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This Place Matters

September 28, 2009

marblehead old town hallIn an effort to engage people of all ages and backgrounds across this great land of ours, the National Trust for Historic Preservation created its This Place Matters campaign, encouraging aforementioned folk to print out the TPM sign and submit photographic evidence of a place that matters to them (preferably with a why included).

If you look at the map that shows where submissions come from, it skews heavily to the east, but click through the slideshow and you will enjoy a tremendous armchair adventure from coast to coast and over the ocean to Hawaii.

I’d say they’ve succeeded in reaching people who don’t seem to fit the “preservationist” stereotype.  Have a look at what I mean when you go to vote for the best This Place Matters photograph from the 12 photos selected as finalists in this year’s photo contest.  [I think the proof of the interest in people comes from my observation that several of the finalist images barely feature the building.]   Don’t forget to vote!

Update:  I went to vote and found that registration is required.  I think I already did that, but don’t remember the password, etc. and so clicked off to do something else on the interweb.  Then I noticed on my facebook page that on the National Trust’s recent This Place Matters post, in which people are encouraged to vote, there were a string of complaints about the cumbersome process.  I’m not sure what the Trust’s overall goal was with this particular outreach tactic.  On the face, I thought it was about showing large numbers of votes, of engaging people with “places” and showing that preservation has a broad appeal.  Requiring registration to vote suggests that the goal is really to capture personal data, probably to use in campaign appeals and fundraising.  That seems inappropriate in what is, on its face, a populist effort.

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