Tools

[Preservation Tips & Tools] How to Save Ugly Buildings

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Julia Rocchi 10 Comments

 

“It’s always easier to save a place that people consider beautiful than a place -- no matter how historically significant -- that people think is ugly.”

So writes Tom Mayes, our National Trust colleague who spent his time as a Rome Prize recipient examining why old places matter. And as any preservationist can tell you, he’s right: Styles with architectural features that challenge viewers, sites with stories that outweigh their architectural merit, and spaces with layers of grime that obscure their charms often require that, before we can get down to the hard work of saving a place, we first have to prove to a skeptical public why it should be saved.

How, then, do you persuade people to fall in love with a place that doesn’t fit the traditional mold of “beautiful?” This toolkit starts the conversation about ways to inspire love, passion, or at least understanding for the homelier places in our midst.... Read More →

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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

Great heritage trails are more than just a list of stops at historic places along a mapped route. They can be a journey through time.

It’s also a journey all its own to create a heritage trail from start to finish -- from deciding what story to tell to selecting the sites that illustrate the area’s history. To help you plan an engaging, fun, and informative trail, we’ve laid out seven steps that start you on the right path (literally!).... Read More →

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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

 

The historic preservation program at University of Mary Washington (formerly Mary Washington College) in Fredericksburg, VA, is a member of the National Council for Preservation Education. Photo courtesy the Boston Public Library on Flickr.
The historic preservation program at University of Mary Washington (formerly Mary Washington College) in Fredericksburg, Va., is a member of the National Council for Preservation Education.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned working at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it’s that the key element to saving places is partnerships. So when I set out earlier this year to create a list of preservation organizations, I knew I would have to leave some out.

Today’s list, then, is a follow-up -- additional groups that can be key to getting preservation work done. And I’m sure there are still more we could include, so feel free to mention additional partners in the comments.... Read More →

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

One of the first things professional preservationists are likely to ask when they encounter an endangered place is, “Is it listed?” Meaning, is it a National Historic Landmark? On the National Register of Historic Places? Or perhaps covered in a state or local designation?

For people who don’t spend their days steeped in historic preservation, though, it’s not always easy to remember what separates a national landmark from a local one -- not to mention all the stops in between.

To help you keep all the historic designations straight, this toolkit outlines the four main areas of historic recognition a building can have and what protections they do (and do not) provide.... Read More →

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

New name, new format ... but same helpful content! Our 10 on Tuesday series has undergone a facelift, making it easier to read and cooler to peruse. Now called Preservation Tips & Tools, this ongoing segment will continue to share the info you need to save places in your community. Enjoy -- and share!

Adapted from the article “Nine Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings” by Jack Neely

What is historic, and worth saving, varies with the beholder, but some definition is urgent.  Simply put, “historic” means “old and worth the trouble.” It applies to a building that’s part of a community’s tangible past. And to a degree that may surprise cynics, old buildings can offer opportunities for a community’s future.

This article examines both the cultural and practical values of old buildings and looks at why preserving them is beneficial not only for a community’s culture, but also for its local economy.... Read More →

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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.