Preservation isn’t just about protecting historic skyscrapers from the wrecking ball. And one needn’t be an architect or developer to call themselves a preservationist. The built environment is what makes a city like Detroit livable. It’s a tangible legacy passed on from previous generations, and we all have a responsibility to protect the urban fabric so it can be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Everyone who takes that legacy seriously–from a major developer to the college student renting a flat in one of Woodbridge’s historic homes–is a preservationist in their own way. Every office worker at the Penobscot Building, every thirsty baseball fan in Grand Circus Park, every jazz aficionado at Cliff Bell’s, and every homeowner restoring their craftsman bungalow’s wood trim is quietly making the case for the inherent value of historic preservation. That’s because preservation isn’t some abstract idea for ivory tower academics and starry-eyed idealists. It’s about protecting Detroit’s sense of place–the very stuff that make this city worth living in and fighting for.
The ethic of preservation is vital in communities around the world. In Detroit, the preservation message is one that must be broadcast to a wider audience and incorporated into a deeper dialogue. While preservation efforts have increased dramatically in the last three decades, the full potential of preservation’s scope is hardly realized in the Motor City. Preservation Detroit’s mission is integral in creating a ‘sense of place’ by promoting vibrant, walk-able neighborhoods that integrate public transportation, mixed-use development, environmental and cultural sustainability to create a more complete and defined public realm. Preservation Detroit and its partners are at the vanguard of the preservation movement in Detroit, advocating for progress in the media and in the halls of power. You can help us fight for Detroit’s heritage. Visit our Resources pages for more info, fill out our contact form to volunteer, become a member, or donate to support Preservation Detroit’s efforts.