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A Preservationist Gift Guide

Is there a preservationist in your life? Or maybe you love architecture, history, and unique Boston stories as much as we do. If either of these is the case, then this is THE gift guide for you. (No worries, we won't judge if you buy a few of these items for yourself.) 

These items will have you hunting for Boston's brutalist beauties and curious about the many treasures hidden beneath our feet. They will announce to the world that old places matter and our concrete monsters need to be saved. 

1. Support your local Preservation Alliance

Anyone who believes in the power of preserving our past and building a better Boston needs to be a member of their local preservation Alliance. (Shameless self-promotion here!) We rely on the support of our members to protect the places that matter. Membership is better with a friend! Join us for a year of exploring the city through walking tours, forums, and events as a member of the Boston Preservation Alliance. Did you know we are following 88 different projects? The most clicked-on projects from 2019 include:

You make Boston, Boston. Don't let it disappear. When you contribute you automatically become a member of the Alliance, strengthening our voice and joining the effort to safeguard Boston's vibrant future.

Show Your Support

 
2. For those looking for a preservation companion

Sarah Marsom Dolls 0

Everyone needs a preservation companion. The Tiny Activist Project was started by preservationists Sarah Marsom. It seeks to highlight lesser-known stories of people who fought to save cultural resources. Tiny Jane honors the woman who transformed city planning and preservation, Jane Jacobs! (Side note, Jane was in love with Boston's North End). 

Tiny I.M. Pei honors the man who changed the architecture field through innovative designs and his support of other budding Asian architects. Pei's fingerprints are all over the city, including the JFK Library, the West Wing (Linde Family Wing) of the Museum of Fine Arts, and City Hall Plaza. His firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners are responsible for even more iconic Boston buildings including the Christian Science Plaza and 200 Clarendon (formerly Hancock Tower). 

A portion (15%) of every sale contributes to an emerging preservation professionals conference scholarship. Each doll is hand-sewn in Columbus, Ohio. Follow the Tiny Activist on Instagram for pint-sized preservation stories. 

3. For the fan of historic landscapes

Landscape Follies - Olmstead

Few people in the history of Boston have left their mark on the land more than Fredrick Law Olmsted. He sculpted the Public Garden, set the Emerald Necklace, and built the crown jewel known as Franklin Park (a winner of this year's preservation stewardship award). What better way to honor him than an enamel pin made by Landscape Follies. They also have a Jane Jacobs pin to pair with your new Tiny Activist. 

4. For the architecture know-it-all

AIA App images 1

Ever been walking around the city and see a cornice detail or an odd window arrangement and want to know more? The AIA Boston App is like having a Boston architecture guide in your pocket. It's full of city history and will make you look like the smartest city guide around. The app also maps past Preservation Achievement Award Winners. It is a perfect tool to learn about the places you pass by every day. Did you know there is a pie-shaped house hidden in Beacon Hill? 

5. For those who like old-fashioned paper maps:

Brutalist-Boston-Map-Crop-Cover 1500x

The Brutalist Boston Map is perfect for anyone who wants to visit all the adorable concrete monsters that hulk in our city. Boston is a gallery showroom displaying the world's best examples of Brutalist architecture and this foldable map locates them all. Travel between the concrete towers of Breuer, Le Corbusier, Goldberg, Pei, and Sert, to name a few. If you love beton bruts, than be sure to read more about Paul Rudolph's threatened Government Services Center and see our previous blog post about Boston's Mid-Century Marvels. And to sneak in another gift, it's hard to recommend anything brutalist without giving a nod to Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston. 

6. For those who want to bring the city indoors:

Lunch City Studio Image

Lunch City Studio is a collection of art that celebrates the places where we belong. All of the artwork is created by artist and architect Courtney Drake and are inspired by the places Courtney explores with her dog, Lunchbox. Every piece is designed to cultivate the connection between people and places. This includes greeting cards, prints, original art, and more. Have a favorite building in Boston? Courtney can draw it for you. Plus, one tree is planted for every artwork sold. Follow Courtney's creative process on Instagram

7. For those who love all the old things:

ibrakeforoldhouses 11.5x3 sticker outline

Circa Old Houses has a shop made for those who stop traffic to photograph old buildings. From bumper stickers that proclaim "I BRAKE FOR OLD HOUSES" and tote bags that share "I love Old Houses," you are sure to find something to please the preservationist in your life and warn the public that this car will make frequent stops in historic neighborhoods. 

8. More Books! 

50 Objects

When we put out an office solicitation for book recommendations the list quickly grew to a six-foot stack. We'll follow-up this gift guide with our very own book guide. But if there is one book that should be on your list, it should be "A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts." It's a dive into Boston's history hiding right under our feet. 

Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past.

The best part is that all proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to the City of Boston's Archaeological Program. What this means in real-life terms is that Joe is able to purchase laser scanning equipment that allows each object to be observed in high-detail online and 3D printed. Check out some of the objects that have already made their way through the scanner.

A few more book recommendations because we can't resist:

9. You make Boston, Boston.

Thank you for your support and for showing your love of preservation.

 

Show Your Support 0

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