A VISION FOR CIVIC CONSERVATION

 

Civic Conservation is a progressive and civic-minded preservation movement called for by citizens in Historic Districts around the world, as well as those calling for the creation of new Districts on these principles. We have come together to provide an alternative to the Modernist preservation philosophy that currently dominates the professional preservation industry, which is diminishing the character of our Historic Districts, and if continued could lead to their eventual loss and destruction.

Civic Conservation promotes diversity and true plurality of choice by returning to the original intention of Historic Districts, which is as sanctuaries for the continued practice of traditional architecture. We are inspired by the early grass-roots preservation pioneers who created the Area Approach which - in the early days of Modernism in America - instead of trying to prevent the spread of Modernism in the architecture profession, cordoned off small areas of exemplary traditional architectural beauty to preserve as traditional building or "historic" districts. 

Civic Conservation recognizes that change is both inevitable and desirable and works to ensure that Historic Districts achieve progress while maintaining the character of place that makes the area special.  We do this by preserving not only the individual buildings in a District, but also the principles that made these districts special in the first place.  We aim to achieve Sustainable Communities through the application of the traditional principles of Walkable Urbanism, Durable Architecture, and the Local Building Arts.

Civic Conservation Standards:

 

Harmony in the Historic District

We call for a return to the original intention of Historic Districts and the proper enforcement of their Ordinances. Purposefully jarring, anti-traditional architecture is prohibited in Historic Districts. Architectural harmony will be encouraged in Historic Districts by promoting localism, sustainability and beauty.

Healing the Historic District  

Ugly, non-contributing, and badly built buildings as well as fragmenting town planning interventions will not be preserved. Non-contributing buildings will be kept in place only until a better replacement is proposed.

Historic District as Haven  

Traditional urbanism, traditional architecture, and traditional building arts are informed by the principles that built our Historic Districts. Historic Districts are to act as havens for these principles without which we cannot preserve the old nor make anything new worth preserving.

Humane Historic Districts

At their best, streets and squares are meeting places for fellow citizens.  When the streets are treated differently - as "arteries" or "corridors" for car traffic, for example  - it leads to the death of life on the street and a diminishment in a community's vibrancy. The daily life of the inhabitants of Historic Districts shall trump concerns such as, for example, the parking requirements of visitors. 

Non-Historic Historic Districts  

"Historic" refers to something dead and gone - part of history. New Civic Preservation views these districts not as historic, but as living, potentially thriving traditional building districts. Rather than Historic Districts, we're promoting Civic Conservation Districts.

 

 
 

250 Signers from 34 States, 24 Countries ... and counting!

 

Add your name!  

SIGN THE VISION:

 
First and Last.
Your village, town, city or district.

 

NOW, SHARE THE VISION!

 
 

SIGNED:

 

