historic building New YorkThe preservation advocacy groups in New York fight unwise development, public apathy, & inadequate funding for preservation projects & education. Though they fight a good fight, with many wins under their belts, they need your help.

Participating in preservation groups is the way that you can help. Does it hurt your heart when you see an old building go under the wrecking ball? Adding your voice can make a difference.

Look to see who’s in your area. And if I’m missing one, let me know!


preservation advocacy group New York Preservation League of NYSPreservation League of NYS

The Preservation League of NYS is the statewide nonprofit preservation advocacy group for New York which protects the state’s historic structures & landscapes through community revitalization while supporting wise economic growth.

They advocate for intelligent public polices, support historic tax credits, deliver education through workshops & seminars, & speak in the media advancing the awareness of the benefits of preservation throughout the state.


preservation advocacy groups in New York Beachside BungalowsBeachside Bungalows Preservation Association

The dedicated folks of the Beachside Bungalows Preservation Association love bungalows & are dedicated to their preservation.

I think it’s love;y!



preservation advocacy groups New York Landmark SocietyLandmark Society of Western New York

The Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc., is one of the most well-established & effective, preservation advocacy groups in New York. They focus on nine counties in western New York

The Landmark Society’s service area covers nine counties in western New York in their work to promote preservation & intelligent use of their historic & cultural resources.


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The 2 greatest gifts my mother gave me, a love of art & an huge affinity for things old, gave me my third gift, historic preservation activism in my bungalow neighborhood. This is an article I wrote for my neighborhood association newsletter many long years ago.


My husband & I often walk in the evening, sometimes on our block, sometimes on other blocks of bungalows. We meet many of our neighbors, walking the dog, or imploring the pink-helmeted young one to get off her scooter & come in for her bath and bedtime tale.

Womens-sufferage-historpc-activismAs we stroll, we see blue flickering lights in the windows of too many houses. We speak of decades past when life was lived, & not merely observed. It seems that every grandmother participated in improving the world around her. Some had some exceptional talents, be it baking or knitting, or growing roses & these talents were freely offered in aiding the community- women’s clubs, bake sales, school plays, garden clubs. Some worked to change the community, advocating for children’s & women’s rights. We choose to live in old neighborhoods because we wish to recapture some of the warm community spirit of those past decades.

The best thing about neighborhood activism is that you meet wonderful & talented people like yourself & you have a great time. These people are well-known & broadly loved for their contributions. They decided to do something to improve our environment & then did it. An inclusive group, their doors & hearts are open to receive you, your talents & help-whatever they may be.

Another great thing is that it creates a small town environment for you. The world becomes a less anonymous place because you see people you know at the grocery store, the post office & just driving the street. You become part of a community.


Join your neighborhood organization. Their websites & Facebook pages should give you enough information to see what they have that could interest you. Send in your membership application & your check (Your money pays for the mailings that keep you informed of local activities & interests.) & count yourself amongst those who make a difference. Attend general meetings, & events.

Love old houses? Many bungalow neighborhood have historic preservation committees & help ensure the survival of our wonderful vintage buildings. Ours was very active & we produced many events with local & national guest speakers & even a historic documentary film about the neighborhood! Many old bungalow neighborhoods have been revitalized in the past couple of decades, turning from blighted, crime-ridden areas to beautiful streets of proud homeowners. In almost every one, this was accomplished through the intelligent & hard work of those in the association. A number of them worked with low-income families who were in danger of being uprooted, to take them out of often unsafe, derelict housing, & established improved housing for them.

Additionally, participation allows you to take ownership of a greater sphere. These grassroots activities can create effects at city, county & state levels & can actually even impact decisions made by the fed’s, such as highways built with federal funds.


Historic-bungalow-on-neighborhood-preservationist--home-tourThese images are from our first Eclectic Eagle Rock Home Tour, one of the best days of my entire life! The first one is one of the homes on the tour, the Hanson Puthoff House, a meticulously restored bungalow build by one of the foremost painters of the Plein Air Movement.

