A People-Centered Preservation Movement
David Brown, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will examine recent work that seeks to identify and understand the broader stories of the country’s narrative while also using technology and data to back the argument that old buildings support affordable, inclusive neighborhoods and commercial corridors. Work from the Trust’s Preservation Green Lab will be showcased within the context of the organization’s Preservation for People: A Vision for the Future (2016).
A preservation movement that honors diverse stories, nurtures sustainable communities, and collaborates with new partners can foster human flourishing. At a critical moment in the country’s history—when divisions have brought place, memory, and emotion to the forefront of our national conversation—what role can a people-centered preservation movement play in healing those divisions?
David J. Brown—with four decades of experience in saving historic places and supporting thriving communities—leads the National Trust’s comprehensive preservation efforts as Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer. He oversees the organization’s National Treasure, Historic Sites, ReUrbanism, and Leadership Advocacy efforts, all with a focus on putting people at the center of preservation. David successfully led the organization’s work on a Vision for Preservation’s Future (2017) and the $135 million Campaign for America’s Historic Places (1999-2003).
Prior to joining the Trust, David served as the founding executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia. The Alliance produced one of the nation’s first studies on preservation’s economic impact, which led to a successful statewide campaign for rehabilitation tax credits. Since 1997, almost $1 billion in credits has led to $3 billion in private investment and the rehabilitation of more than 2,300 buildings in Virginia.
David’s board appointments have included service as chairman of the Governor’s Commission to Study Historic Preservation in Virginia, and trustee of The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, the International National Trusts Organisation, the National Main Street Center, and Filoli.