I know aging is part of the process for all living things. But, it is also a process that happens to non-living things. Homes that are loved, and used, and exposed to the elements eventually will show their age. The elements are what homes constantly battle. Buildings take the rain running into crevices, hail beats dents into surfaces, the sun bleaches the color away. Larger homes and buildings are especially vulnerable to wear as their upkeep is so much more massive an undertaking. Just the continuous maintenance and costs associated with a big house can begin to consume the family who call it home. Businesses come and go leaving old structures in their wake. Loved structures can soon become a burden and desperate for needed repairs. It is always heartbreaking for me to see a once loved building break down with age. Just thinking about the long gone people who once looked at their building with pride makes me want to save them all. You can’t save them all but you can help save some of them with the idea of preservation through reservation.
When the Banks house first came into my sight it was love at first sight. I dreamt of all the things I could do to save its structure and history. The reality was that like for most people I could not take on such a large responsibility without a very good plan. Walking through the house I realized it wanted to be open for others to share in its history and beauty. That’s when I thought of preservation through reservation. Now the idea of taking on an aging structure and repurposing it is not something new. Preservation through reservation has actually been happening with historic hotels, homes, barns, and taverns for many years. When you think about where we came from, and where we are going, the importance of saving historic structures becomes part of our future selves. People need to think about the short time they are here and what they are leaving for the future. Preservation needs to move forward in a manner that modernizes without losing the integrity of the structure. Preservation also needs to make sure a building becomes open to all people without regard to preconceived prejudices. An honest history told becomes a tool for communicating growth through the wrongs and pains of the past. A building that welcomes everyone is a building worth preserving.
Preservation through reservation helps keep doors open. You can’t save them all but you can help save historic structures through seeking historical buildings as places you frequent. When you make a reservation for a restaurant that was once an old warehouse you are a part of preservation. When you reserve part of your shopping time to spend money in historic towns that is part of preservation. Reserving a room for the night in an historic home is preservation. Keeping the doors open for everyone to share in our history is preservation.