You Might Be A Preservationist If…

Last week at the National Trust’s annual conference we talked a lot about how to attract a wider audience to historic preservation. One of the conclusions that we came to is that a lot of people are already preservationists – they just don’t know it!  So I’ve put together a little list of preservation related traits to help you spot a preservationist (including yourself!).

You might be a preservationist if…

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  • You want to live in a walkable neighborhood close to shops, restaurants and businesses.

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  • You think old buildings have charm.

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  • You love the unique quirks and places that make your community special.

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  • You love history.

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  • You get excited about innovative uses of old spaces – like a microbrewery in an old factory, or condos in a former school building!

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  • You go out of your way to patronize local businesses – especially if they have a cool location or are downtown.

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  • You’d rather go to the small old theater with the awesome marquee and real-life stage than the cineplex.
  • You enjoy it when locally produced products and local businesses have names inspired by local historical events, people or places.

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  • You have ever worked to save a place that was important to you or your community because it was associated with an important person or event in your community’s history.

How would you finish this sentence? Leave your answer in the comments!

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10 comments

  1. Robert Burton

    You spend your days off or vacation time visiting historic sites, old cemeteries and the local library doing research on those sites

  2. Mark

    Great list. But I sometimes feel that preservationists are a certain type of people, and that its kinda in their bones. Ya, you can promote preservation, but it often falls on deaf ears b/c those on the receiving end just aren’t into it. They don’t “get it”. I have a friend who is well educated, and a fairly thoughtful person, but he just can’t understand the attachment I have to certain buildings and how they create something more than their physical mass.

    • bricksandmortarpreservation

      Sometimes, I think you are right. And it can be SO frustrating. But every now and then, I talk with someone about preservation and at the end of the conversation they “get” it! Maybe they didn’t know exactly what preservation was, or maybe they thought it was only about saving the mansions of rich white guys, or they just didn’t think it had anything to do with their day to day lives, and they just needed someone to point out to them how preservation can help build community, how it helps maintain a sense of place (especially in America’s increasing monoculture), how it can drive development… on and on and on. This is a list for those people- the ones that just need a little more information for the light bulb to go off 🙂

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