National Preservation Month – May 2023

National Preservation Month in May is the time of the year when numerous historical societies, the government, and preservation groups join forces to promote the importance of preserving historical places. Many times, wealthy individuals who love art and culture, as well as businesses, join the preservation cause since a city that is rich in heritage is bound to benefit the economy in the long run. If you have also realized how important our heritage is, use this month to promote the cause. Your efforts may save many old structures from crumbling apart.

History of National Preservation Month

Exemplary heritage sites and cultural landmarks exist across the world. Unfortunately, not all nations realize how important the preservation of heritage sites are. For instance, many developing countries let important historic buildings suffer the test of time. On the other hand, developed nations dedicate time and money to preservation. This is because historians have realized the importance of heritage sites decades back, and have also joined forces to promote preservation.

In 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston was founded to educate people and make them aware of the importance of preserving heritage sites. After the efforts of the society, Charleston became the first city to pass a local zoning ordinance that protected historic buildings. The zoning ordinance was later used by numerous regions across the U.S. to preserve heritage sites. The first National Preservation Week, however, was celebrated in 1973, from May 6 to May 12. The idea was pitched in 1972 by Donald T. Sheehan, a member of the Trustees Advisory Committee on Membership & Public Relations. He believed the week would encourage local and state preservation. However, in 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation extended the week to a month to promote historic places and heritage tourism correctly.

Preservation of these sites is important to preserve history, customs, and the identity of a nation. These sites help in differentiating one nation from the other. For instance, the Colosseum in Rome stands tall as a historical landmark that explains the traditions of ancient Rome.

National Preservation Month timeline

146 B.C.
Setting An Example

Scipio Aemilianus conquers Carthage and returns works of art to Sicily.

1560
New Rules

An Elizabethan proclamation forbids defacing or breaking of monuments of Antiquity.

1845
Act It Up

Protection of Works of Art and Scientific and Literary Collections Act is formed.

1972
The Movement

The World Heritage Convention is created.

National Preservation Month FAQs

What does preserving mean?

Preserving is to keep something safe from injury or destruction.

What is the noun of preserve?

It is the act of keeping something in its original state.

What things can you preserve?

You can preserve your body by eating healthy, and you can also preserve buildings and artifacts.

How to Observe National Preservation Month

  1. Visit a museum

    During this month, arrange visits to different museums across the city with friends or kids in your family. This is essential to show everyone why preserving our culture and heritage is important.

  2. Visit a heritage site

    To truly enjoy the month, visit one of your favorite heritage sites and bask in the glory of the past. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to further promote the cause on social media.

  3. Talk about conservation

    If you want people to be more concerned about preserving the heritage of a country, design posters, write articles and make videos to discuss why this is essential. Start posting away on social media!

5 Facts About Historic Preservation

  1. The investments

    Over $800 million is invested annually in New York’s historic buildings.

  2. Jobs created

    9,000 jobs are created in historic preservation in New York alone.

  3. Historical landmarks in the U.S.

    There are over 2,600 National Historic Landmarks.

  4. The oldest subway

    The Tremont Street Subway was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

  5. The popularity of historic preservation

    The term "historic preservation" did not become popular until the 1960s.

Why National Preservation Month is Important

  1. It encourages preservation

    Due to this month, people begin to realize why the heritage of each nation is important. This pushes the government and other societies to raise funds to preserve the heritage.

  2. Exposes people to heritage sites

    With this month, many heritage spots that are rich in history are reintroduced to people of all ages. The story behind each building is promoted and this leads to an overall increase in tourism.

  3. Generates income

    The month generates income for people since it encourages many to visit the heritage sites that exist in the country. The month also increases the income of heritage tour guides.

National Preservation Month dates

YearDateDay
2022May 1Sunday
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
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