Voice of the Land
“How will we know it’s us without our past?”
That quote from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath succinctly summarizes the importance of Historic Preservation. And, in Colorado, we are fortunate to have and, here at Art of the Land, support, Colorado Preservation, Inc., the steward of Historic Preservation throughout our state.
From their website: “Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s mission is to promote historic preservation statewide through advocacy, education, outreach and preservation services to communities and individuals. Our vision is that inspired citizens statewide will honor and protect their heritage, build a sustainable future with historic places and prioritize the past as legacy for generations to come.”
A membership is valuable to the cause and supports such on-going efforts as the Endangered Places Program which annually identifies target projects most worthy and in need of preservation assistance. That assistance may be financial and supportive hands-on help.
Colorado Preservation provides Preservation Services and hosts an annual Saving Places Conference which each winter hosts hundreds of preservationists for four days of workshops, paper presentation and idea exchange, all to keep our history alive and well. It is one of the largest such gatherings in the country.
Some notable projects have included restoring historic Riverside Cemetery, current home to so many of Colorado’s pioneers and important historic figures. Civic Center Park in Denver, Redstone Castle in Pitkin County and Streetcar No. 04, Denver Tramway Company’s last remaining trolley are all benefactors of Colorado Preservation assistance.
But, those projects are not the real winners. We are. Since 1990, the organization has given the annual Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation to the person(s) or organization demonstrating the spirit of preservation to the highest levels. The award, of course, is named after the key personality in the preservation of Historic Lower Downtown Denver, including the landmark Larimer Square. Dana Crawford worked, and still does, tirelessly to keep history alive in Denver and Colorado.
Join. It’s easy. Just go to this link. You will receive the usual tangible benefits of membership like newsletters and event invitations, but you receive much more. The knowledge that you have helped to keep the past alive. Why is that important? Here’s another quote about Historic Preservation that we like, this from William Murtagh, first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places:
“It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
In Colorado, at least, that conversation is going well!