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!
The #builtheritage chat, which focuses on heritage and preservation issues, is celebrating its two year anniversary in March. The chat started with an idea, some twitter conversation and finally e-mails between the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the USA, and myself, a heritage consultant in Ontario, Canada.
The spirit of the chat has always been communication and collaboration. We’ve had several chats focused on partner’s programs, such as one with Habitat for Humanity on their rehabilitation projects. So to celebrate our second anniversary, we’re partnering with our twitter chat neighbour – #citytalk, which focuses on broad urban issues and sustainability. Since this is a special chat both because of our anniversary and our amazing partner, we’ve decided to revisit our 1st topic – adaptive reuse.
The first thing that this collaboration has taught me is that “adaptive reuse” is not a common term. I always assumed that it cross many disciplines, but perhaps it is more heritage focused then I realized. So instead of referring to it as “adaptive reuse” we’ll be using a more inclusive term “building reuse”. This issue of linguistics is one that the #builtheritage chat specifically focused on during a whole chat focused on language, so we’re happy to learn about how others view heritage terminology.
Many buildings, landscapes and structures in cities are built for specific purposes; schools, industrial buildings, commercial buildings, even homes. Over time they can cease to be used for that purpose. Over their life these structures may have also become valuable to the community. They could important landmarks in cities, or they are examples of great architecture, or they are of great historical importance, and many also contribute to the streetscape. As such, instead of demolishing these structures and rebuilding new once their originally use ceases, they are adapted to a new use. Schools are subdivided into condo, industrial complexes become entertainment districts with theaters, galleries and restaurants, or homes are converted to stores. Reuse of existing buildings is a primary concern to many people interested in heritage.
Our first chat on building reuse brought up some great sources of discussion. Chatters provided some innovative examples of building reuse including a cheese factory turned into a climbing gym, numerous industrial complexes turned cultural centres and churches being used for residential purposes. It was even pointed out that landscapes can be reused; citing the example of a hazelnut farm turned Public Park in Oregon.
Questions that were asked also focused on barriers to reuse and ways to over come them. Money, building codes and non-supportive local laws were cited as the main barriers. Creative ways to counter these barriers we discussed, like proving local officials tours of successful reuses and getting ahead of development by soliciting ideas for reuse from the public.
I’m hoping that this tweet chat mash up with revisit these questions to solicit idea from around the world on successful examples and creative approaches. But I’m also interested in hearing the boarder perspective, how these reuses fit into the urban context, how they support other urban initiatives and how they support cities’ sustainability goals.
Next month (March) is the #builheritage chat’s two year. anniversary! To celebrate we’ll be revisiting our 1st topic in a tweetchat mash up!
On March 6th at 1pm EST we will be combining #citytalk and #builtheritage for a #cityheritage mash up on adaptive reuse.
If you want to learn more about how the #builtheritage chat started and how we run it read this great article by Sarah, my co-moderator. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to relive our first chat check out my review