William E. Schmickle
Preservation is more than old buildings and landscapes. It’s conflicts of interests and competing values. It’s politics.
Other folks—your neighbors and city officials—can agree with you on issues but still refuse to go along. Preservation is always personal, and passion rules more than reason.
Preservation politics is about assuring that we have an advantage over our opponents when we need it. It’s about having the greater influence in a fight and assuring solid support for the long haul.
What you need is the right political strategy to build a new sense of community within the reality of unending conflict—a strategy that will wed your interests to the interests of others who can help you succeed.
It’s a matter of principle and pragmatism. No one stands for preservation on firmer ground that the activist who finds a practical way to win.
If you want to save a legacy, designate a historic district or make your preservation organization more effective, then let’s talk about how I can help. Our first conversation is free.
Bill Schmickle is the author of The Politics of Historic Districts: A Primer for Grassroots Preservation (AltaMira Press, 2006). He has chaired the Annapolis, MD, Historic Preservation Commission since 2003 and was a co-founder of the Oak Ridge, NC, Historic District. Educated in politics at Davidson College, the University of Glasgow and Duke University, Bill is a former politics professor whose emphasis has been on the practical imperatives of winning…and doing a good job after that.