It’s May, so you know what that means: Preservation Month!
This year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen the theme “See! Save! Celebrate!” to help spur the creative juices when it comes to highlighting preservation in your community. Here are three ways you can recognize Preservation Month in your community using the Trust’s theme.
See! Architectural Scavenger Hunt
What better way to get your residents to take a fresh look at your historic resources than by holding an architectural scavenger hunt? Long-time residents may see your historic neighborhoods in a new light, and new residents may be interested in a fun activity such as this to learn more about a community’s special buildings.
The idea is to identify unique architectural features that make your historic buildings special (elaborate window designs, stained glass transoms, intricate cornices) and then to publish a guide of the features. Contestants then investigate the neighborhood to match the feature to the building and its location, and enter a drawing for a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be especially elaborate. A popular item I’ve seen is gift certificates to community businesses for the winner.
Save! Hold a special lecture on the importance of historic preservation
Whether you’re focused on the benefits of preserving historic wooden windows, or the architectural history of your community, preservation at its heart is about preserving the special, unique qualities of our built environment. Your historic buildings and neighborhoods are absolutely unique to your community, and your residents will care so much more about your historic stock when they learn what it is about a building’s architecture and history that makes it unique.
In Main Street we’re always selling the importance of using existing assets as the foundation of building a great revitalization program, so let people know about your historic assets. What exactly provides the character that makes your town unlike any other? An old building that’s just known as an old building is too easy to forget and neglect, but a building with stories and architectural character can become a landmark and a source of preservation pride.
Celebrate! Recognize your community’s preservation accomplishments with an awards ceremony
Recognize recent building rehabs, tireless volunteers, and leadership organizations with a special ceremony, giving your recipients a chance to take a victory lap in front of their peers and neighbors. Preservation Awards hardly ever include a cash prize, but that’s ok because public recognition is a powerful way to say “thank you” to someone who is raising the profile of preservation in your community.
To add some weight to the awards process, look at partnering with another entity. For example, the Michigan SHPO partners with the governor’s office to present the “Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation.” The ceremony is held at the state capitol and you can bet recipients feel honored to be recognized in such an important setting.
Heritage Ohio is celebrating May as Preservation Month in a couple different ways. We’re holding our annual photography contest (and we’ve extended the deadline for entries to May 24), and we will honor the best accomplishments in preservation & revitalization at our Annual Awards Luncheon on May 23, during our annual conference. We hope you’ll submit a photo, join us in Columbus at our Annual Awards Luncheon, or participate in a local Preservation Month activity as we all work to raise the profile of preservation in Ohio.
Happy Preservation Month to you! Each May preservation organizations across the country, including Heritage Ohio, celebrate historic preservation with special events and activities. Our Preservation Month 2012 Photo Contest aims to highlight our state’s heritage while recognizing the talented photographers that capture the heritage.
Have you submitted your entry yet? If not, click your winning image and go to www.heritageohio.org/programs/2012-photo-contest/ to submit your entry.
We’ll accept entries through Friday, May 4, choose our finalists, and open the online voting for the winner on May 9, when we open our Annual Conference in Toledo (another great Preservation Month activity you should check out if you can). Online voting closes on May 16 and we’ll announce the winning entry on May 18.
Some guidelines to remember:
- The subject matter of the photo must be physically located in Ohio
- Judging criteria for choosing photo finalists include originality, subject matter, and artistic merit
- We encourage photos that bring attention to current issues in preservation and revitalization
- We also encourage photos depicting historic buildings in use
Again this year, we’ll feature the winning entry on the cover of Revitalize Ohio, so here’s your chance for Ohio photographic fame. Good luck!
For the last couple years we’ve been able to add a nice perk for everyone attending our annual conference: a conference flash drive containing conference session presentations. This year we’re happy to announce that all attendees will once again receive a conference flash drive, thanks to the generous support of conference sponsor McGladrey.
Each 2GB flash drive has ample capacity for our session presentations. Plus, you can add your own files (such as powerpoints, word documents, or images) without having to erase the existing files, up to the 2GB capacity.
Even if you haven’t yet registered for the conference, we do still have space available. Click here to go our website and register for the conference!
Aaron Domini of OHM & John Grossmann with EG&G Inc. discuss the importance of education, regulation, public spaces and the role of the Design committee in Ohio Main Street Communities at our Annual Revitalization Conference May 8-10 in Toledo. For more information on our conference sessions visit our website here.