Christopher Liberatos, Charleston, SC

Jenny Bevan, Charleston, SC

Alice Tellis Critikos, Charleston, SC

Ted Stoney, Charleston, SC

Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman, Charleston, SC

Pierre Manigault, Charleston, SC

Thomas E. Thornhill, Charleston, SC

John Michel, Charleston, SC

Dana Beach, Charleston, SC

John Tecklenburg, Charleston, SC

Reid Burgess, Charleston, SC

Patrick Webb, Charleston, SC

Jack Handegan III, Charleston, SC

Clifford D Sillivant, Charleston, SC

Angela Webb, Charleston, SC

Kat Hillock, Charleston, SC

Neilson Wilkinson, Charleston, SC

Maurice H Thompson, Charleston, SC

Sharon Foxworthy, Charleston, SC

Lee Ivey, Charleston, SC

Brandon Upson, Eastside Community, Charleston, SC

PC Coker, Charleston, SC

Joshua Ivey, Charleston, SC

Thomas Bresnick, Charleston, SC

Suzannah Simmons, Charleston, SC

Jack Duncan, Charleston, SC

John Pope, Charleston, SC

Nathaniel Robert Walker, Charleston, SC

Mary Miller, Charleston, SC

Robert A. Condy, Charleston, SC

Harry Hofmann, Charleston, SC

Paul Roof, Charleston, SC

Peg Moore, Charleston, SC

Samuel Furr, Charleston, SC

Karen Berg, Charleston, SC

John A Wilson, Charleston, SC

Mary Gilsenan, Charleston, SC

David Grant, Charleston, SC

Bill Carson, Charleston, SC

Vincent Graham, Charleston, SC

Jack Simmons, Charleston, SC

Juliana Falk, Charleston, SC

Glenda Nemes, Charleston, SC

Elizabeth Bradham, Charleston, SC

John Pelzer, Charleston, SC

Larry Sussberg, Charleston, SC

Jocelyn Chateauvert, Elliottborough, Charleston, SC

Benjamin Lenhardt, Jr., Charleston, SC

Elizabeth Saad, Charleston, SC

Rob Hanawalt, Charleston, SC

Erica Rowley, Charleston, SC

Richard von Werssowetz, Charleston, SC

Justin Tapp, Elliotborough, Charleston, SC

Erika Harrison, Charleston, SC

Cyrus Buffum, Westside Neighborhood, Charleston, SC

Maria Mansfield Richardson, Charleston, SC

Stefanie Bannister, Charleston, SC

Martin Gramling, Charleston, SC

Philip Bridwell, Charleston, SC

Susan Bridwell, Charleston, SC

Lauren Holmer, Charleston, SC

Mark Swick, Charleston, SC

Amanda Sapala, Charleston, SC

Kelly Woodward, Park Circle, North Charleston, SC

Nicolas Bell, West Ashley, Charleston, SC

Liz Stanton, Sullivan's Island, SC

Shay Molony, Sullivan's Island, SC

Harriet Smartt, Isle of Palms, SC

Shannon K. Gallagher Hall, Mount Pleasant, SC

Meghan Rowland, Mount Pleasant, SC

Kirkpatrick Sale, Mount Pleasant, SC

Debby Waid, Mt. Pleasant, SC

Thomas Mathewes, Isle of Palms, SC

Julie Hussey, North Charleston, SC

Roger Wood, Nexton, Summerville, SC

Mallory Baches, Beaufort, SC

Lauren Dillon, Columbia, SC

John Reyna, Coral Gables, FL

Andrés Duany, Miami, FL

Steve Mouzon, Miami Beach, FL

Jo-Anne Peck, Brooksville, FL

Elizabeth Dowdle, FL

Joe Stolfi, Saint Petersburg, FL

Steve Dombek, Saint Petersburg, FL

Chris Baker, Vero Beach, FL

Peter Coyle, Delray Beach, FL

Sheena Simmons, Gainesville, FL

Jon Ward, West Palm Beach, FL

Simon Hardt, Tampa, FL

Matt Foree, Marietta, GA

Claire Smith, Atlanta, GA

Arie Bettsack, Atlanta, GA

Helen Gordon, Atlanta, GA

Daniel Osborne, Atlanta, GA

Karen Ryan, Roswell, GA

Ellen Harris, Savannah, GA

Daniel Carey, Savannah, GA

Nick Palumbo, Savannah, GA

Southwick Briggs, Jackson, KY

Alan Cornett, Seven Parks Historic District, Lexington KY

Steven Semes, Notre Dame, IN

Cody James, New Palestine, IN

Ian Manire, Providence, RI

David Brussat, Providence, RI

Carroll Westfall, Richmond, VA

Daniela Wyatt-Shew, Richmond, VA

Erik Bootsma, Richmond, VA

Deborah Berg, Richmond, VA

Walter M. Dotts III, Richmond, VA

Jennie Dotts, Richmond, VA

David Rau, Richmond, VA

Deborah Fulton Rau, Richmond, VA

Gibson Worsham, Richmond, VA

Robert Warnock, Gravel Springs Farm, VA

Barbara H. Fields, Chesapeake, VA

William Deal, Jr., Norfolk, VA

Matt Fitzgerald, Staunton, VA

Nol Putnam, Flint Hill, VA

Bill Pinkham, Carrollton, VA

Claudia Harrison, Blacksburg, VA

Michael Rouchell, New Orleans, LA

Ann B Daigle, New Orleans, LA

George Schmidt, New Orleans, LA

Jacques Levet, Jr., New Orleans, LA

Sharon Lacey, Boston, MA

Bernard Franceschi, Boston (Brighton), MA

Aaron Helfand, Boston, MA

David Payne, Deerfield, MA

Eric Inman Daum, Shawsheen Village, Andover, MA

Carl L Close JR., Concord, MA

Mark Voigt, Nantucket, MA

Ken Firestone, Takoma Park, MD

Eric Aulbach, St. Louis, MO

Mary Campbell Gallagher, New York, NY

Joel Pidel, New York, NY

Anne Fairfax, New York, NY

Michael Geller, New York, NY

Stephen Chrisman, New York, NY

Ryan Hughes, New York, NY

Michael Patric McCarthy, Ames, NY

Erik Brown, Brooklyn, NY

Jeremy Woodoff, Brooklyn, NY

Clem Labine, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Anthony James, Buffalo, NY

