The Legacy City Preservation summit is at the forefront of using historic preservation and heritage to solve some of the Rust Belt’s most pressing and prevailing issues. As we think about what kind of city we want to become, we must address the issues of inequality, environmental justice, and community development. Our cities and our neighborhoods must be for everyone. How can preservation of our heritage play a role in this?
The conference idea began in Cleveland in 2012, as a mitigating factor in the demolition of an historic building. In exchange for not fighting the demolition of the Wolfe Music Building, Cleveland State University was required to host a conference focused on preservation. Working with Councilman Jeff Johnson, the Cleveland Restoration Society, Stephanie Ryberg-Webster of Cleveland State, and City Beautiful, we came up with the focus of the conference: how does preservation work (or not work) in Rust Belt cities?
The conference was held in July of 2014 and what came out of it was a progressive and forward thinking Action Agenda. It’s less about house museums and keeping properties pristine, it’s more about keeping them standing in the first place. It was the first time I’d heard the discussion of whether or not preservation left out low and middle class families… to attempt a solution on how to include them in the conversation. The second convening was held in Detroit in 2016. This year, it comes to Buffalo.
We have thought leaders from across the country answering questions on inclusivity, and the environment, while giving us the tools we need to take back our communities and keep our unique attributes and histories.
On July 12-14th, we’ll be joined by Maurice Jones, president of LISC, Jessie Grogan from the Lincoln Institute, Terry Schwarz from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Building Hugger’s Amy Swift, Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress, ULI’s Ed McMahon, and many more.
This isn’t just for professional planners and preservationists. This summit is here to use preservation as a tool to empower people and communities through their heritage. Anyone that cares about their city, their community, their street – from community development non-profits to grassroots advocates – can attend. We all need to be in this together. As we’ve seen from years of disinvestment, there is no bail out, no one is coming to save us. We need to do it ourselves. This is where it begins.
Our goal is for attendees to have the tools and the contacts to begin to take back their communities and their stories within the built environment. We hope you’ll join us in Buffalo for fast paced panels and discussions where we will share our ideas and knowledge and begin to plan for what kind of city we want.
You can check out the schedule, our sponsors, and register on the website here.