A few weeks ago I let slip my preservation resolutions for 2012. It was a great list (if I do say so myself), a challenging list, and well, one that isn't really all that measurable or specific. But it's out there. I figure the more people know about it the more I'll march to success.
Now it's your turn. Earlier this month Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, sent out a message to members asking them to share their preservation resolutions. And you delivered.
Since there were so many I decided to pull out four common themes. These themes reflect the commitment of the preservation community to work to save historic places - not only in a professional capacity also as a passion in your personal lives.
So here goes. In 2012, you vow to...
- Take direct action: Many of you wrote that you are looking to take direct action to save a place or building that matters to you. Sometimes it is a 1920s craftsman bungalow, or a historic barn, a school, or a historic ship. Others wish to advocate for the cause based on their love of architecture or the role preservation plays in job creation and sustainability.
- Participate in preservation in a hands-on way: This year you vow to refurbish floorboards, rehabilitate your wood windows, do a structural assessment on a 1850's barn, save a one-room school house. You vow to dig in and go to ground, reaching out to touch the tactile, the grooves of the past in the places and spaces of days long gone (but not forgotten) - spaces waiting to add many more years to their story.
- Remember the War of 1812, 200 years later: This is the resolution that I love. Before ending up embracing the history of early America I found myself fascinated by the reign of Napoleon. From his rise, to the tale of British impressment of Americans on the high seas, I was sucked in to what some call the second American Revolution. Many of you look to this commemoration as a way to identify and embrace history in your backyard.
- Entering the preservation field fully as a professional: Many of you are students and everyday learners. This is your year to look at the field more broadly, to write theses, intern, and persist in looking for a job in a field that you love. More importantly, many of you vow to keep on learning, interpreting, and advancing preservation in the world around you. Each and every one of you expressed the desire to learn more about preservation, from the “ABC's” to understanding the latest research in infill design and geo-thermal energy production in historic districts.
Above all else, each one of you exhibited a determination and recognition of your role in sustaining the preservation ethic. You look at preservation and embrace its ability to make life better in a real, tangible, economic way, and through its impact on the human condition. I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Have something to add? Sound off below!
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.