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The annual Preserving Historic Places: Indiana's Statewide Preservation Conference is sponsored by Indiana University, the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA), and Indiana Landmarks. The Conference honors the memory of Cornelius O'Brien (1883-1953)-banker, farmer, industrialist and preservationist. He was among the first to recognize the need for preserving Indiana's historic buildings and sites. Among his many interests was the restoration of a portion of the Whitewater Canal near Metamora, and the enlargement and preservation of Veraestau, home of the Holman, Hamilton and O'Brien families.
Through the support of Mr. O'Brien's daughter, Mrs. John Timberlake Gibson (1915-2007), Preserving Historic Places continues to reaffirm its goal of providing an annual statewide forum for a critical examination and discussion of historic preservation and Main Street issues."