at the opportunity," he said.

As a California native and having lived across the U.S., David says that he's thrilled to work in a county that's defined by a wide variety of building types which represent a fascinating array of stories and histories:

"Growing up in a seismically active area, buildings of structural brick and stone were very rare. Brick was typically a non-structural decorative veneer. Thus, I'm particularly drawn to the brick and stone residential, business, industrial, and agricultural structures of Chester County. Working to identify such a variety of structures, and partnering with citizens, organizations, and municipalities to preserve them, is one of the facets of the position that excites me."
David Blacburn 2

In his spare time, David can often be found in the airport jetting off to an interesting corner of the world along with his husband, or on a road trip. When he's not traveling, David is typically in the kitchen or at the grocery store as he's a passionate home baker and cook. "I like to explore regional American and international cuisines and cook insanely time-consuming plates of food. I'm an adventurous eater and will try almost anything at least once." He also enjoys curling up with a good book of fiction.

While David's favorite local place is Longwood Gardens, his all-time favorite place is the Four Corners region of the American Southwest: high desert, red rock country, indigenous cultures, and rugged mountain peaks all accessible in a single area.

When asked what his favorite quote is, David replied with, "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn" by John Muir, Mountains of California.

Additionally, David is an identical twin (how will you know if it's really him or not?); and his grandfather was an author and screenwriter who wrote screenplays for a series at the Walt Disney Company and the Davy Crockett series.

We look forward to working with David here at CCPC and getting to know more fun facts about him!