March 2, 2017

Heart Bombs 2017: Fun With Friends

  • By: Jared Foretek
Southside Turnverein Hall in Indianapolis, Indiana

photo by: Dawn Olsen

Preserve Greater Indy heart bombed Southside Turnverein Hall and other historic places in Indianapolis.

It's been a joy to highlight all the inspiring preservationists who took part in heart bombing events this February. We've loved it all; the people, places, and, of course, all that pink.

So for our final installment of 2017's heart bombs, we're sharing the stories of the amazing folks who got together in groups, pounded the pavement for the cause of preservation, and wrote in to tell us about it.

See you next year!

Indianapolis, Indiana

There was no stopping the passionate folks of Preserve Greater Indy this year. They went to a whopping ten sites throughout the Indianapolis area.

Dawn Olsen wrote: "Most of Preserve Greater Indy’s featured properties are vacant, but even those that are occupied—such as the Southside Turnverein Hall—need repair. Of the ten buildings that were heart bombed, three were theaters: the RIvoli Theatre, the first Universal Studios-owned theater in Indiana; Talbott Street Theatre, which was a haven for the LGBT community and closed in June 2016; and the Ritz Theatre, which has been mostly empty since 1972."

Tucker, Georgia

Preservationists of all ages gathered to shower a historic courthouse with hearts.

Christy Atkins wrote: "The Browning Courthouse, the original seat of Browning Militia District 572, is a unique connection to the Tucker community's past. Active as a DeKalb County Circuit Court from 1860 until the mid-1960s, it has since become a familiar landmark that houses local artifacts, photographic displays, and tales of Tucker history. As it is the last remaining of 11 such courthouses in the county, it is a landmark to be preserved, and a quiet reminder that the character of a small town can be lost forever."

Newburgh, New York

The Newburgh Community Land Bank hosted "LoveThatLot" to bring attention to their work restoring vacant properties.

Diana Mangaser wrote: "Our team spent the morning walking and spreading the love around the city by 'heart- bombing' properties which we have sold that are on their way to revitalization!"

Rochester, New York

The Landmark Society of Wesetern New York's Young Urban Preservationists showed off some serious creativity at two buildings: 6 Madison Street and the Pulaski Library.

Caitlin Meives wrote: "We partnered with the Northeast Neighborhood Community Council and St. Stanislaus Kostka Church across the street to teach the children attending the weekend Polish School about the building’s history and about the value of historic preservation. We asked the kids, 'What do you think this building could be?' The most popular response? A birthday cake factory. We then worked with the kids to make some adorable valentines. We love the Pulaski Library because, along with many neighbors, we see opportunity for this building to once again become a fixture in the community and to serve residents in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Who knows, maybe it could even be a birthday cake factory someday."

Commerce, Georgia

Katie Griffin, Frances Byrd, and Rena Cantrell are trying to repurpose a number of old buildings in Commerce for art space and more.

Byrd wrote: "The city of Commerce is a jewel of historic beauty and potential. The remaining buildings of the original main street that once bustled with commerce are the center point to beautiful historic homes throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. People who own many of these homes have or are in the process of restoring them. ... I want to set an example for the community and highlight the potential that is being squandered in the neglected and abandoned buildings around town. I want to save one, restore it to its previous beauty, and hopefully spark a community-wide effort at historic preservation."

C.S.P.S. Hall in Saint Paul, Minnesota

photo by: Judy Aubrecht

C.S.P.S. Hall in Saint Paul, Minnesota

photo by: Judy Aubrecht

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Saint Paul's Česko-Slovanský Podporující Spolek (C.S.P.S.) Hallbuilt in 1887is in use and thriving, but the community it serves loves it so much they went ahead and heart bombed it anyway.

Judy Aubrecht wrote: "Many members of Sokol Minnesota have their love of the hall grounded in ancestors who helped to establish the C.S.P.S. Hall, or their parents met at a dance, party, or ethnic dinner years ago at the hall. Others love the hall because of specific activities, including gymnastics, children and adult ethnic dance groups, language classes, ethnic dinners, or special events, such as a recent visit by the prime minister of the Czech Republic."

City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont

photo by:

Burlington, Vermont

Local history-lovers braved the elements and brought attention to their efforts to preserve Burlington's City Hall Park, which dates back to the late 18th century.

Carolyn Bates wrote: "We LOVE our City Hall Park!"

Jared Foretek enjoys historic train stations, old bars, and interesting public spaces, he was an editorial intern at the National Trust.

Join the movement to save and sustain historic African American places. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help every American see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and national cultural landscape.

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