The Preservation Leadership Forum is soliciting submissions for two forthcoming Forum Journal issues. By seeking articles from our preservation leader community, we hope to spotlight pioneering approaches and give new voices a platform in the Journal.
Enduring New Construction
One of the issues will examine what role preservationists should play in inspiring, encouraging, or regulating the design and construction of enduring new buildings.
The preservation conversation about new construction has often focused on the aftermath of demolition. But as preservationists take an increasingly holistic view of place, we see that the city weaves together all its structures, old and new alike. As important as it is to rehabilitate and adaptively use historic buildings, we know that we can’t preserve them in isolation—not from one another and not from the rest of the city. It’s why we concern ourselves with other aspects of the urban fabric, such as good transportation and affordability, and it’s why we must also champion enduring new construction. The quality of new design and construction affect the quality of the city just as much as the preservation of its historic resources.
New construction built to prioritize short-term profit over lasting quality takes a variety of forms—from as many units as physically possible jammed onto what was once a single-family lot to cheaply made facades that literally crumble off new buildings in just a few years’ time. All such construction inevitably undermines the overall quality of a city—and, thus, undermines the agenda of preservation, which is to promote beauty, quality, and sustainability.
Architecture, new construction, and historic preservation are inextricably linked: all of them are necessary to create attractive, sustainable, healthy, high-quality cities. If preservationists value these attributes, we too have a role in the conversation about new construction. But what is that role? In historic districts, we rely on a familiar, evolving set of tools—we advocate for ordinances or create zoning to protect valuable and historic buildings. How do we use our knowledge and our passion to advocate for enduring new construction?
The other Forum Journal issue will be about preservation law. We’re seeking articles on all aspects of preservation law, including—but not limited to—new or evolving laws; new legal tools; public lands; environmental justice and climate change, displacement and social justice; First Amendment and religious properties legal cases; challenges to existing ordinances; and the renewed interest in neighborhood conservation.
Forum Journal and How to Submit
Since 1987 the Forum Journal has featured high-quality, in-depth articles written by knowledgeable preservation professionals who generously share their expertise with the field. Our goal is to make sure that these resources get widespread recognition and are made available to other preservation leaders in order to advance the knowledge and understanding of preservation practices.
If you’re interested in writing for either of these issues, please start with a 500-word abstract (for what will eventually become a 2,500-word article). We are seeking articles that present an argument, thesis, exemplary case study, or perspective to our preservation leader audience. Avoid impartial narration, except as background.
Please send your abstract to forum[at]savingplaces.org by Tuesday, April 30, using either "Forum Journal: Enduring New Construction Abstract" or "Forum Journal: Preservation Law Abstract" as the subject line of your email. We look forward to reading your submissions!