I think we've all been in this situation at one time or another: When telling someone for the first time where you work, they reply with the one fact - or cliché - they know about your job. ("Oh? You work for NASA? I guess you really are a rocket scientist!") Here at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we usually hear, "Oh! I get your magazine!" followed immediately by, "I always look at the houses for sale first!"
I totally understand this impulse. It's the same one that gets us out the door to open houses on Sundays whether or not we're house hunting. And sells jillions of home design magazines. And keeps channels like HGTV and DIY on the air. We all want to see how other people live, and perhaps for a brief moment, pretend their lives are ours.
I'm happy to report that, for historic home fans like us, this is no longer a habit that can only be indulged once every two months when the newest edition of Preservation lands in your mailbox. We've launched a real estate section on our site where anyone selling a historic home can load up an advertisement at any time, which means a fairly constant stream of new houses to drool over. Right now, you could buy the first house Philip Johnson was commissioned to design, or an Art Moderne estate, or a Tuscan villa. (A Tuscan villa! Want!)
Not all of the homes are straight from fantasy-land, however - listings range from must-sell distressed properties to fixer-uppers to well, villas. And Philip Johnson houses.
For the next few months (or maybe longer) we'll be featuring a listing or two every Wednesday here on the PreservationNation blog. Think of it as an online reminder to gape at historic homes, in the same way that Preservation hitting your mailbox has been for all these years. So go ahead - stop by and take a peek in the windows... you just might find the home of your dreams!
Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org.