The Results Are In: What Kind of a Preservationist Are You?

By Forum Online posted 11-26-2014 10:24


People_StickerWhat kind of a preservationist are you? Do you wax poetic over flemish bond and glass curtain walls? Or when you see an old factory, do you mentally tally up the economic return from converting it into loft apartments? Do you write impassioned letters to the editor to protest the proposed demolition of a local landmark? Or do you deplore the wastefulness of demolishing an old building and carting it off to the landfill?

Here at the Forum office, we came up with a fun online survey to reveal your innermost preservationist. The brainchild of the Forum marketing staff, Colleen Danz and Rebecca Bice, the survey was launched at the Past Forward conference in Savannah. More than 250 conference attendees stopped by the Forum booth to take the survey.

Since then almost 900 people have taken the quiz online, which is available here.

Participants have to answer seven questions, and, based on their responses, are classified as either an accidental preservationist, a classic preservationist, a green preservationist, an artisan preservationist, a vocal preservationist, or a people preservationist.

The results? Most quiz takers (37 percent) turned out to be people preservationists, meaning they believe that preservation is good for people and their communities. They believe that preservation can unite strangers and recall a history not always documented in textbooks. They make preservation relevant.

Artisan_StickerOnly a few (6.5 percent) turned out to be artisans. Preservation is the skillset for these select few. They are the ones drawing up the plans, inspecting old systems, and putting the hammer to the nail. They get preservation done.

What does this mean? Well, to be honest, absolutely nothing. People get into preservation for many reasons, and as they get more and more involved, they probably could be considered as both green and vocal, with a bit of classic, accidental, and artisan thrown in to boot. In fact, most people in the preservation field fall into all these categories combined.

We mostly had fun developing they survey questions and categories, and as surveys go, this would not even remotely be considered scientific. But participants have made some interesting observations about the survey--especially the question about preservation heroes. One person correctly noted that we didn’t include any preservation heroes representing diverse backgrounds. Others were unfamiliar with some of the names we listed. Maybe we were overly ambitious to think that we could limit ourselves to just seven heroes. After all, there are numerous preservation heroes out there, and we salute every one of you.

Have some fun. Take the quiz...just don’t take it too seriously.

And Happy Thanksgiving from the Preservation Leadership Forum staff.

#Savannah2014 #PastForward