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City celebrates Historic Preservation Month with #PeopleSavingPlacesHSV campaign

Published on April 25, 2024

Graphic with dark blue background and light blue Huntsville skyline with the following words: May is Preservation Month. Celebrate with #PeopleSavingPlacesHSVPeople who save historic places will soon be celebrated as part of the City of Huntsville’s annual Historic Preservation Month campaign. 

Spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Preservation Month is celebrated each May to heighten awareness about the wonderful buildings and places that are part of our shared history. This year’s local campaign has an emphasis on downtown Huntsville. 

“There are dozens of individuals in our community who generously invest their time, passion and resources into safeguarding our rich history,” City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps said. “As we kick off our new campaign, it’s important we honor the custodians who not only preserve, but also breathe life into our cherished spaces.” 

Mayor Tommy Battle said there are economic benefits to preserving the City’s downtown as a thriving city center attracts commercial and residential projects as well as quality-of-life amenities. 

“Preservation is vital to the City’s history and the health of the local economy,” he said. “Next month, we’ll have informative events that celebrate those efforts, and we hope our citizens participate.” 

The public is invited to participate in the following Preservation Month activities throughout May! 

‘The Economics of Historic Preservation’ with Donovan Rypkema

Thursday, May 2, 11 a.m., Ridley Hall, Church of the Nativity, 208 Eustis Ave. 

Huntsville’s historic city center is widely recognized as a preservation success story. To help explore more opportunities for preservation and adaptive reuse projects across Huntsville, the City has invited Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics, to speak at a public event about downtown, neighborhood and commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic buildings. Based in Washington, D.C., PlaceEconomicsis a real estate and economic development consulting firm, specializing in the nexus of historic preservation and economics. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch. 

PorchFest Five Points

Saturday, May 4, 4-9 p.m., Pratt Avenue 

Five porches on Pratt Avenue will host musicians from Huntsville, Nashville and the Shoals for a unique evening of live performances. Bring a blanket, chair and cooler to enjoy the show. Please do not park on Pratt Avenue. 

Footsteps of History: Downtown Historic Free Walking Tours 

Saturdays, May 11 & 18, 10 a.m. 

Led by City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps, the free walking tours bring to life the evolution and history of Huntsville’s downtown commercial district from the City’s earliest settlers to the Space Race and beyond. Attendees will learn about local history, notable citizens and a diverse collection of architectural styles. Central to the tour is how urban renewal impacted Huntsville’s city center and how those changes were a catalyst for national and local preservation movements. 

Tours begin and end at the historic First National Bank at 216 West Side Square and last approximately 90 minutes. Participants should bring only what they can comfortably carry (water, sunscreen, light snacks). Spring weather can be unpredictable in Alabama, so dress accordingly. 

Preservation Happy Hour

Thursday, May 16, 5-6 p.m., Baker & Able 

Interested in history and preservation? Meet and network with like-minded professionals, property owners, advocates and volunteers at Baker & Able, the rooftop bar at 106 Jefferson Hotel. Hosted by City Preservation Planner Katie Stamps, this casual event is open to the public and does not require tickets or reservations. Beverages and small plates will be available for purchase. 

We invite residents to participate on social media by sharing their favorite historic places using the hashtag #PeopleSavingPlacesHSV. Learn more by following the hashtag #PeopleSavingPlacesHSV and visiting HHPC’s Facebook and Instagram.