Bidding Adieu to 2013, Welcoming 2014

Hello and welcome, 2014! Before Preservation in Pink dives into 2014, I’d like to take a few minutes to round-up the year’s activity. Preservation in Pink’s 2013 year was about travel, preservation imagery and discovery, helping you to find preservation in your everyday surroundings (even if it’s just a flamingo or a playground slide).

Highlights from 2013 include:

Favorite series and recurring themes continued, with a few new additions:

Some posts studied the built environment and invited you to consider yours, tangibly and intangibly:

Other posts discuss the economic health of communities:

Of course, PiP was on the go! Many posts were photo-centric, travel posts:

Whether you connect to Preservation in Pink and historic preservation through photographs or words, it is my hope that PiP continues to play a role in your appreciation of historic preservation. I learn from all of you, and you mean a lot to me. Readers, whether you comment or not, thank you for reading! Thank you for asking questions. 2013 brought greater interaction on social media, whether Twitter, Instragram or WordPress. Hopefully the Instagram-to-blog posts are working for you (let me know if they are not.) This year, 2014, begins without Facebook. I’m looking forward to growing the reach and variety of Preservation in Pink in 2014, with new posts, new series, new people, and new places.


If you’re interested, previous year end round-ups:

Preservation Photos #213


A vineyard with a historic farmstead in the background in South Hero, VT. The sun sets over the horizon, and the future looks bright.

The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 swiftly approaches. A new year brings a fresh start, a clean slate, and good reasons for taking on new challenges. We savor the good, reflect on the less-than-good, and do our best to bring our best selves into the new year. I love a new year.

What are your thoughts on 2013, or your resolutions for 2014? Wishing you the happiest, brightest, and healthiest new year.

So Long, Farewell 2011

A busy year it has been. Everyone always makes that remark at the end of a year, and it’s nice to hear people amazed and impressed  by the year that has just passed. And my goodness, it has been around here, too. From record setting snowstorms last winter, to flooding in the spring, a tropical storm and more flooding in August and the recovery efforts, – it’s been exhausting and uplifting to live in the year 2011.

Mr. Stilts &  Squawky: the flamingos wish you a happy 2012.

Wishing you all health, happiness and success in all aspects of life. Cheers! Happy New Year! Enjoy saying farewell to 2011 and welcoming 2012.

2009 Reflections & 2010 Resolutions, Preservation Style

Happy New Year! May you and yours find health, happiness, and success in this new year. How was your 2009? Upon the conclusion of 2008 I looked back at my own preservation efforts throughout the year and looked ahead to 2009 with new goals and resolutions. Mostly I hoped to develop a better definition/explanation of historic preservation that I could easily share with people, something more cohesive and fluent than I previously used, which was always longer and more winding than necessary. I hoped to read important, landmark preservation books that sat on my bookshelves.

How did that go? Well, I have an explanation of historic preservation that suits me and my views on the field. Depending on our particular preservation professions, passions, and preferences, we may all have variations, but I will share mine:

Historic preservation can mean different things to different people. Collectively historic preservation is looking towards the future with respect for the past. It’s understanding communities, ways of life, the built environment, and heritage values in the sense that we need to remember the past in order to create a brighter future. And methods for doing that are the facets of historic preservation: architectural history, historical research, community and preservation planning, oral history & folklore, museum studies, economic revitalization, archaeology… the list goes on. Historic preservation provides the ability to shape and direct a world in which people are proud of where they live and who they are, even though that definition may be different for everyone. And when people have pride in their home, they are happier, and every action matters more and that is how we create a better world. That is how historic preservation can save the world. Granted, that’s simplified, but I will always believe in it.

I think in its basic understanding, this explanation will always be the core of what I love about historic preservation and what keeps me going, why I study the subject and think about it constantly and why it is never a chore; it’s my life. I truly believe in it and its great practices and continued unharnessed potential. I am happy to have finally developed this definition for myself (after being asked many, many times). What do you think?

As for books I have read, there are always more to read, but this year I particularly enjoyed How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built by Stewart Brand and A Richer Heritage edited by Robert E. Stipe. I look forward to a lifetime education fulfilled by the ever-increasing number of books available to read.

So, how was 2009? Unfortunately, the year ended on a sad note for many people with the demolition of the Lake Champlain Bridge in New York and Vermont. For all of the preservation success stories, this most recent preservation tragedy remains fresh in my mind. The upside is thinking that the story of the Lake Champlain Bridge can serve as a lesson and a reminder to all of us about just how fragile our built environment is and how we need to be proactive in identifying historic resources and educating in a cross-disciplinary manner.

In 2010 and this new decade, we are sure to see historic preservation grow and touch the lives and environment of many. That may sound obvious, but I mention it because historic preservation is certainly not a dying field; we are forever gaining momentum, knowledge, cooperation, and useful technology. Historic preservation continues to succeed because of its applicability from sociology to economics to science. All preservationists should be proud of the field.

More specifically, regarding a resolution for 2010, I could of course talk about education goals, but that’s a given considering that I am currently in graduate school. So, moving beyond academia: there are so many subjects that interest me (likewise many people find this) yet I know only snippets about, thus limiting my understanding and conversation on the topic. For example, I love the National Parks, and I am familiar with some, but really I cannot claim to know very much about them. Tonight I watched part of  the PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea with my family and found it fascinating. (I am likely behind the times in watching these; blame grad school.) The amount of information is immense and as one narrator said, the stories of the parks are more than just parks and conservation, they are about the people who became enamored with these places so much that they did everything they could to preserve them. It made me think of preservationists, since we often find ourselves in love with places and stories, which then fuels our missions. And I thought of how the National Parks are such an important part of the historic preservation field (history, stories, buildings, landscape, interpretation, culture, etc.) and how I wished more people had a yearning to travel to the National Parks. These are places that are best understood and respected when seen by individual eyes. Otherwise, they may seem irrelevant.

I talk about the National Parks to say that I want to know more about them and to learn more about the overall story of the parks and the connections to the field of historic preservation. As Theodore Roosevelt said of the National Parks, “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.”  What a beautiful thought and what a thought-provoking statement.

So, whether you love the National Parks or your local history or that historic era, if you find yourself fascinated by something and you are known to say, “Oh I love [insert subject here]” but you only know tidbits, challenge yourself to go a step further and educate yourself. In turn you will likely be deepening your passion, your education, and the education of others. Historic preservation succeeds when everyday people like us understand the history and significance of a place or an event and teach others what we know. Without a community of education, informal or formal, and care, we will lose momentum. Luckily, preservationists and preservation friends will always persevere.

Cheers to a productive, proud 2010!