By Richard Moe | From Preservation | November/December 2008
Looking back at our accomplishments over the past 12 months, it's clear we have much to be proud of. We restored President Lincoln's Cottage and opened it to the public, returning this long-hidden treasure to the spotlight and creating a premier center for the study of Lincoln and his presidency. We worked successfully with our partners to enhance the federal rehab tax credits that have sparked more than $45 billion in preservation investment since 1976. And we got our $175 million "People Saving Places" campaign off to a great start—especially gratifying in the midst of an economic downturn, and a testament to the generosity of our members and supporters.
These are only three items on a much longer list of important "wins" in 2008, and a victory lap is definitely in order. But equally exciting are the things that will happen in the year ahead.
As you know, we've launched an intensive effort to demonstrate preservation's key role in fostering sustainable development and fighting climate change. In the next few months, we'll open our Preservation Green Lab, which will partner with state and local governments to develop climate-change action plans, innovative zoning and building codes, and policies that support the retrofitting of existing buildings. The Green Lab will also work with universities, green groups, and others to ensure that building recycling is incorporated into academic and environmental agendas. And the lab will identify and support demonstration projects that show how historic buildings can "go green." Read more
Two other issues that have long concerned us—the threat to cultural resources on federal lands and the need to preserve buildings from the recent past—will soon receive a major boost. Thanks to a generous challenge grant from long-time friend David Bonderman, our Public Lands Initiative will hire two new staff members, one in the mountains/plains office and the other at headquarters in Washington. We're currently seeking funding to hire staff for our Modernism + Recent Past Initiative as well, and we expect to bring these new colleagues on board in 2009.
Finally, we'll unveil two new aspects of the National Trust's "public face." One is our redesigned website, PreservationNation.org; if you've been a regular visitor, I guarantee you'll find the new version even more engaging, informative, and user-friendly. The other is an expansive heritage-travel program that blends new offerings with existing programs such as National Trust Tours and Historic Hotels of America to establish us as the "go-to" source of information, services, and advice for the millions of people who have made heritage travel the fastest-growing segment of the tourism industry.
You can see why I'm looking forward to 2009. It's going to be another great year.
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