Change of Seasons
By James H. Schwartz | From Preservation | November/December 2011
Fasten your seatbelts—it's going to be a bumpy note. After three years at Preservation and more than two decades in Washington, I'm moving eight states and 540 miles north—to Maine. My office is currently overflowing with books and boxes and back issues and packing tape. (You haven't seen the stapler, have you?) Things at home are even more insane, with piles growing in the center of every room: CDs for the Opportunity Shop, clothes for The Salvation Army, DVDs for the public library. I'm not sure who's picking up which items or when, but I keep telling myself that the best part about moving is the chance to purge.
Here at the Trust, the winds of change are blowing, too. In the months to come you'll enjoy a new Preservation, with a new editor and a new design, as well as new sections telling you about the work of preservationists nationwide. In our informal survey about the types of features you like to read, almost all of you asked for local success stories. They'll play a big part in upcoming print and online coverage, complementing stories about the best ways to protect historic places in your community.
And me? I'll be working for the Trust remotely. With Jackson the English setter in the lead, our family is completing a long-planned move to a 1915 Shingle-style house just outside Portland. Though no one has lived in The Rectory for more than a year, a cadre of professionals has already brought the place back to life: It's in superb condition and I can't wait to learn all its secrets. On my last visit I discovered a fantastic zinc sink in the butler's pantry off the dining room. I'm hoping that when I press the call button on the wall of the master bedroom, a liveried butler will show up.
Thank you for all of your cards and e-mails and letters over the past three years, and for your support of Preservation. I've loved learning about challenges and opportunities with you and traveling to see the projects and places you've described. I look forward to seeing quite a few of them on the drive to New England—including some of the National Trust Historic Sites you'll read about in this issue.
If you decide to hit the road yourself and drive as far as Maine, I hope you'll go to Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It's a preservation success story—purchased by the town from the federal government in 1964 and cherished today by residents and visitors because of several historic structures and 90 acres of open space. If you get there early in the morning, perhaps we'll run into one another. I won't be difficult to spot. I'll be the guy with a rolled-up copy of Preservation in my back pocket, chasing after the English setter without a care in the world.
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