An interview with Roxanne on historic preservation…
“Historic places grab me by the heart and hold on. Older vibrant downtowns, in particular, where people gather and feel at home, sing to me. These are the places that define our heritage and speak to our soul. Protecting these special places should be as precious and essential to us as a scenic vista, virgin forest or wild and rocky coast.
I am an outspoken advocate for historic preservation and my consulting philosophy is straightforward.
Preserving and enhancing our historic places is essential for the economic and social future of our country. These places teach us in ways we cannot learn without the visceral connection of experience. Proven every day, historic preservation is the most effective way to save the earth. Saving places is the ultimate recycler – embracing embodied energy, reducing the need for extraction and transport and eliminating the need for hideous waste piles. Historic preservation creates jobs and attracts clean, sustainable heritage tourism. To disregard these facts – to not invest in preserving and protecting our heritage – is to disregard who we are as a society and the legacy we owe to future generations.
Saving places also saves lives. Think about it: historic preservation creates jobs with meaning for people from all walks of life, skill sets, experiences and interests. I know this personally through the greatest bootstrap, roll-up-sleeves-and-let-your-leadership-flag-fly program for downtown revitalization in the country: Main Street. New knowledge is gained by tackling a rehab or repair project that once seemed daunting. New friends are made through volunteering, the byword of historic preservation. New appreciation becomes a part of you when you revel in the collective wisdom of prior generations who built these places by hand and heart. Historic preservation, like we “Main Streeters” say, is the Four Point Approach to a better life.
Do we want walkable historic downtowns brimming with character and opportunity? OF COURSE! Do we seek community pride demonstrated through irreplaceable historic architecture? YES! Do we love to shop local and keep a single dollar circulating a dozen plus times in our community? NATURALLY! Historic preservation and downtown revitalization is the whole package. Ah, that more people with billions in stimulus dollars would understand these undeniable, simple facts of return on investment.
Here is my plea: join me and thousands of other preservationists like me. Get involved and embrace the future of the places that define America and cultures across the globe. Do this with heart, passion, vision and energy – and leave a legacy for future generations. You will feel good and even more inspired to protect trees, mountains and a rocky coast. I’d love to hear your preservation story.”
©Roxanne Eflin, 2017