Young preservationists celebrate rust belt

Jul 17, 2017
Originally published on July 16, 2017 11:46 am

Young preservationists from all across the rust belt gathered in Rochester to discuss the preservation movement.

The Rust Belt Take Over was hosted by the Landmark Society's Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs). Over 3 days, groups toured Rochester and shared stories of preservation in their cities.

Caitlin Meives is the co-founder of the YUPs in Rochester and said this meet up happens every year.

"We talk to each other, see what everyone’s doing and explore different cities because that’s what we're all about. Celebrating cities and communities and seeing what’s great about each city and what are the different challenges each city has."

She said it’s important to invest in this network and to create a support system to be able to access when these challenges arise.

"When we have a problem, we can say hey, has anyone ever encountered this before? What have you done? We're like a big support group for one another because in these cities we all kind of have the same problems."

Those problems include disinvestment and people returning to city centers. Meives said although the latter is a good thing, it presents its own success and challenges. Many cities along the rust belt also share similar 19th and 20th century industrial architecture.

It’s also great Meives said, to share ideas and success stories. While Rochester holds their annual Bikes, Beers and Buildings scavenger hunt, Pittsburgh is working on a preservation podcast with local middle schools and Columbus has been re-laying bricks with kids on a historical sidewalk.

Tours of Rochester preservation included the Times Square building downtown, the Mount Hope neighborhood and Lower Falls.