This house is truly a time machine. The kitchen is an authentic as one would find in a house museum & beautifully designed because the owners of the house are artists themselves. I had invited (cajoled, begged, pleaded, harrassed the editor of American Bungalow Magazine to the tour & they chose this house to feature in Issue 28. The tour goers were fascinated to learn the history of the house, from the life of Puthuff, through the years that it housed a sweatshop, with the workers stashed at night in the crawspace’ through the beautiful work done by the current owners. The lovely stone column with the lamp atop looks like it has always been there, but in fact was newly crafted & is featured on the cover of Jane Powell’s BUNGALOW DETAILS: EXTERIOR.  

Elderly-man-talking-to-younger-woman-at-bungalow-neighborhood-historic-preservation-eventThis last image shows a pair in rapt conversation. He grew up in Eagle Rock in its early years & was telling her tales of his life there as a boy. We had invited several town elders to attend the tour & people stood in line to converse with them. I curse myself that in this neighborhood of film industry professionals, I did not have the foresight to produce a historic documentary film while we still had these folks around, or at least film the tour. So glad that I was smarter several years later, in my new, bungalow neighborhood.

For neighborhoods that do not have these activities & would like them, I am working on 2 manuals- one on how to create a successful home tour, & another on how to produce a workshop to teach people how to restore their historic homes. I have helped establish these activities in 2 areas & they are very popular, (easy to do when you know how- & believe me when we first began, we were clueless & it was HARD!) Both events are good fundraisers & great for activating & uniting a community. Please contact me if you are interested in more information on either of these activities for your neighborhood.





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American-Bungalow-Magazine-eventWhat seems like a lifetime ago, with a great amount of help from my friends in the 3 areas that make up the bungalow neighborhood of Seminole Heights, in Tampa, Florida, I produced an American Bungalow Magazine event. I had coaxed, cajoled, pleaded with the editor to have genius photographer, Alex Vertikoff come to Central Florida to shoot our houses. I coordinated with 4 other neighborhoods in Tampa, St. Petersburg & Lakeland to make it worth their while to drive all the way across the country. Publisher John Brinkmann came to speak to us at a wonderful event  in our historic church.

I had been a devotee of American Bungalow for a number of years.  They had attended our first home tour in Eagle Rock & published a beautiful article on the Hanson Puthuff house, displayed on the poster to the left.

In my Tampa neighborhood, I enjoyed the privilege of being the magazine distributor. Every quarter the magazines would arrive in a big box, & I would peddle them around the neighborhood at events & meetings & deliver to people’s homes when requested. It was a great way to meet folks, educate Tampa on historic houses & support the valuable work of the magazine.

porch-in-american-bungalow-magazineThe neighborhoods pitched in, volunteering their bungalows for the project. I recruited writers for all the articles & each author (or group of authors) gathered material & researched their areas.

My neighborhood, Seminole Heights produced some beautiful houses & the authors encouraged a woman who had lived in the neighborhood in the early years to tell her story- A Place to Grow Up. Her sweet childhood voice & photos brought those times to life.  I am lucky enough to have another story from her to tell you here, Childhood Pets in My Bungalow Neighborhood.

The article tells the story of how the neighborhood association began- a response to the threatened destruction of many bungalows along one of our central corridors. By the time I arrived 25 years later, it was a powerful force for preservation & revitalization. When I say, “Do something about it,” I have seen firsthand what can be done by a group of committed citizens.

The neatest part about the in article occurred when the editor sent me a proof & there was my front porch in a 2-page color spread opening a piece in my favorite magazine, American Bungalow! There were a couple shots of my living room too, but they were pretty small. Finally, at the age of 60 my dream of being a centerfold was realized! And it was one that I could show my mother!


In the center of Tampa is a farm with a bungalow farmhouse, built by Sicilian immigrants, Salvatore & Vittoria Giunta, who arrived in Tampa in 1907. Peasant farmers, they hoped for a better life for themselves & their children in American. Work was plentiful in Ybor City in the cigar factories & farms & they worked at a variety of jobs, saving money until they could buy land. Self-sufficient, they raised heirloom vegetables & herbs with which they fed their family & sold the surplus to supplement their income. At one time, this area, now residential was dubbed “the breadbasket of Ybor,” providing food for up to 10,000 cigar factory workers.  After time they purchased more land & in 1924, the house was built just in time for the family to enjoy their Christmas together. The farm up to this day, almost 100 years later, is still being worked by the two granddaughters, who live in the old farmhouse.

