Real Places Conference Returns January 2019

Registration is now open for REAL PLACES, the Texas Historical Commission’s historic preservation and heritage tourism conference, which encourages and unites individuals or communities who are passionate about seeking out, saving, and leveraging the real places and real stories of their communities.

Texas has an almost-embarrassing trove of historic and cultural treasures. Heritage travelers in our state spend an estimated $7.3 billion annually and support more than 54,000 jobs.

Conference attendees will learn best practices and strategies to promote and increase visitation to their community's historic places and to protect and preserve the rich heritage of the Lone Star State. REAL PLACES returns to Austin January 16–18, 2019. The conference will be hosted at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol.

Gene Kranz, leader of the “Tiger Team” of flight directors who brought the Apollo 13 spaceship safely back to Earth on April 17, 1970, will be the keynote speaker at our THC Awards Banquet on the evening of Thursday, January 17, 2019. Preceding Kranz’s keynote, the final breakout session on Thursday will be about the complicated restoration of the Apollo Mission Control Center, the threatened National Historic Landmark in Houston where Kranz and his colleagues directed the Apollo missions.

Other featured speakers include bestselling author and museum expert Nina Simon, architect and urban planner Curtis Davis, and author, craftsman, and TV personality Brent Hull. Visit for a complete list of topics and speakers.

Registration for Real Places 2019 is now open online, and at a discounted early-bird rate available through September 14. For more information, including a schedule, registration, and speaker bios, visit For questions about registration, contact 512-258-7474 or