May is Preservation Month, the annual celebration of history, culture, and special places, designed to raise awareness about the power that historic preservation has to protect and enhance our historic communities. It’s the celebration of places that are meaningful to us. It is the telling of stories of the places we can’t live without.
In many Missouri communities, the old and new live side by side. Historic buildings not only give a community character but also emphasize sustainability. The preservation of unique neighborhoods containing historic landmarks ignites economic development and enriches communities. From first dates to family dinners and shopping trips to nights on the town, America’s thriving historic main streets are where we come together and share experiences that shape our lives and communities.1
WE’RE CELEBRATING MISSOURI’S TREASURES
In partnership with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), we are launching the #MoPlacesMatter campaign to raise awareness of Missouri’s historic treasures and their vital role in sustaining local communities. Over select dates in May, our Celebrate Preservation Month Road Show2 will visit four historic sites in Missouri dedicated to preserving our state’s historic resources and nine Missouri communities dedicated to preserving and revitalizing their historic districts to further enrich their communities and celebrate their heritage. Our campaign coincides with the #ThisPlaceMatters3 nationwide celebration observed by small towns and big cities with events ranging from architectural scavenger hunts and historic site tours to educational programs and heritage travel opportunities.
Southeast Missouri State University students learning how Historic Preservation and Main Street work together.
Preservation Month is a great time to learn more about the activities going on around you in your community and state. The Celebrate Preservation Month Road Show is our project to engage the public in preserving historic places and increasing awareness of their role in sustaining local communities. Through the project, we hope to encourage Missouri citizens to learn more about the history surrounding them, discover new sites and communities, and understand the importance of preserving our history and historic places for generations to come. Think about the places in your community that mean the most to you. What are the “must see” or “must experience” places you take visitors from out of town? What places do you think about when you’re away from home and tell other people about your home town? How would your community change if these places were suddenly lost or modified beyond recognition?4
WE’RE HITTING THE ROAD TO VISIT THESE PLACES
The following communities and historic sites (selected by popular vote) are stops along the 2018 Celebrate Preservation Month Road Show. You can download the complete schedule here.
Cape Girardeau – Old Town Cape, Inc.
Chillicothe – Main Street Chillicothe
Excelsior Springs – Downtown Excelsior Springs Partnership
Independence – Harry S Truman National Historic Site
Jackson – Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization
Jefferson City – Missouri Governor’s Mansion
Kansas City – Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site
Lee’s Summit – Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc.
Liberty – Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc.
Mansfield – Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum
Moberly – Main Street Moberly
Warrensburg – Warrensburg Main Street
Washington – Downtown Washington Inc.
Follow one of the official Celebrate Preservation Month Road Show cars to the places that matter to you!
In addition to joining us on our Road Show, here are a few more things you can do to participate in Preservation Month5:
- Read up on your community’s history.
- Talk to preservationists and learn more about their ideas for your community.
- Find out or review what properties or neighborhoods your community has listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Review the web pages of your local main street or downtown revitalization program, regional heritage area, and State Historic Preservation Organization (SHPO).
- Take a tour of a rehabilitated building in your community such as a restored historic theater, historic courthouse or municipal building, or a historic school or commercial building converted to apartments or offices.
- Take a walk around a nearby historic residential area or shop/dine in a historic commercial district.
- Take a field trip to a nearby community with a strong historic preservation ethic or main street program.
- Visit the Preservation Month web pages of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, and National Register of Historic Places.
- Participate in other local Historic Preservation Month activities.
1Quote by Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
2This activity is partially funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Grant awards do not imply an endorsement of contents by the grantor. Federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, handicap or ethnicity. For more information, write to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington DC 20240.
3#ThisPlaceMatters is the annual campaign created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
4, 5"Preservation Can Be Inspiring – This Month (and Every Month),” by Amy Faca, May 7, 2013.