May is National Preservation Month
Raymond Cox, MA Historic Preservation
May marks National Preservation Month across the USA. Communities across the nation celebrate with activities, awards and travel suggestions. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the state, cities and preservation organizations have websites where you can learn about local and national events. You might start within your community and visit some places you’ve often heard of or discover old places that are new to you and learn how you can contribute and join!
The National Trust for Historic Preservation promotes Preservation Month through their highly popular #This Place Matters initiative. People are encouraged to photograph themselves in front of buildings, structures and places meaningful to their community and to them. You can follow as well as contribute to the program on their Facebook page National Trust and their webpage https://tinyurl.com/laxxjb2 to learn how you can submit a place. If you’re planning a May vacation, you might want to check out the National Trust Travel webpage at https://tinyurl.com/ky3339ofor recommended sites as well as historic inns and hotels for lodging.
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is a statewide agency that provides resources for services, events, seminars, and news on restoration and economic assistance programs. They also maintain site files for registered historic and endangered properties throughout Florida as well as available economic incentives. Visit their website at www.floridatrust.org
The Orlando Historic Preservation Board awards owners, preservationists, and developers for achievements in protecting and rehabilitating the city’s historic resources. These awards will be announced and presented at the May 15th City Council meeting, 2PM, 2nd floor Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend. The City’s website has links to the historic places, neighborhoods, structures, resources and services available. Check it out at https://tinyurl.com/za2kcxp
Orange Preservation Trust, OPT, is a regional countywide non-profit organization that provides resources, education and advocacy for the historic resources in the Orange County area. A recent OPT project was the successful application of the Marsh House, aka Eola House, in Lake Eola Park to the City of Orlando’s Landmark list. OPT is also a beneficiary of the Lake Eola Heights Private Gardens Tour. You are encouraged to participate and join!
While there are many successfully preserved and contributing historic structures, be them residential, commercial, private and public, that we look at as “monuments” to events, people, industry, time periods, skilled craftsmanship and materials there are many that remain threatened by neglect, willful demolition by neglect as well as economic pressure for large scale redevelopment. We all have the ability to help by volunteering time, resource and or money to preservation organizations and governmental review boards and review processes.
In response to threats on historic buildings, to paraphrase the late preservationist and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, ‘…we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed’. Take hold of your legacy and let May be your start of something “old” for the generations that follow!