Preservation Day

The advocate for preserving the historic resources of Texas

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Thank you to everyone who turned out to make Preservation Day 2013 a success. We had almost 90 attendees from all over this vast state with representation from the Panhandle to Corpus Christi, East Texas to El Paso.   Events like Preservation Day would not be possible without the financial support of our sponsors: Alyson McGee, Burdine Johnson Foundation, Century Wood Windows, Danelle Baldwin Smith, Grit & Glory Preservation, Lynn Vogt, McDoux Preservation, and the San Antonio Conservation Society. As a non-profit, we of course depend on volunteers to give us their time to make these events possible. Thank you, thank you, wonderful volunteers!

Feb. 20, 2013, was a full day:

* Morning sessions at the State Theatre, focusing on the importance of advocacy along with some tips on how to interact with legislators.

* The press event on the Most Endangered Places and the “I Love Texas Courthouses” campaign would not be hampered by less-than-perfect weather.

* Afternoon meetings with key legislators who sit on budget committees and THC oversight committees. Funding for the Texas Historical Commission is always a key priority as for most Texans working with the THC is their first interaction with professional preservationists.

* And, gatherings at Scholz Garten provided some inspiration for preservationists from all walks touching on a variety of topics.  Time to network and mingle with our friends and legislators. Thanks to all who came by to wrap up our big day and enjoy tunes from the Lost & Nameless Orchestra.

Special Thanks to our Presenters

In our afternoon sessions at Scholz we heard from Gerald Moorhead, FAIA who presented the importance of planning a preservation project. Gerald’s wealth of preservation experience shows in his presentation and he reminded us that most projects take about 10 years to complete and so having a strong plan is key because players may come and go, resource levels fluctuate, but no matter who is involved, a thorough preservation plan ensures that everyone is working toward the same goal. Bruce MacDougal of the San Antonio Conservation Society gave us tips on running an effective local preservation non-profit. Few people in the country has as much experience and expertise as Mr. MacDougal and we appreciate him sharing his knowledge and passion with our members.  Mrs. Carol Roarke , board member of Preservation Dallas shared with us some of the key factors in saving the mid-century masterpiece, the Statler Hilton Hotel, listed as a “save” on our 2013 MEP retrospective list. She noted that it was largely in part because of the younger preservation crowd they have in Dallas that has taken an appreciation for the “Mod” look and time period.

Thank you to all of presenters who challenge us to improve upon the good work we’re already doing and continue to learn from others.

Most Endangered Places – 10 Years

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Most Endangered Places program. Kim Collins wrote her thesis on the program and provided PT with research that made it possible for us to look back and highlight six “saves”, three “losses” and three sites that are still “threatened.” Throughout 2013, we will continue to build on this research so that we can share it with the public and especially with other sites that are still threatened. This will also help us reshape the MEP program as we plan for nominations in 2014. We want to help ensure that future listings have a high probability of becoming “saves.”  Of course, we also stand to learn from our “losses.”

If you represent a Most Endangered Place we want to hear from you.

Preservation Day Matters

Preservation Day presented an opportunity for Preservation Texas to partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the THC on the “I Love Texas Courthouses” campaign. Together, we were able to gather more than 1,000 signatures of Texans who are willing to show their support for the THC’s Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and ask the State Legislator to continue funding this program that provides money for bricks and mortar work in small towns and big cities, spending money on jobs that cannot be exported and leave a gift that will continue to give back to community for years to come.  Texas’ historic courthouses have been listed by the NTHP as a National Treasure and the visual of the 1,000 signatures and the heart that we’ve taken across this state provided a great backdrop for the press event on the south steps of the capitol. Thank you to NTHP staff for making this Preservation Day a memorable one-how inspiring for the country looks to Texas as a role model because of our Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Don’t forget to set up meetings with your legislators while they are in-district and invite them to any events you are hosting so they can see first-hand the impact historic preservation has on their district and the number of preservationists in their community. And let PT know what you are up to. Send us photos and reports on meetings you have with lawmakers. If they have questions you can’t answer, let us know how we can help.

Preservation Day has long been an important day for preservationists from around the state to gather and support each other and the preservation movement. We often get caught up in our own local preservation issues and a day in Austin with other like-minded folks helps remind us that we are not in this alone. Just knowing that someone else has gone through a similar situation and has come out on the other side can be enough motivation to go back and keep fighting the good fight. As the Executive Director of Preservation Texas, I get to talk to people from around the state and see that most of us are dealing with similar issues, such as weak local ordinance, city councils that are not preservation-minded, lack of funding, lack of public knowledge of what historic preservation is and is not, etc.

One of my favorite aspects of my job is getting to put people and organizations that are dealing with similar issues in touch with each other so they can learn from and lean on each other. Together, we are so much stronger than we are alone. Preservation Day is the perfect example of this. On this one day we come together with a unified message: “Preservation Matters.”


 


 


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