Advocacy is a crucial part of Preservation Durham’s mission, carried out through the Advocacy and Preservation Awards Committee (APAC). APAC strives to bring the community’s attention to preservation issues, educate elected officials and local leaders about the value of preservation, and advise the executive director and board on current matters of interest. The committee gives annual Preservation Awards to recognize outstanding examples of restoration, renovation and reuse around Durham. Similarly, APAC also develops the list of buildings, neighborhoods, structures or landscapes that are most in danger of being lost – the annual Places in Peril list.
- This house was saved at the last minute from the proverbial wrecking ball by observant neighbors, and, ultimately, it won a Neighborhood Conservation Award from PD!
When a building or community is slated for demolition, alteration, or potentially threatened, APAC considers the following before advising the board on possible intervention:
Is it an important building (architecturally, culturally, historically, etc)?
– Review building’s status in existing research and documentation (NR nominations, local historic districts, Durham Inventory, Open Durham, etc.)
– Compare with other structures of a similar era/form/district/design
– Consider ramifications of loss of structure
Is it endangered?
– By whom?
– How imminent is the threat?
– What is the current physical condition (especially structural)?
What are the possible solutions?
– Which possible outcome is Preservation Durham’s preferred?
How can Preservation Durham facilitate that end goal?
– Who are the players necessary to reach the various solutions?
– What timeline is necessary?
– What are the political ramifications of advocacy/silence?
APAC then produces a summary for the Board outlining the above and giving any background information useful for their general education on the issue.
Finally, the committee creates appropriate materials to advocate for our preferred goal, including a press release, Places in Peril listing, talking points for public meetings, and social media outreach. APAC may also initiate targeted conversations with key players, stakeholders and constituents or call on assistance from outside partners and organizations like Preservation North Carolina, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Durham History Museum, Duke, and so forth. If an historic designation such as statewide significance, National Register listing, Local Landmark status would help, APAC may pursue that as well.
Want to get involved? Check out the committees, including APAC.