The National Trust for Historic Preservation launched a campaign entitled “This Place Matters,” in May 2008, during National Preservation Month. “This Place Matters” encourages citizens to print out a sign reading National Trust for Historic Preservation, this place matters and to photograph the place with the sign. After taking the photograph, it can be uploaded to the website. Accompanying the photographs are paragraph-long captions offering why that place matters. There are no criteria for age of a place, condition, or meaning. The only qualification is that it matters to someone, whether it is a childhood home, playground, historic building, a bridge, a restaurant, a landscape, etc.
“This Place Matters” sends the message that the National Trust is making a conscious effort to engage local citizens and everyday places, thereby increasing the range of accessibility to historic preservation. As a preservationist who leans more towards the vernacular, I commend the National Trust. Hopefully, there will soon be more than 25 photographs contributed to that page. I encourage everyone to submit a photograph for the “This Place Matters” campaign, and I will do the same.
Currently, I do not have a sign printed, but I’ll include a photograph here for a place that matters to me.
Point Lookout, NY is a tiny beach community that dates to the 1920s when it was no more than a few bungalows near a place called “Nassau by the Sea.” My father’s family has owned a house in Point Lookout since 1965 and it is my favorite place, and it means the world to me. The photograph shown above is what my family and I call the “side beach,” which is along Jones Inlet. We always walk/climb the jetty, which is comprised of old Lido Boulevard and some other streets. Beyond this jetty/retaining wall is an actual beach to one side where the sandbar comes out and people walk their dogs and watch the boats go by. On the other side is more of this wall that runs the length of town until reaching the main beach. In other views, you can see the drawbridges along the parkways leading to Point Lookout. Behind this photograph are the town ball field and playground and a street of houses (no longer the beach bungalows.) This place matters to me because it contains much of my family’s history and good memories. On this cloudy day that my sisters and I visited, the photograph did not capture the sun, but in any type of weather, I love this place. (For reference on my love of Point Lookout, see this post: Old Memories, New Memories: An Evolution of my Favorite Place.)