Preservation Inspiration

After lazy, warm summer days, getting back into the swing of school or a more demanding pace of professional work can seem daunting. Even for those who see preservation as a lifestyle – much more than just a job – the more relaxed feeling of summer is hard to bid adieu. Hopefully you’ve all adjusted to your new school schedules and are excited for the work September brings, in the classroom or the office. In any case, a little inspiration can go a long way, yes?

This leads to me ask: What inspires you? What gets you excited for your schoolwork, your job, your volunteer activities? What reminds you that historic preservation is a field meant for you (or any field, if you work in another)?

Do you have a favorite quote? Maybe hearing success stories inspires you to keep going and keep believing in preservation. Or is the start of a new school with everyone full excitement what gets your preservation zest going?

One of my favorite quotes is still by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” I’ve seen this quote applied in many different scenarios, but to me it has always said that everyone and everything can make a difference. As preservationists, we care about our built environment and our quality of life in the past, present and future.

And, of course, a certain flock of flamingos provides plenty of inspiration, too. So what is your go-to inspiration? Care to share it in the comments? And while we’re talking a faster pace of work and more seriousness of work, do you have anything you’d like Preservation in Pink to discuss? What topics interest you in preservation?

City Hall in Montpelier, VT. It is also home of the Lost Nation Theater. A multi-use building with many historic details intact provides good preservation inspiration.

8 thoughts on “Preservation Inspiration

  1. Mark says:

    An introductory quote from a 1972 book on Nova Scotia built heritage:

    Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
    Like seasoned timber, never gives;
    But though the whole world turn to coal
    Then chiefly lives.

    I still have a t-shirt with Mead’s famous quote on the back. On the front, dare I say it (?!), is an American flag with accompanying caption: “These colors don’t run…..the world.” It was a call for the individual to protest the Iraq War…….

    But I regress(<<< see what I did there ?!)……….I'm really here to talk about preservation and ancient buildings, which I love for a multitude of reasons. Built heritage is the "hard copy" of history. As someone else said: history says something happened; built heritage says it happened HERE. You can look at the Old Constitution House in Vermont and appreciate it for age or other things, but when you realize what happened in that house it becomes all the more meaningful.

  2. Karri says:

    What inspires is me is the knowledge that I am here, in the culture and place that I am in, *because* of the past, and all those old buildings were shaped by, and in turn shaped, the society that created me and my culture. How can that not be as inspirational as my personal grandparents or family history? It’s the macrocosm that made the microcosm possible.

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