James Howard Kunstler, Greenwich, NY

Lisa Welch, Syracuse, NY

Paddy Steinschneider, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Catherine Johnson, Middletown, CT

Steve Shriver, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Melissa Bleier, San Francisco, CA

Megan Leicht, San Francisco, CA

Caroline Swinehart, Fresno, CA

Richard Erganian, Fresno, CA

Charles Crowe, San Luis Obispo, CA

Justin Shubow, Washington, DC

Milton Wilfred Grenfell, Washington DC

Catesby Leigh, Washington DC

Rhyse Altman, Grand Rapids, MI

Gary Howe, Traverse City, MI

Christine G. H. Franck, Denver, CO

Sally Starr, Denver, CO

C. Fenno Hoffman, CO

Cosima Krueger-Cunningham, Boulder, CO

Braulio Casas, Seaside, FL by way of San Diego, CA

Greg Shue, Holden Beach, NC

Gail Wiesner, Raleigh, NC

Warren LeMay, Sylva, NC

Robert Sharp, Fayetteville, AR

David H. Ellison, Cleveland, OH

Susan Miller, Grant Deming Forest Hill Neighborhood, OH

Phillip Mohorich, Cleveland, OH

Catherine Podojil, Cleveland Heights, OH

Timothy Ferris, Brooklyn Centre, Cleveland, OH

Bethany L. Costilow, Cleveland, OH

Bruce F. Donnelly, Shaker Heights, OH

Gregory Colling, Exeter, NH

Doug Wilson, Little Deer Isle, ME

John Bliss Sr., Bath, ME

Ruth Ann Barrett, Portland, OR

Michael Mehaffy, Portland, OR

Tim Andersen, Seattle WA

David Wheeler, Ellensburg, WA

Richard J. Bono, York, PA

Matthew Gerken, West Chester, PA

Patrick Connors, Philadelphia, PA

Stephen Sonnenberg, Erie, PA

Douglas C Davis, Birmingham, AL

Christian Rogers, Birmingham, AL

Nikos Salingaros, San Antonio, TX

Hill Swift, Houston, TX

Chad Garrett North, El Paso, TX

Jorge E Calle, Plano, TX

Aaron Chupp, Mount Prospect, IL

Christopher C. Miller, Elgin, IL

Chad Cooper, Tulsa, OK

Robert L. Woodbury, Whitefish Bay, WI

Frank Verga, Jersey City, NJ

Marcus Hammonds, Montclair, NJ

Brooks McCabe, Charleston, WV

Christie Moore, North Ogden, UT

Edgar Modin, Stockholm, SWEDEN

Bo Lagerqvist, Stockholm, SWEDEN

Ole Settergren, Stockholm, SWEDEN

Carl Arvidsson, Karlstad, SWEDEN

Alexander Olin, Kista, SWEDEN

Adrian Bax, Malmö, SWEDEN

Bengt Hellborg, Lund, SWEDEN

Magnus Krook, Hasslebro, SWEDEN

Arianna Benigno, Åkarp, SWEDEN

John Giusto, North Holland, NETHERLANDS

Peter Drijver, The Hague, NETHERLANDS

Mieke Bosse, The Hague, NETHERLANDS

Mathias Agbo, Jr., Abuja, NIGERIA

Charles Boris Mañez, Las Piñas City, PHILIPPINES

Ismail Smaali, ALGERIA

Marilyn Williams, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

John William Laing, Kirkcaldy, SCOTLAND

Edward Taylor, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND

David Black, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND

Fabio Paoletti, Salara (RO), ITALIA

Luigi Del Sordo, Alba Adriatica, Abruzzo, ITALIA

André Bonfanti, Milano, ITALIA

Juan Antonio Ricci, Bologna, ITALIA

Tomasz Jelenski, Krakow, POLAND

Miliyan Radonyich, Panchevo, SERBIA

Milica Tanasijevic, Beograd, SERBIA

Iulia Codoban, ROMANIA

Thomas Hoepfner, London, UK

Jan Hauger, London, UK

Alireza Sagharchi, London, UK

Andreas Tolfsen, Blackheath, London, UK

Erik Mitchell, Dingle, IRELAND

Brian Hamilton, Thomastown, County Kilkenny, IRELAND

Erik Mitchell, Minard West, County Kerry, IRELAND

Maria Sanchez, GUATEMALA

Bart Maiorana, Manningham, South Australia, AUSTRALIA

Fay Edwards, Breadalbane, AUSTRALIA

Chad McMan, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

Crystal V Filep, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND

Audun Engh, Oslo, NORWAY

Jan Bojer Vindheim, Trondheim, NORWAY

Marjo Uotila, Kaarina, FINLAND

Alfred Oglaend, Purmamarca, ARGENTINA

Thomas Alberter, Regensburg, Bavaria, GERMANY

Adam Berry, Berlin, GERMANY

Pedro Paulo Palazzo, Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL

Rafael Souza, Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL

Álvaro Heringer, Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL

Paul du Mesnil du Buisson, Versailles, FRANCE 

Léon Krier, LUXEMBOURG

 

 

 

 

"Great cause, and timely!"

