Our Team

The heartbeat of the Idaho Heritage Trust

Our Executive Director

Creative, generous, and down-to-earth, our Executive Director keeps her finger on the pulse of preservation throughout Idaho.

What heritage means to me, and why historic preservation is important?

Like so many Idahoans, my early experiences in the breathtaking outdoors of Idaho shaped my inherited sense of identity and the values and traditions that I hold so closely to my heart. I cherish my memories of spending summers on the shores of Payette Lake at our 96-year-old family cabin. I long to hear the shift-change whistles of the Brown Lumber Mill marking the passage of time. I miss seeing the smoke jumpers floating in the sky and Smokey Bear waving to passersby at the historic Payette Forest Station. And I’m so very grateful to still visit the Fire Warden’s Log Home prominently positioned on Lake Street, to wander and wonder through the horticultural paradise that is Charlie’s Garden, and revive myself with an evening dip in the rustic Bergdorf mineral hot springs pools.

My architectural thesis while attending the University of Idaho germinated from these humbling experiences. I was compelled to rehabilitate the rugged timber structures of the sawmill to support a changing economy from logging to tourism and to preserve a substantial pillar of my beloved community’s heritage. 

Katherine Kirk IHT

Katherine Kirk

Executive Director

Soon after, the mill buildings were destroyed by fire and eventually the teepee burner was demolished. My focal point on the lake was gone, and I grieved its loss. And yet, years later, it was these values and beliefs that lead me full circle to the position of Executive Director with the Idaho Heritage Trust.

My story, complementary to so many Idahoan’s stories, illuminates how history connects all of us to specific times, places, and events that were significant milestones in our individual and collective past. The ability to revisit preserved places and artifacts from time to time provides us with a sense of place and continuity between our past and our present, preserving the winding trail of how we arrived at where and who we are today.

With three decades of practice as a licensed architect and diverse management positions in the public and private sector, I strive to utilize my breadth of experience and knowledge to champion the mission of the Idaho Heritage Trust. Preserving our collective memories and history is rewarding and a tremendous honor.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the people who have supported both The Trust and myself on our collective journey, and it is truly my privilege to lead such a vibrant, passionate, and vital organization to further ensure the Idaho we love and remember remains intact for generations to come.


Katherine K.

Katherine Kirk
Executive Director

Our Preservation Experts

Uniquely qualified with decades of experience in historic preservation, these are the people we trust!

Shannon Sardell grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and spent quite a bit of time exploring the wide-open spaces of the Willamette Valley, imagining what life was like for the people that lived on this land in generations passed. By the time she reached 7th grade, Shannon knew she wanted to be an architect. After a trying out a few other career paths, Shannon decided to pursue her childhood dream and enrolled in an architecture program. She began officially working with historic materials in 1999 when she contributed to an exhaustive study by the Historic American Engineering Record of the 10 vehicular bridges spanning the Willamette River in Portland. A former student and intern of Fred Walters, Shannon will bring a wealth of expertise and practical experience to IHT’s technical assistance program. As her career has progressed, Shannon has developed a particular affinity for projects in rural areas – barns, cabins, homesteads, windmills – that represent the strength, flexibility, and durability of the human spirit. Shannon relishes the chance to share her knowledge and get her hands dirty, both of which she was able to do while teaching practical preservation methods and practices as director of the Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School. Shannon also looks forward to being an advocate for invigorating our smaller communities through historic preservation and instilling the importance of heritage conservation in younger generations through education and creative outreach. Whenever possible you are certain to find Shannon outdoors, whether she is tending to her bees, maintaining her garden, or exploring the many natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest – with or without her son and daughter.

Shannon Sardell

Historical Architect
Eric Hasenoehrl IHT

Eric Hasenoehrl

Civil Engineer

A 4th generation Idahoan, Eric Hasenoehrl is a Civil Engineer and self-described problem solver with an infectious enthusiasm for the detail, craftsmanship, and almost magical quality of historic structures. Eric’s career as an engineer has taken him from San Diego to Washington, DC, where he designed the spiral staircases in the House and Senate Buildings and the cabinet holding the Declaration of Independence. When providing technical assistance for The Trust, Eric uses his wealth of experience and the resourcefulness of a lifelong farmer to help make historic restoration and preservation accessible to everyone regardless of their budget. A member of the Lewiston Roundup Association for 25 years, Eric carries on his family’s farming tradition and honors his mother’s Celtic heritage by raising Kerry Cattle in his free time.  One of his favorite projects is the St. Joseph Mission in Slickpoo, where he, his father, and grandfather all attended services.

Budd Landon began his masonry career in 1963 as a hod carrier, hauling stone and brick for the more experienced masons. After completing a four-year apprenticeship, he worked for a company that dabbled in restoration projects, from which Budd cultivated a reputation for his meticulous attention to detail and uncanny ability to match historic materials, a reputation that has only grown since starting his own business in 1971. A devoted family man and former rodeo hand, Budd is semi-retired, though he still generously lends his time and expertise to IHT when needed, and is passing on his wealth of knowledge to his nephew, who he hopes will continue his legacy.  Two of Budd’s favorite projects are the Pon Yam House in Idaho City and the Canyon Creek Stage Station on the Oregon Trail Byway.

Budd Landon IHT

Budd Landon

Historic Mason
Fred Walters IHT

Fred Walters

Historical Architect Emeritus

The day after Labor Day in 1972, Fred Walters was hired as curator for the Idaho State Historical Society. In assessing the 22 buildings under ISHS’s purview, Fred noted that the architects he was working with were well-trained but ill-equipped in handling historic buildings. Indicative of his lifelong passion for learning, Fred travelled to England and enrolled in a one-year post-graduate course in the conservation of historic buildings. Upon his return to the States, Fred embarked on a 14-year apprenticeship and became a licensed architect. Fred’s expertise is surpassed only by the breadth and depth of his historical knowledge. He is equally well-versed in the stories, significance, and historic fabric of a building as he is in assessing the condition and needs of an historic structure. Two of his favorite projects are The Cataldo Mission, an Italian Renaissance-style Catholic building, and the Experimental Breather Reactor at the Idaho Nuclear Lab facility, the first of its kind in the United States.

We are so grateful to Fred for his more than 27 years of service to The Trust. Without his help and guidance, many of the projects we have supported would never have come to fruition. It is a privilege for IHT to be associated with Fred, and we know his contributions to preserving Idaho’s history will be felt for many, many generations to come. To honor Fred’s incredible legacy, IHT has created the ‘Fred Walters Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation’ which will be given out annually beginning in Fall 2022.

Our Board of Directors

A distinguished group of volunteers with diverse areas of expertise who provide governance, leadership, and encouraging support.

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