Read their responses to the question: Why HSI?
Lori Boudo - I have lived in Salem for 20 years now and was first attracted to this great city because of its ‘oldness’—in its architecture, its history and it’s lifelong residents. As a volunteer for Christmas in Salem, I’ve become more acquainted with the mission of Historic Salem and am inspired to learn more and do more for this city I love. I am particularly interested in the history of Black Americans in Salem and proudly participated as a volunteer and contributor for ‘Salem’s Black Heritage’, a self-guided audio tour. Thanks for the opportunity to serve in this way.
Colleen Brewster - As a child, every three weeks my family and I would travel to Virginia to visit my grandmothers’ side of the family where we had a second home. At 8 years old I vividly remember helping my grandfather install vinyl siding and being disappointed that he would only let me work on the areas I could reach from the ground. I had so much fun helping him work on the house that I knew ‘this’ is was what I wanted to do when I grew up. I continued to be his helper and worked my way up from holding the flashlight, passing him tools, and hammering, to helping him cut and install the porcelain tile floor in his basement. It has been nearly 20 years and that floor is still in great shape.
My family and I would also visit my godfather on Martha’s Vineyard throughout my childhood and beyond, so I’ve been appreciative of the charm New England has to offer for quite some time. In 2002 I moved to Massachusetts to continue my education in Architecture, quickly fell in love with the area, and decided to stay. Although I no longer live in Salem, I’ve worked in this City since 2005. If there is one thing I’ve developed in that time, it’s a passion for preservation, restoration, and the use of historically accurate materials. I’ve also spent nearly 5 years recording minutes for multiple Salem Boards and Commissions, and I’ve seen projects of all types seeking approval, and even presented a few of my own projects on behalf of my clients at Gray Architects.
The built environment is always one of the first things to catch my eye when I travel, and I’d like to believe the architecture that surrounds us is at least one of the reasons why visitors travel to Salem, not just for the witches, ghost tours, and Hocus Pocus filming locations. While some rehabilitation and renovation projects are necessary due to age, deterioration, or code requirements, many are completed for modern conveniences; a family room with enough wall space for the big screen TV, creating an en suite so you don’t have to share the bathroom with the kids, adding an HVAC condenser unit, etc. These structures and subsequent additions tell the story of their evolution and those histories need to be preserved using appropriate methods that retain the integrity of these structures.
If it were not for organizations like HSI working with local Boards and Commissions, many of the existing historically or architecturally significant buildings that surround us would have either disappeared long ago or be barely recognizable today. HSI provides another level of oversight that pushes for higher standards of quality design that will enrich the neighborhood, take the context of the surroundings into consideration, and insist upon the respect for the districts that have been preserved. A preservation group with these goals is a organization that I would be proud to be affiliated with.
Amanda Eddy - I am a young and passionate Salem State University public history graduate. Homegrown in Salem, this city has always been a constant in my life. From a young age, history has been my passion. As soon as I learned about HSI's mission, I knew I had to join in and help however I could. I feel as an active member of the historic preservation community in Salem, I'm going to make a great addition. I hope to add some new ideas, and I'm excited to hear about other plans and ideas from other passionate historians. I have been taking Christmas in Salem tours since age 6 and have been a volunteer and house captain for at least two years. I also write house histories for HSI which is my favorite part! I love being able to not only contribute to the organization and share my talents, but also continue to learn more and more about the houses that I am surrounded by in my daily life. I love HSI because we have the same goal - historic preservation. To keep our city's heritage and history alive. I appreciate this opportunity to be a part of HSI's board for the next few years to come and I hope I can make a youthful difference!
Jessica Herbert - Preservation is not something that I choose to do over something else—It’s a systemic drive that has been the focus of my life as early as I can remember. As a young child, I was drawn to the historic homes of Virginia, including my ancient family home on the point of land at the head of Hampton Roads. Herbert House, circa 1753 is a brick Georgian mansion which sits adjacent to the site where Black Beard (Edward Teach), the infamous 18th century pirate’s severed head was mounted on a pole at that point where the Hampton and James Rivers meet.
This dramatic bit of history, along with many others of the Revolutionary & Civil War's surrounding battles, made Herbert House’s history and standing within the history of Hampton, Virginia all the more interesting to me growing up in its midst. In the late 1980s, the renovation of Herbert House became my obsession, for it had languished without care during much of the 20th century and was about to be razed by a developer who wanted to build a marina on its magnificent waterfront acreage. Despite being on the National Register, I found that it had no protection from the local historical commission. It was a monumental struggle to save it — lasting more than 20 years — but it is now fully restored, despite sharing the waterfront portion of its former land with the new millionaire-row marina.
My interest in working with HSI is a direct consequence of my experience with Herbert House, which has taught me how important it is to use all the tools available to educate and to save historic buildings and landscapes. Money and politics play an important role in preservation, and it is critical to be aware of where preservationists can have the most impactful and sustained influence if they are to be successful in preventing the loss of the historic fabric of their city through the ravages of poor and inappropriate renovations, and wholesale eradication.
I have spent 36 years in Salem, and I love this City! I started here with the complete restoration of an important Victorian mansion that had fallen into shameful ruin after many decades of neglect. Within 10 months of sustained and cherished effort, it retook its place as an important historic element of the McIntire Historic District. From there, I realized what my role could be in working to save Salem’s rapidly changing historic character. That role would develop over time, and eventually lead to serving on the Salem Historic Commission for 16 years, 10 years as Chair. I enjoyed creating partnerships with builders, homeowners, architects, attorneys, various non-profits (including HSI), for-profits, and related departments within the changing City administrations, resulting in the collaborative restoration of scores of historic buildings throughout the City.
I am honored to be a part of HSI, and support HSI’s efforts to expand and create new local historic districts in neighborhoods seeking these protections, and to work on an improved demolition delay ordinance. These protections will help maintain the historic character of Salem for future generations. HSI is the organization where I feel I can best share my skills, experience and passion for historic preservation.
Thank you to the nominating committee and the Board of Directors for this opportunity to be of service in the realm that I love.
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