July 24, 2015
I had the opportunity (and must admit great pleasure) to attend the Preservation Maryland Summer School this past Wednesday at the Frederick Douglass – Isaac Myers Maritime Museum in the heart of
Harbor East. I must admit, though I love old buildings, I hardly imagined a day-long conference would turn out to be this much fun. If you’re only thinking old timers, buildings that have past their prime and in dire need of love and attention, you’re only seeing half of the picture. Filled with professionals from all over the country, Preservation Maryland is truly opening a new interdisciplinary chapter. This year’s focus on mainstreet revitalization got in depth on economic development, from fostering local cultural heritage – Berlin MD, Buffalo NY, to event programming as in Capital for a Day in Brookeville, MD or pop-up shops in Renaissance Covington, KY. And how does larger scale, mainstreet urban re-development directly relate to our special interest in residential architecture or even be considered interdisciplinary in nature? The goal, and happily to say, success of Preservation Maryland, the National Trust along with Preservation Green Lab as well as the Maryland Historical Trust is engaging many disciplines from urban planning, architecture, preservation, business development, history and culture, sustainability, arts and tourism and many many more to underline the importance of cross-pollination. Understanding these as nutrients for a healthy organism, one begins to see architecture and old buildings as a tapestry of social sustainability – with an overarching goal for engaging spaces, events, buildings…ultimately people.