This weekend my plans changed and I was able to go to Doors Open Toronto. I made my list of must see: Mars, 401 Richmond, Dineen and the Carpet Factory. It wasn’t until I was visiting all of them I realized that there was clearly a theme in my choices: all are now covered to shared or entrepreneur offices. Clearly, I was drawn to these dynamic and evolving places. You could feel the energy in all of them.
I also intended to go on a walking tour, but it was so packed by the time I got there I decided to skip it and checked out the nearby St. James Cathedral and its archives (where there was a great exhibit on Gothic Architecture).
Crowd funding is getting a lot of buzz in the heritage world. But there are very few examples of instances where its worked. At a recent #builtheritage chat the only cited example was the creator of The Oatmeal, who raised funds to buy the lab (a historic building) of Nikola Tesla to create a museum. They raised over $1 million.
However, there is another recent example I’d like to share. It was a crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo to raise funds to turn a grain silo in Buffalo into a rock climbing gym. The new centre will be called Silo City Rocks.
They successfully raised over $25,000 which will help renovate the silos, install safety equipment and make the silos accessible to the public.
This is such an amazing idea! Not only is the adaptive reuse of the silos cool, but the campaign was very well received, I think in part because people want to see the silos reused.
Based on these two projects its clear that crowd funding within the heritage field should be focused on specific buildings. These both also happen to be adaptive reuses of spaces that will make them open to the public. Its also so interesting to me that at one of these campaigns was connected with a not-for-profits, yet people donated to the crowdfunding location not the not-for-profit where they would have gotten a tax receipt.
Are the “perks” from the crowd scouring more appealing or its just that they’re concrete (often a t-shirt or invitation to an opening)?
Do you know of any other successful heritage crowd sourcing campaigns?
Do you love Corvered Bridges as much as I do? Check out the Heritage Places short about them. Its on until Monday, when they air a new eposoide.
For those of you looking for notes from the recent walking tour I gave, I hope to work on them over the weekend and have them up next week!