What does it mean? It’s exciting. It’s enticing. It’s smart. It’s forward-thinking. It’s loving. It’s caring. It’s sensitive. It’s beautiful. Preservation is the best. It’s everything, and cares about everyone and the built environment. Share your love of preservation. What would you say?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Preservation Heart Bombs (yes, it’s a thing) began in Buffalo, NY by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, particularly Bernice Radle and Jason Wilson. Basically they plaster endangered or neglected buildings with heart paper cutouts decked out with pro-preservation messages. This was such a cool idea that the National Trust and Design Sponge covered the Heart Bombs story. And now it’s spread across the country! (For the follow-up to that, stayed tuned to the Preservation Nation blog.) Many of these heart bombs occur in larger cities that are down on their luck, but definitely on the upswing thanks to dedicated preservationists. Such a turn of events is easy to spot in big cities like Buffalo, NY.
Without being able to join in physical heart bombs this year in Vermont, I offer you a few digital heart bombs. These are buildings that could sure use some love and affection, from paint to rehabilitation to an owner who has the ability to transform it! Sometimes owners love their buildings, but simply cannot afford it or decide what to do. We all understand the feeling of being trapped, so it’s not fair to blame the owner. Instead we need to offer support when appropriate. Ideas! Financing! Advice! And of course, listening. That might be the greatest help. Hearing the issues, the history, the concerns, the struggles — that is important, too.
Vermont is full of its buildings that need help. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s less noticeable than say, an entire block in a big city. Here are only a few buildings – some favorites – that are examples of buildings in need of love.
Do you have buildings in need of some love? Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I love you all. Sending preservation love to you and yours.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Need some history about Valentine’s Day? It’s not exactly created by the greeting card industry, as some cynics declare. Buying and sending valentines in the United States became popular in the mid 1800s, with the ingenuity of Esther Howland, who handmade the earliest valentines out of imported lace and floral decorations and ribbons. She is known as the mother of the Valentine.
However, valentines have a long history before Esther Howland. The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) has an online exhibit called Making Valentines: A Tradition in America with information about Valentine’s Day (mostly about the creation of valentines/cards in the United States). Although it’s on a date webpage with some broken image links, it’s a fun, worthwhile read.
For history on the creation of the day itself, visit History.com. It includes this information:
The history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
How many of you send Valentine’s Day cards to your friends and family? Remember giving cards in elementary school and receiving treats? Who doesn’t love those little message hearts?
Sending some preservation love your way. I hope you have a lovely day!
A reprint from the June 2009 issue of Preservation in Pink, but worth sharing on this Valentine’s Day. I love historic preservation, don’t you? Have a wonderful day!