Forum Connect

Our Volunteer Activities

  • 1.  Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 13 days ago
    It appears that the Forum has a good cross section of people involved in historic preservation, but I think it's safe to say that most members are public or private sector professionals.  Knowing that population as I do, I bet most also volunteer at one or more nonprofit organizations.  I think it would be interesting for us to describe the causes we are passionate about and the organizations we work with.

    As for me, I am on the board of directors of a local nonprofit that developed and operates a regional museum dedicated to the history and culture of south central Kentucky that is housed in a 90 year-old industrial building.  All the board members are unpaid, and all are expected to contribute their expertise to keeping the museum/cultural center's doors open.  As the sole historic architectural consultant, I get involved in numerous issues, like how to remove paint from the interior of 90 year-old textured glass windows and 90 year-old brick, and how to treat the brick once that is accomplished.

    It is time consuming, but I love doing it.  So, how about others?

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    Jim Sparks
    Sparks Architecture
    Glasgow KY
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  • 2.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 13 days ago
    I like Jim's idea. I've never worked professionally in the preservation field, but for most of my adult life have either been working with old buildings -- two of my own and two community buildings -- and did a comprehensive Historic Resource Survey of my small, 160+ year old town. (In California, that's old!) I consulted with the California OHP for the later project and learned a lot -- rhe then-Director of Surveys, Marie Nelson, was extremely helpful. I am currently working to partly restore, partly rehabilitate the village's Town Hall, one of the state's oldest community buildings continually in use.
    For the last ten years I've been curator of a small local history museum, where interpreting buildings is my favorite thing to do. I also edit the museum;s quarterly journal. In the quarterly and the museum exhibitions, I take every chance I get to show how the area's vernacular architecture -- including its simple agricultural buildings, can Tell the Story of this place. I love my unpaid jobs! And I enjoy the Forum.



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    Ginny MacKenzie-Magan
    Tomales CA
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  • 3.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 9 days ago

    Thanks for the idea, Jim.

    I am a charter member of the Architectural Salvage of Greensboro a subsidiary of the local preservation nonprofit, Preservation Greensboro, Inc. We began in the city's railroad station salvaging materials from houses demolished through redevelopment activities. We moved twice since then. It's almost all volunteer run. If you are ever in our neck of the woods please stop in.

     

    Mike Cowhig
    Planning Department
    City of Greensboro

    Phone: 336-373-2755

    PO Box 3136, Greensboro, NC 27402
    www.greensboro-nc.gov

     

     

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  • 4.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hey Mike. Thanks for the invitation. I've actually been to Greensboro, a beautiful city. I attended a friend's son's wedding with the reception held at the Greensboro Country Club (I'm poor, but I have some wealthy friends), and was able to get out and tour a bit.  Salvaging and reuse of existing materials is one of the mostly thankless, but vital aspects of preservation. If a building can't be saved, at least some of the energy that was expended in creating it can be saved and passed on.  I admire you for doing it.

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    Jim Sparks
    Glasgow KY
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  • 5.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hey Ginny.  Sounds like our volunteer interests are similar. I have always enjoyed museums, and spend a great deal of time at ours. In addition to advising on methods of preserving the building in which it is housed, I coordinate the activities of our small art gallery, which features the work of local artists. Anything to generate more visitors and donations. As you know, keeping the doors open is a constant challenge in a small community with limited city and county government resources, no operational assistance from the state, and a pool of private businesses and individuals that everyone goes to for donations to every worthy cause.  Oh well, IIWIS.  At least it feels good to vent.

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    Jim Sparks
    Sparks Architecture
    Glasgow KY
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  • 6.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hello -- I am the President for the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands.  We are partnered with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to restore and preserve the historic maritime structures and support the USFWS mission to protect the natural resources on these islands.  Pilot Island has an 1858 cream city brick lighthouse building and the ruins of the fog signal building that we are working to stabilize to prevent further deterioration.  Plum Island has an 1896 life-saving station (aka Coast Guard) building that we'll be working with the USFWS this year to remove the lead paint and repaint her.  Once that project is completed we'll be working with the National Park Service to learn historic window restoration.  The training session will be done in a train-the-train method so that we can work with our volunteers to continue the work long after NPS has left (we have LOTS of windows to restore).  We are located in Wisconsin, out in Lake Michigan which leaves a short window of opportunity to do our work (May-Sept) so we spend our winter in planning sessions, fundraising and recruiting volunteers.  The season goes by way too fast and our money disappears even faster.

    www.plumandpilot.org


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    Mary Volmer
    President
    Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands
    marybethvolmer@gmail.com
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  • 7.  RE: Our Volunteer Activities

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi Mary. What a great project and what a great setting to work in.  It looks like you have had some success in attracting young volunteers, so congratulations. The longer I work in preservation, the more I realize how dependent it is on volunteers willing to do the tedious detail work that is always required. A holiday volunteer appreciation dinner just doesn't seem adequate thanks. But in our case, it's about all we can do.

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    Jim Sparks
    Sparks Architecture
    Glasgow KY
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