Why Do Old Places Matter Acoma Sky City, San Esteban del Rey Mission Church
March 30, 2020

Sacred Places: A Virtual Tour Through Four National Trust Historic Sites

As you may know, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 27 historic sites are currently closed to keep staff and visitors safe as people all over the world are doing their parts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

But just because these places are closed to physical visitation does not mean you can't tour them on your phone, tablet, or computer. In this, the first of a seven-part “virtual tour” of our historic sites, I’ll be taking you on a journey to the sacred and religious sites among the portfolio—four places that represent the history of southwestern Pueblos (Acoma Sky City), post-colonial-era African Americans (two sites of the Museum of African American History), and early Jewish residents of Newport, Rhode Island (Touro Synagogue).

As a nation, our defining characteristics include religious tolerance, and at a time when people are shut out from their houses of worship, instead streaming religious ceremonies online, we hope this virtual tour is a reminder not only that we live in a country with rich history and diverse faiths, but that we share collective values.

In the coming weeks, we'll continue with our virtual tours of National Trust Historic Sites, exploring places related to Commerce and Industry, Garden Glory, Architectural Traditions, Presidential Retreats, Modernism, and Southern History. See you next time.

Looking for an opportunity to take direct action on behalf of a sacred place? The National Fund for Sacred Places, a program of Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust, helps ensure that America’s sacred spaces continue to serve their communities’ materials and spiritual needs. This mission becomes even more significant during crises like the one we currently face. If you know of a congregation in need of support, learn more and apply by April 22, 2020 for a chance to help the community steward its house of worship.

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Dennis Hockman is editor in chief of Preservation magazine. He’s lived in historic apartments and houses all over the United States and knows that all old buildings have stories to tell if you care to find them.

Announcing the 2020 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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