Though the farm is a prime piece of property in a very desirable location the sisters stand firm against offers from developers & in 2020, City Council agreed with their request to designate the farm a historic landmark offering some protection against future development. Please watch this beautiful video to learn more about the history of the family & the farm & best of all, to meet the sisters.

Make no mistake about it. This is a farmhouse. The floors are not glossy quartersawn oak but are covered with linoleum & the usual Stickley pieces that you see pictured in American Bungalow are not in evidence. I spent 2 days helping the sisters stage the house for the shoot (No, Alex didn’t know about know this!) I pulled all the family antiques- a charming deco armoire, an old tricycle, a child’s chair, from the bedrooms & arranged them in the family gathering room off the kitchen. A century ago. their father had made a wooden boat to sail down the flooded Tampa streets, & I pulled it from a closet & had a shelf built for it to be mounted over a quilt-covered chair in the corner.

In the kitchen sits a “Nana cabinet,” a traditional Sicilian piece in which were displayed the china, glassware & collectables of the grandmother of the house. This one was built by her son of recycled materials—wood slats from apple crates, curved glass sides from a discarded retail display case & the best part- it is topped with a decorative crown from an old circus wagon offered by a friend who just didn’t think that the cabinet looked complete.

The pieces were just stacked in the cabinet, with no attempt to display them. We spent several hours removing the items, carefully placing them on the kitchen table. I returned them one by one, showing each one to full advantage. These pieces hold the memories of family dinners of 3 generations & deserved to be elegantly celebrated.

The sisters are not artists. They are revered teachers, beloved daughters, dutiful sisters & aunts & hard-working farmers. They were astonished at how I managed to honor their family by displaying their heirlooms & photographs artfully.

It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

The morning after John’s event in my neighborhood of Seminole Heights, he & I went for breakfast at the farm. John toured the house & admired the fields, lush with produce whose seeds were brought from Sicily 100 years before. He played fetch with the farm dog & chatted with the chickens. He was honored to have met the Giunta sisters & honored them in return with this beautiful article.


“…it’s not about how big you live, it’s about how genuine you live. That’s what the magazine stands for.”  – John Brinkmann, American Bungalow Magazine

I was thrilled to be able to provide him with the opportunity to visit a family that had lived so genuinely in their farmhouse bungalow for 3 generations.

The plaque installed by the City reads:

In 1907, Salvatore and Vittoria Giunta arrived at Ellis Island from Santo Stefano, Qisquina, Sicily. Like many other Sicilian immigrants, they left behind peasant farming for a better future in Ybor City where work was plentiful. They brought little but their strong work ethic and the seeds of the crops that had always sustained their family. Sicilian families settled on the east side of Ybor beyond the cigar factories and worker housing. They held a variety of jobs, even as laborers on the local celery farms.

After years of work, Salvatore and Vittoria saved enough to buy land at the corner of 11th Avenue and 24th Street, where they farmed their heirloom produce and herbs to supplement their income. They gradually bought more land, and in 1924, built a home for their growing family. Like many of their Sicilian neighbors, the Giuntas grew their own food, raised chickens, baked bread in an outdoor oven, and were largely self-sufficient. The homestead of nearly an entire block contained the house, auxiliary buildings, farm fields and a orchard. For over a century the Giunta family has carried on their farming tradition in Ybor City. The Giunta homestead and farm tells the story of many Sicilian immigrants’ live in Ybor City.





