Celebrating Virtual Preservation Month

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May 26, 2020


Timothy J. McClimon, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility

With many historic sites closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to celebrate Preservation Month, traditionally recognized in May, has been a challenge. To help people experience these important places in the age of social distancing, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is hosting a Virtual Preservation Month featuring a variety of digital and online experiences with iconic houses, museums, public spaces and artist studios across the country – supported by American Express.

The month began with a virtual tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, Virginia. One of Wright’s so-called Usonian homes, this single-story structure reflected the architect’s desire to build affordable and well-designed homes for average Americans. Built in 1939, the Pope-Leighey House is owned and operated by the National Trust. It features a carport, recessed and enclosed lighting, clerestory windows, a flat roof and open floor plan. 

The second day featured a concert featuring Greensboro singer Vanessa Ferguson from the childhood home of activist and musician Nina Simone. Located in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone’s home is being restored and re-imagined by the National Trust and Come Hear North Carolina. The concert was produced as part of the In The Water program, a live session series that highlights some of the places that inspire musicians from North Carolina. Proceeds from the concert benefitted the campaign to restore the home.

And, day three featured Route 66, one of the most famous and celebrated highways in the country. Spanning from Chicago to Los Angeles, and chock full of art deco motels, funky museums and coffee shops, old fashioned service stations, and quirky landmarks, Route 66 has been memorialized in pop songs, movies and family photos since it was commissioned in 1926. Explore sites along the way through the aid of Google Earth and get your kicks on Route 66.

Other featured sites include the Rockefeller Estate Kykuit in Tarrytown, New York; the Alice Austen House on Staten Island; Villa Finale in San Antonio; the walled gardens of Filoli in Woodside, California; and the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio in East Hampton, Long Island.

Visitors to the National Trust site can sign up to unlock a virtual experience every day  so take a moment to explore (and support) some of the nation’s most important and memorable historic sites during Virtual Preservation Month from the comfort of your own home. 

Portions of this blog post first appeared on Forbes.

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