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Our Commonwealth: June 2020

To view the original e-newsletter online, click here.

Our Commonwealth: June 2020

A Different View

When we last saw this view from Cole's Hill overlooking Plymouth harbor, it was very different. It was mid-March, cold, dreary and we had no idea it would be nearly three months before we could even begin to imagine seeing it, or our office again. The picture we take of this view now may appear to be the same, but so much about it is different. And rightly so. As preservationists, we work to preserve places, our local and national history and tell the story of the people who came before us. Our history is not, should not be, one view, nor it is a single story. In a 2009 Ted Talk, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie talks about "The Danger of A Single Story" and has some enlightening insight on the how the stories we tell shape views. We have a lot of work to do but we are committed to showing up, listening and doing the work for equity and inclusivity in preservation, and our daily lives. Maybe a year from now the view we see will truly be different.... for the better.

"Change is the only constant in life." Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

Preservation Briefs

Difficult Conversations: What Can I Do?

Our country, cities and communities are bearing witness to historic moments every day. How can we become more engaged and committed to equity in historic preservation, and our daily lives? Educating ourselves is a place to start. The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. has opened a portal to help people explore issues of race, racism and racial identity. “Talking About Race” provides digital tools, online exercises, scholarly articles and more for anyone committed to racial equality. (photo credit: Getty Images from the NMAAHC website). Read More

Let's Keep Talking What started as a "pop-up" office hour has evolved into a repository of discussion and presentation on preservation topics from threatened historic resources to how to be an effective local advocate. With more episodes planned, it has become a popular priority at PM! Read More

A Little Can Go A Long Way The recent collaboration between the 1772 Foundation and Preservation Massachusetts on a matching grant program proves even seemingly small grants can make a big impact when undertaking a preservation project. Read More

Bringing The Info To You Since we are still not meeting in person (and probably not for a while), we have collaborated with the MHC to create an online resource library for Local Historic Commissions. Read More


The State Theatre, Stoughton Sharing first hand stories and experiences from local advocates is one of the best ways to inspire, educate and motivate for preservation. Our April Storyteller of the dedicated efforts of the Friends of the State Theatre on behalf of this important community landmark. Read More

If you would like to share a local preservation story with us and our readers, click here.

From Our Partners

Preservation is collaborative and communal. Here we share some updates and insights from partners and projects across the state.

Clinton Church Restoration, Inc. in Great Barrington "We need to tell these stories. We need to say their names." "In his 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk, the ever prescient W.E.B. Du Bois wrote about the very issues with which America is now grappling:" Read More

Architectural Heritage Foundation in North Brookfield "How a Small Group of Volunteers is Transforming a Rural Town through Historic Preservation and the Arts". "What if a vacant town hall in a small Massachusetts community were granted a new life as an arts center devoted to solving the national problem of rural isolation? For the Friends of the North Brookfield Town House, this vision holds the key to their community’s revitalization." Read More

Looking Ahead

2020 Preservation Awards Our annual preservation event is still scheduled for October 22 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. More details about awardees and the event to come soon!

2020 Most Endangered Nominations for this year's Most Endangered are due Friday, June 19! For details click here.

Action Center We have added three new sections to our online Action Center! Be sure to check it out for helpful information, resources and guides.


About Preservation Massachusetts

Founded in 1985, Preservation Massachusetts is the statewide non-profit organization that actively promotes the preservation of historic buildings and landscapes as a positive force for economic development and the retention of community character.

Join as a member today and support our statewide advocacy and educational programming!

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