On Friday 19 May, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Council of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to our offices in Grosvenor Gardens. They were on a visit to London taking in secret gardens and hidden gems. The trip culminated in a drinks party with INTO and the National Trust, hosted by Fiona Reynolds.
In her remarks, Fiona firstly spoke about meeting David Brown at the International Conference of National Trusts in Edinburgh in 2003. She thanked him and NTHP wholeheartedly for all they had done towards and since the establishment of INTO. She mentioned the 2005 Conference they hosted in Washington and her meeting with Stephanie Meeks, now President of NTHP but then at the Nature Conservancy.
Fiona ended with a quote from NTHP President, Jackson Walter, who gave an address entitled: “The Future of our Past: The National Trust, Public Policy and Community Revitalisation in the United States” at the 1986 ICNT in England.
In fact, we have the whole speech in our files at Grosvenor Gardens and its is excellent. Jackson Walter talked about Jane Jacobs’ work in Greenwich Village, Ann Pamela Cunningham’s fight to save Mount Vernon and the evolution of a legislative framework to protect and preserve America’s historic resources. He mentions the – then fairly new – Main Street Program, which must have really inspired our ICNT delegates.
But it is this quote that resonates particularly. “Because we are such a young nation, we have to think long and hard about common, ordinary things: How can we build safe streets? What makes a neighborhood? What makes a city work in real life? How can we promote social and economic vitality? And for preservationists, what parts can our past play in today’s events and tomorrow’s hopes?”
INTO had the great privilege of partnering with INTBAU (the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism) at their 2016 Congress.
INTBAU is dedicated to the creation of humane and harmonious buildings and places which respect local traditions. Furthermore, their 2001 Charter talks of traditions which “allow us to recognise the lessons of history, enrich our lives and offer our inheritance to the future”. Traditions through which communities can retain their individuality in the advance of globalisation and which “preserve our sense of identity and counteract social alienation”.
Lastly, Stephanie underlined the links between the three organisations – INTO, the National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She spoke about a great working partnership and strong connections developed over the years. And that’s, after all, what it’s all about …
Read more about the INTBAU Congress in Catherine’s blog.