[Toolkit] Crafting the Message about Why Old Places Matter

By Forum Online posted 05-12-2015 11:14


“I came away from [my project on Why Do Old Places Matter?] thinking that our field could become larger, more diverse, more influential and more responsive to the human needs that can be served by old places if we consistently listened to these other voices.” – Tom Mayes, Spring 2015 Forum Journal.


As preservationists we often struggle to clearly articulate why our work is important. In recent years we have focused mostly on tangible reasons--linking preservation to sustainability and economics and emphasizing data driven and financial reasons why old places should be protected and preserved.

In his work over the last year and half, following his six-month stay at the American Academy in Rome, Tom Mayes found that we need to discuss more than just the practical reasons for why old places matter. Instead, he says, we need to convey that old places matter because they are beautiful or because they inspire creativity or because they link us to our ancestors.

Clearly communicating these ideas, however, can be hard.

To make things easier, we’ve created a toolkit that outlines ways preservationists can paint a more complete picture of why old places matter. While economics and sustainability are important reasons for preserving old places, the connections we have to old places can be further solidified by the broader sense of belonging that old places bring to our daily lives.

The toolkit provides key messages from each of Mayes’ blog posts along with sample press releases and blog posts. You can view the toolkit below and download it from Slideshare.

Interested in reading the entire journal? It is available to both Forum members and non-members. Simply fill out the form located here. Also make sure to check out the other web content for the journal and information on our Why Do Old Places Matter video competition.

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