Ideas Worth Sharing: Re-Framing the Historic Preservation Conversation

Posted on: August 16th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

Written by Rhonda Sincavage

The TED slogan is ‘ideas worth spreading’, and at some point last week I realized this had happened. Thanks to multiple historic preservation distribution networks, a video of a presentation I gave earlier this year at TEDxCLE has been shared by preservationists far and wide.

In my talk I mention how the loss of a building in my hometown sparked my interest in historic preservation, so it seems only appropriate that I mention “Memories of Endicott, New York” as another example that demonstrates core idea of the talk - historic preservation is really about community.  Within a few short days this Facebook page, just one of many ‘you know you’re from so-and-so’ type pages that have appeared in recent weeks, has generated hundreds of comments.

An overwhelming number of posts are about the special places - buildings and local business, some still around but many long gone- that make up this community. One of the comments in particular struck a special chord with me – the contributor wrote about how they were upset when they discovered on the bus ride home that the Moose Lodge (where the Pizza Hut stands today) was demolished while they were at school, and I couldn’t help comparing that to my own experience of loss of our hometown heritage.

To some, this facebook page may not fit the traditional definition of historic preservation, but for others of us, this is what historic preservation is all about. And for a select few, something like this collection of memories may even inspire a career choice.

A final thought for those who asked: I’m wearing a 1980’s ‘vintage’ Betsey Johnson dress in the video. Some argued this isn’t old enough to be considered vintage, but I’m not yet aware of a 50 year rule that applies to fashion.

For more, see:

Rhonda Sincavage is the Associate Director for Intergovernment Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.


2 Responses

  1. Rachel

    August 18, 2011

    Rhonda is a rockstar preservationist. She puts great meaning behind why we should value places. This is a message that will resonate with “preservationists” and “non-preservationists.”

  2. Bridgette Beinecke

    August 21, 2011

    Rhonda’s presentation is a great example of making preservation relevant. When Donavan Rypkema spoke in Austin Texas a few years ago he said that the movement would need to change if it wanted to be relevant. I am glad to see that this is happening. WELL DONE
    P.S. I found myself wishing that I could have seen all the images that you were projecting on the screen at TEDX Cleveland.
    Whoever was filming seldom focused on those. If there is any way that you could take your original images and edit them in to a final version of this talk I believe you would increase the use and value of it.