- Dana Beach, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League 

 

 

 

"You are 100% spot-on. Saving individual buildings is not enough. Emphasis must be on preserving the unique special character of entire districts or neighborhoods. Adversarial, anti-traditional architecture has no place in Civic Conservation Districts."

- Clem Labine, founder of Old-House JournalClem Labine’s Traditional Building, and Clem Labine’s Period Homes.

 

 

 

"Congratulations on creating not just another website, but a movement. This is the message that the historic preservation community around the world needs to hear. Wishing you success in changing the rules of preservation--or, rather, returning them to the game we all thought we were joining when we first signed up!"

- Steven Semes, Author of The Future of the Past, and Director of Preservation at the University of Notre Dame.

 

 

 

"This is the vision that is needed to preserve the beauty of cities and towns - that of it which remains - and to regenerate the spirit needed to create it anew."

- David Brussat, Architecture critic and former member of the Providence Journal's editorial board.

 

 

 

"Your vision is commendably Aristotilean - a life of excellence lived in community."

- Milton Grenfell, Architect and Board Member of the National Civic Arts Society

 

 

 

"Beautiful."

-Cody James, Stone Carving Student at the American College of the Building Arts.

 

 

 

"People don't choose to live in historic districts because they love modern architecture. Review boards need to understand that and stop insisting on "contemporary" design in places where it doesn't belong. It undermines the character that drew people to those houses and these areas in the first place."

-Jennie Dotts, Partner at Old House Diaries

 

 

 

"Fantastic Vision for caring about our community. "

- Thomas Bresnick, Charleston, SC

 

 

 

"What a wonderful statement, web site, and vision. You provide a great example for those of us about to launch the American Association for the Preservation of Paris (APP). You think the historic areas there are safe? Not with the current administration. We must fight for beauty and civility."

- Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D, President of Americans for the Preservation of Paris

 

 

 

"Thank you for valuable perspective."

- Maurice H. Thompson, Charleston, SC

 

 

 

"Kudos on the great work on this. Thank you for taking on this most critical mission and righting the wrongs so our future does not have to live with our mess."

- Christine Franck, Director, Contemporary Traditional Architecture Initiatives at the University of Colorado, Denver.

 

 

 

"Bravo!"

-Hill Swift, Houston TX

 

 

 

"While the fashion (and the easy way out) is to construct for the present, we must build and conserve for the future! Not unsurprisingly, a more comprehensive vision encompasses the past, too. Thank you for articulating this broader and deeper approach to the built environment's relationship with time."

- Caroline Swinehart, Fresno, CA

 

 

 

"Awesome work! Thanks for working to save the integrity of the art that personifies our rich Charleston heritage." 

- Brandon Upson, Eastside Community, Charleston, SC

 

 

 

"Totally agree."

- Anthony James, Buffalo, NY

 

 

 

"Thank you for taking up the torch for leading this much needed movement!"

- Aaron Chupp, Mount Prospect, IL

 

 

 

 

"Having now seen the ancient corridors of Atlantis, it's clear that civic conservation is the proven route to the future.  OLD PLACES ROCK!!!"

- John Giusto, North Holland, NETHERLANDS

 

 

 

"This is a much needed and welcomed alternative to the present dire situation and iconic hegemony. I look forward to receiving news about A Vision for Civic Conservation and the Civic Conservation Districts. Also, how individuals can participate in the contemporary Architecture Beautiful Movement."

- Patrick Connors, Philadelphia, PA

 

 

 

"Big thanks for this wonderful platform! Inspiration for us, aspiring architects, to promote progressive traditional architecture."

- Charles Boris Mañez, Las Piñas City, PHILIPPINES

 

 

 

"Great website. Learned a lot."

- Erica Rowley, Charleston, SC

 

 

 

"As Woody Guthrie said, Take it easy, but take it."

- Kilpatrick Sale, Mount Pleasant, SC

 

 

 

"It is very important to me to find other people who live and like me are committed to living in my particular locale--Greater Boston. This is a great movement but this vision must be incarnated by real people working together in real time in real places in as many different aspects of life in particular places as possible. All involved must feed and support one another in this convergent enterprise."

- Bernard Franceschi, Boston (Brighton), MA