Architectural Preservationist Stanley Lowe on Community Revitalization.

Submitted by Cleveguy75 on Mon, 04/04/2005 - 14:20.

On Saturday , April 4, 2005, Mr. Stanley Lowe, Vice President for Community Revitalization at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, spoke about the preservation of historic architecture at the Mount Zion Congregational Church. His message was one of education, perseverance, and hope.

Mr. Lowe explained how he transformed his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood from a dilapidated low income neighborhood to a respected historic community. Abandoned by the mass exodus of white flight from the area after several race riots, many would have allowed the historic structures present there to fall into disrepair and eventually be razed only to be replaced by low quality buildings or vacant lots. Through education and perseverance Mr. Lowe was able to discover a practical and effective way not only to preserve the historic buildings in his neighborhood but also to restore them to their original condition.

He began his project by educating himself on architectural preservation. This not only involved consulting reference materials but also touring different cities and speaking with individuals who had restored buildings in their neighborhoods to determine how they were able to complete their projects. Mr. Lowe learned that funding was available from various sources for restoring historic architecture and set out to apply his knowledge to his own neighborhood. After explaining how he began his project, beginning with his first building, he educated the audience on various resources for funding, and showed slides of his restored neighborhood which is currently a national marvel.

Mr. Lowe stressed that any resource is a valuable resource, and perseverance is key. His project took decades, and though there were rough spots its completion is an epitome of the philosophy that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. He also stressed that funding is available for them regardless of where these buildings are located.

For more information, view the Cleveland Restoration Society’s website at www.clevelandrestoration.org.

- Jim Henry

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As an aspiring architect

As an aspiring architect myself, it's interesting to hear about the views and opinions of one so respected as Mr. Lowe. I had been googling Mr. Lowe and found your site.