Sunday, July 2, 2017

We need more young people and Millennials to become activists, help our City’s historic preservation.

There is nothing left at our Lake Worth Beach that’s historic any more.

However, there is plenty of very important history elsewhere in the little City of Lake Worth.

There was a time the Gulfstream Hotel stood tall in our Downtown. One of many was the New Year’s Gala on January 1st, 1942.
“Everything Florida Has — We Have”

Maybe it’s our Gulfstream Hotel, still an eyesore in our Downtown following all that excitement in January 2016, that stands a constant reminder what historic preservation cannot do. What needs to happen is not happening. We need more young people to get actively involved.

We need activists. Young people with the energy and the passion to carry the fight forward.

We need activists to take on the mis- and disinformation in the press that damages historic preservation efforts. The editor at The Palm Beach Post published this nonsense in a letter recently:

Real News Starts Here? “The Gulfstream Hotel should be taken back by the city. . .”.
The City cannot take over this historic hotel. It’s private property. But thanks to the editor at The Palm Beach Post how many believe our City can just take it back now?

You can better understand now the headwinds historic preservation faces. Going forward not only does the public need to be educated about historic preservation, but all the while mis- and disinformation is being fed the public at the same time.

The City is doing everything it possibly can like this new program, the “Historic Structure Marker Program”. There are volunteer groups getting involved and The Cottages of Lake Worth books and tours have been wildly successful bringing more attention to our City’s history. Maybe more media attention is needed, like what West Palm Beach’s historic planner Friederike Mittner did, going on the radio explaining why historic preservation is so beneficial.

Because despite all that’s been done thus far, the big problem remains:

The City of Lake Worth needs more young people to get involved, especially the Millennials.

This City is ever-evolving and a very unique place. I’m beginning to see new faces but it’s just not enough of an “emerging engagement” as a preservation expert is quoted later in this blog post:

It’s at the city level that you make decisions affecting preservation.

“But what about the Gulfstream Hotel?”
Picture taken in 2016, just prior to the City’s Street Painting Festival that year.

YOU HAVE A VOICE. Contact your elected officials and say,
“What can we do as citizens to get our historic hotel open again?

What will it take to create an “emerging engagement” here in our City?

“Closer to home, he [historic preservation consultant Donovan Rypkema] said, research indicates U.S. young people are showing an ‘emerging engagement’ in preservation efforts. He also noted a trend among leaders in ‘knowledge industries,’ including digital entrepreneurs, who are eager to house their companies in restored buildings. [emphasis added]
     Early in his talk, he emphasized how the success of preservation efforts often hinges on local activists working within their communities to influence policy-makers.
     ‘It’s at the city level that you make decisions affecting preservation,’ he said.”

Quote from this article in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka, The Shiny Sheet) dated January 14th, 2017 by reporter Darrell Hofheinz.

Have you considered becoming an activist? “[T]he success of preservation efforts often hinges on local activists working within their communities to influence policy-makers.”