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This blog is a place for dialogue on issues and actions relating to Boston's unique built environment and the preservation and continuing evolution of historic resources within it. My goal, as the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, is to post timely, relevant and thought-provoking intelligence, ideas, and insights that will engage conversations, inform our actions, and broaden perspectives on preservation.

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Greg Galer, Executive Director, Boston Preservation Alliance

Executive Director

AllianceViews Blog

Sharing Boston Preservation at the National Trust

November 5th, 2013  |  Posted by: Greg Galer

Last week I spent several days at the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Indianapolis. I was struck by several things. First, the remarkable preservation successes in Indiana managed by Indiana Landmarks, the statewide preservation organization there which is the equivalent of our Preservation Massachusetts.  In large part due to the very generous Cook Family, among others, Indiana Landmarks has eight field offices throughout the state, is housed in the beautifully restored Indian Landmarks Center (the former Central Avenue Methodist Church), and manages 33 staff and eight properties. They were gracious hosts and organizers to preservationists from throughout the country and even beyond.  (I had a fascinating discussion with the head of historic preservation for the entire country of Ukraine who was very interested to hear of our work in Boston and promises a visit to our fair city sometime soon.)

I was also struck by the warm reception I received from people when they heard I was from Boston. (And not just because we were there when the Sox won the World Series!)  Preservation successes and the good work of Mayor Menino are well known and many, many people commented on how much they love Boston and the historic character we’ve successfully maintained. I also realized over the course of these days how remarkably the field overall has matured over the years. We’re all recognizing that preservation needs to be more flexible, more open to new ideas and creative uses of historic resources, and less rigid in our demand for perfection in restoration in most cases.  In other words, we need to stay focused on the big picture. Everyone is saying what we’ve been saying for Boston (and can be found on the Indiana Landmarks website):

Because today historic preservation is much more about the future than the past. We believe saving landmarks enhances our quality of life and makes our communities attractive and meaningful places to live, work, and build a future for those who will come after us.

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