Another Happy Birthday!

A very happy birthday to Kristin Landau!  She is spending the year working in Copan, Honduras undertaking various projects from public health research to Mayan archaeology.  Happy Birthday Landau!   (I was going to steal one of her Honduras pictures to put here, but I can’t find the archaeology ones.  You’ll have to inquire directly to Kristin about her archaeology work.)

This Place Matters

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

Point Lookout, NY

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.)

 

Burlington, Vermont

Perfect Vermont coffee, the best scone ever, and the Red Onion Café on Church Street is how Vinny and I began our Thursday in Burlington, Vermont.  After a delayed flight and short night’s sleep in the respectable and locally owned Anchorage Inn of South Burlington, we were anxious to explore Burlington.  Church Street is the renowned pedestrian marketplace in Burlington.  An indoor and outdoor mall that opens to the brick streets, Church Street marketplace was filled with shoppers and browsers on a beautifully sunny day.  It served as a cool summer retreat from the hot, humid southern summer season.  

Church Street is the heart of downtown Burlington, within walking distance (.5 miles) to the University of Vermont and Champlain College and is just a few blocks from the Lake Champlain water front.  When you think of ideal shopping areas and commercial areas, Church Street should be at the top.  The store buildings are historic, employing the practice of rehabilitation.  While some may see or imagine Church Street to be just for tourists and shoppers, therefore not really applicable to everyday Burlington quality of life, this may not be the case.  (My disclaimer is that I did not get to spend more than one day in Burlington so I don’t claim to have any more than that day’s knowledge.)     

Filled with the locally owned stores and restaurants in addition to the chain stores and restaurants, Church Street marketplace gives the impression that residents of Burlington would frequent here just as the tourists do.  Church Street, being in the middle of downtown, is close to other businesses, the colleges, the library, and many residences.  It’s easy to imagine strolling downtown on a Saturday morning to get coffee and visiting the used bookstore.  With the variety of stores and restaurants and nearby businesses, Church Street Marketplace must appeal to people of all ages. A downtown that appeals to all ages is something that all communities should strive to achieve.  With the dynamic cycle of children, teenagers, and adults, places will continue living.  

 

A half mile up the hill from Church Street, is the University of Burlington.  I visited the Graduate Historic Preservation Program in the Wheeler House on South Prospect Street.  It is a great program and the campus is pretty.   Overall, I enjoyed learning about the program and visiting the campus. I like the program and the professors that I met and the UVM preservation does great work in the field.  Professor McCullough informed me that Burlington is the most urban city in Vermont. (Nice.) The photograph below shows the Old Mill at UVM, which is a great example of rehabilitation. 

 

Mostly, Vinny and I had enough time to hang out on Church Street, visit UVM, stroll through the neighborhood streets, and then hurry to catch the 3:30 ferry to Port Kent, New York.  We had preservation travels to continue.  Before this venture to Vermont, we had never been but always wanted to go.  Vermont just sounded like the kind of place that Vinny and I would love: green mountains, gorgeous weather (i.e. snow in the winter and not deadly heat in the summer), an environmentally friendly lifestyle, downtowns and small towns, and a more rural state with few big box retailers staking claim.  While we may have just seen Burlington, if the rest of Vermont is similar, it is definitely worth visiting and a desirable place to live.   Next time, I hope there is more time to visit places such as the Shelburne Museum (with a round barn!) and other towns such as Woodstock and Montpelier.   

 

Improvements!

I’ve been working on some updates today. The mysterious “Links” page that remained empty for some time is now “Resources” and full of helpful, entertaining links.  Because of this, I have removed the links sidebar in order to keep the page as clean as possible. The “Issues” page has become “Newsletter” for the sake of clarification.  “Contributors” has a few updates and the “About” page now has a link to the post explaining the love for and connection to flamingos.  Enjoy and let me know what you think of changes and what you would like to see!  Comments from all are welcome and encouraged.

Shortcut!

Announcement: now you can type www.preservationinpink.com and it will redirect to here, www.preservationinpink.wordpress.com. Either way, you are getting here but the url without the .wordpress is just so much more fun (and easier for people who don’t feel like remembering wordpress!)

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday

to Jen Gaugler, one our Preservation in Pink contributors!

and a belated Happy Birthday to Ali Ross (formerly Ris)!

(from now on, I’ll be more up to date with birthdays. These are the August birthdays so far.)

A Preservationist’s Wish

If preservationists were given the chance to choose one thing that would make the preservation world better, what would it be?  The typical “world-peace” response seems unusually out of place in this context, although given some stretching, it would fit.  Is there one identifiable factor that would make our lives easier, in the preservation sense? 

