When it comes to historic buildings, there are many reasons why people might want to help preserve them. Maybe you have fond memories of visiting a particular location with your family. Or perhaps you appreciate the architectural or cultural significance of historic buildings. Whatever the reason, here are seven ways that you can help preserve historic buildings in your community.
1. Donate money
The long and short of any organization is that they need money to function. This is no different for groups that focus on historic preservation. If you have the means, giving a monetary donation is always helpful. You could give to a general fund or donate directly to a project that interests you.
Tech expert Mark Stiffler believes that by sponsoring a historic site, you can help with the day-to-day costs of running it and any restoration or conservation projects that might be underway.
2. Volunteer your time
Get hands-on with your preservation efforts by volunteering your time. Volunteering could involve anything from giving tours of a historic building, planning fundraising events, or even helping with the physical labor of restoration projects.
If you don’t have much time to give, there may be opportunities to do short-term projects or one-time tasks. Check with your local preservation organizations to see what might be available in your area.
3. Purchase items from gift shops
Many historic sites have gift shops where you can purchase items related to the location. Items can range from a themed coffee mug to a book about the history of the building. Buying retail in the gift shop can be substantial financial support to keep the doors open. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, visitors to historic sites spend over $2.8 billion on goods and services such as food, souvenirs, and entrance fees.
4. Share photos on social media
Sometimes all it takes to raise awareness about a cause is sharing information with your friends and followers on social media. According to Mark Stiffler, this type of organic marketing can do wonders for any organization with zero cost to those hoping to keep the historic site active. If you have visited a historic site or been involved in a preservation project, post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Use hashtags so people can easily find your photos and learn more about historic preservation.
5. Write letters to the editor
Another way to raise awareness about the importance of historic preservation is to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Sharing your words through print media is a great way to spread information with a broad audience and get people talking about the issue.
The best way to have your letter published in the paper is to make it short, direct, and to the point. Be sure to focus on one specific issue and include a call to action so that readers will know what they can do to help.
6. Support legislation
You can also take action by supporting legislation protecting your community’s historic buildings. This might involve writing to your elected officials or attending city council meetings to voice your support.
For example, the National Historic Preservation Act is a law that was passed in 1966 in the United States. It helps to preserve historic buildings and sites across the country, making it easier for organizations to get funding for preservation projects. The act also creates a national register of historical places, which includes information on all registered sites.
7. Attend events related to historic preservation
Get involved with your community by attending events related to historic preservation. This could be anything from a lecture series to a gala fundraiser. Events are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn more about the issue.
Historic preservation is vital for many reasons. It helps us to connect with our past, define our communities, and preserve our culture and history. By taking action and getting involved, you can help ensure that our historic buildings are around for generations.