As many people have heard me say, “The best form of preservation is use.” I believe that we build ourselves into the world around us. Without our structures, sites, and buildings, we are physically and socially lost as a community. I started my career as an earthquake engineer, keeping historic buildings life-safe through seismic events. I learned that I love engineering, but it is only one small piece of the very big challenge of building reuse. From there, I started to add as many skills as I could – like policy, real estate finance, and advocacy – to create a more comprehensive toolbox for historic building redevelopment. In 2011, I started New History as an integrated consulting practice. Today, we are a national leader in historic building redevelopment.
My core convictions
Historic building redevelopment requires both a depth of specialized expertise as well as a wide breadth of general knowledge: it takes a team.
Material preservation, as we practice today, overlooks many people and communities. It is time for historic preservation, as a field, to embrace new tools and new, additional stories.
Use is the best form of preservation.