 

In my subjective sense, no, there is not.  Just as everything else, there is never one answer or one cure-all.  Preservationists do not sign up to be preservationists because it’s an easy job or because it will someday be an easy job.  It’s an uphill battle of reaching the masses and the higher-ups, hoping to influence their decisions and encourage respect of our cultural heritage: the environment, the buildings, and the intangibles.  Preservationists are who we are because it’s a passion; something speaks to our souls. Whether it’s preservation planning, architectural history, archaeology, rehabilitation, cultural activities (museums), or another division of preservation, it’s an addiction that we cannot avoid. 

 

In classrooms, in town halls, in your neighborhood, and here at Preservation in Pink, we want to educate ourselves so we can educate those who are not trained in historic preservation.  We love the aspects of preservation that are our careers, hobbies, and studies; our hope and our goal is that the public cares enough to ask us to do what we love.  In other words, we hope that towns will want to come up with adaptive reuse ideas and promote green space and historic character.  We hope that people will be interested in their history and understand the fragile state of the future without its past.  And, this list could go on and on. 

 

Unfortunately, the rate at which we can engage and educate fellow citizens is far outpaced by the development of this country and the depletion of our resources.  We need a larger, stronger network of people who care and who care enough to encourage others to do the same.  Many organizations are now friendlier and more concerned with interesting the public.  Even the National Trust is doing a better job at reaching local preservation issues.  Hopefully, Preservation in Pink is bringing historic preservation to a greater crowd, demonstrating the far reaches of preservation related topics. 

 

Maybe, if we could have just one wish granted, general interest would help the most:   interest from everyone from every region and every social class.  That is my own goal: to get everyone interested in preservation.  For all preservationists out there: keep sharing what you know and love.  For all who don’t know about preservation: ask us questions and keep asking. We guarantee you’ll find something you like.

Why Do All Preservationists Love Flamingos?

My youngest sister thinks that I am crazy, along with all of my flamingo-loving friends. Some of you, if you are new readers, probably think so as well. What do flamingos and historic preservation have to do with each other? Good question. Issue 1 from May 2007 has an article explaining the flamingo craze, but I’ll reiterate it here.

First off, let me say that while I do like flamingos in general (they’re a funky looking bird after all), flamingos serve as a symbol to us. We didn’t just choose a random mascot to represent us, either. There is a logical explanation.  And the love of flamingos is probably exclusive to our group of Mary Washington friends and those who know our story.

The flamingo ideas began senior year of college during one of our historic preservation classes. We watched a movie about towns battling big box stores such as Wal-Mart. (For the record, by this time, our ban on Wal-Mart had already begun.) In this movie, citizens of Ashland, VA came together to oppose Wal-Mart building in or near their town. They held meetings and hearings and educated each other. Their symbol, to let everyone know that they opposed Wal-Mart was a pink flamingo. They were known as the Pink Flamingos. (Okay, so I don’t know why they chose the flamingo.*) Here is an article about the movie we watched in class: Store Wars.

To sum up the case: Ashland, VA lost their fight against Wal-Mart. We, the Mary Washington preservationists, were devastated by the outcome. Suddenly, the pink flamingo stood for our own preservation battles. The pink flamingo became a symbol to us for greater quality of life and sense of place and preservation practices. And we have since embraced the pink flamingo in all forms. Granted, had Ashland, VA chosen another bird or animal, that may very well be our favorite symbol. But we love the pink flamingo.

Our professors at Mary Washington also came to love the pink flamingo. Before graduation, we went “flamingo-ing” and left pink flamingo on their front lawns with crazy messages written in sidewalk chalk. It was an act of affection and respect, just to clear the record. Flamingos became akin to friendship bracelets from middle school.

Moving ahead to this newsletter/blog – Preservation in Pink – where did this name come from? From the time I wanted to start a newsletter I was tempted to use flamingos in the title since it would be for us and our tangential preservation topics and coffee conversations. Between debating a more obvious title and this one, I finally decided flamingos needed to be somehow included. And there you have Preservation in Pink and the pink flamingos.

(Does that answer your question, Erin? Or do you still think we’re crazy?)

*Editor’s Note: This Article, “The Plight of the Pink Flamingo”  states that Ashland residents chose the Pink Flamingo as their symbol because it was a good visual image of the store’s “crass commercialism and tackiness”.

Roadside Retro

Check out the brand new banner, created especially for Preservation in Pink.  I’m working on the updates and cleaning up the site – it will happen this week.  Expect some future posts about a recent preservation wedding and road trips accompanying our travels.

Here is a teaser photo:

Flamingo bride. (Photo by Laurel Hammmig)