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Arizona-historic-buildingArizona preservation advocacy groups are facing huge challenges as developers eye their historic neighborhoods. There is little protection from state or city statutes. They need your help. If you live in Arizona & curse the wrecking ball, as my old friend, Jane Powell said, “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”

You will learn a great deal about your area, meet some wonderful, committed people & have great adventures like I did!


preservation-advocacy-groups-ArizonaArizona Preservation Foundation
Arizona Preservation Foundation is a preservation advocacy group that works with local, state, & national partners to promote & protect Arizona’s historic resources. They have partnered with the State Historic Preservation Office to present the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards & host the Arizona Historic Preservation Conference geared to professionals, in the fields of historic preservation, archaeology, cultural resources management, architecture, and planning. They offer speakers who will appear at your events or meetings. Their page is a terrific resource for preservation information.\n\n


preservation-advocacy-groups-Mesa-ArizonaMesa Preservation Foundation
The Mesa Preservation Foundation works to protect the irreplaceable public, private & commercial historic buildings & neighborhoods in Mesa. Their website includes a beautiful list of reasons as to why preservation matters, as well as a link to the City’s list of historic buildings- standing, demolished or endangered. They have some wonderful educational programs that cover various areas of the state that you can access through their Facebook page.


preservation-advocacy-groups-Tucson-ArizonaTucson Historic Preservation Foundation
“Saving Tucson’s Places”
The focus of this highly effective preservation advocacy group in Southern Arizona is on saving Tucson’s heritage & cultural resources, protecting the places that make Tucson unique, through lectures, tours & films.They depend on their membership to assist them with their various programs & activities.


preservation-advocacy-groups-Vail-ArizonaVail Preservation Society
“Connecting community through local history.”
The Society works to preserve the heritage & historic resources the area, participating in the Arizona Main Street Program.

They are actively seeking people to assist them in their research, preservation & education efforts, gathering oral histories, saving historic structures & honoring the roots of the community. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to meet great people & help your community.


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Missouri-historic-buildingThe preservation advocacy groups in Missouri face the challenges of population loss in their downtown residential & business areas, while urban sprawl threatens historic family farms. Their focus is on promoting heritage tourism to provide a base for economic growth. This is an intelligent plan & has worked in revitalizing many historic areas.

Every group in Missouri could use your help in ensuring that there is no further loss of their historic resources.

Contact them to see how you could contribute!


Missouri Preservation
preserving place & community for future generations
The leading preservation advocacy group in Missouri, focuses on preservation policy, best preservation practices & the positive recognition of & endangered historic sites. Their extensive preservation educational events offer hands-on workshops & tours in various places across the entire state. They also publish a list of resources of different types on their site.

Their small staff of 1 would love to have your assistance & participation!

Preservation-advocacy-group-MinnesotaThe Kansas City Bungalow Club
The Kansas City Bungalow Club celebrates & advocates for all of Kansas City’s residential architectural heritage up to WW II, with a special emphasis on bungalows & the Arts & Crafts style. Its gallery features some lovely, old bungalows.

It is a friendly group that invites new membership. All you have to do is join!


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The historic preservation advocacy groups in Minnesota face the challenges of neighborhood loss due to development & road building as well as the demolition of important public & government buildings.

If you live in, or just love Minnesota & lament or curse the destruction of the state’s historic properties, now you can actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! They could use someone with your passion & talents! Most have educational events & need volunteers to cover various functions. This is a good way to see how they operate & how you might fit it.

Try it!


Minnesota Historical Societyminnesota-historical-society
The Minnesota Historical Society preserves & protects the objects, documents, places, & buildings that form the cultural heritage of the state. Their website shows the wealth of assistance that they offer from grants, to local history services to a preservation specialists directory.

They can also connect you with preservation organizations in your local area.


Twin-cities-bungalow-club-preservation-advocacy-group-minnesotaTwin Cities Bungalow Club
The Twin Cities Bungalow Club is a fun preservation advocacy group in Minnesota dedicated to fostering an appreciation for these charming & livable early 20th century homes. They are committed to preserving bungalows & other Arts & Crafts style homes of the era along with the neighborhoods they occupy; to learning their history; & to exploring the furnishings & decorative objects that filled them.

I have joined & was thrilled to receive their Small Home Gazette, full of Bungalow tips, Life & Times tidbits & many resources. If you live out of the area, it’s only $10 for the year!

Please let me know about your preservation organization wherever you are, so that I can add it to the blog & promote your events.



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