For Valentine’s Day this year, the Young Preservationists of the Great Lakes Bay delivered valentines to their favorite vacant historic properties in Bay City and Saginaw, hoping to draw some attention to these buildings-and perhaps ultimately a soulmate who could breathe life back into some of them. (Yes, Valentine’s Day was a month ago; I’m the late one here.)
The “heart bombing” was one of dozens around the country in an effort seeded by the National Trust for Historic Places. The Trust says heart bombing “is the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion-preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow,” and provides a quick how-to guide.
The Bay City event’s organizers told MLive they wanted to bring outsiders in to see the structure-and sense of place-that their community has to offer, or to inspire homebuyers to tackle the project of restoring a historic home. (And several of them have tackled restoration or small development projects themselves, so know how much inspiration it takes!)
As a fan of Candy Chang’s “I Wish This Was” and similar efforts to recast vacant properties as assets and opportunities, I’m glad to see Bay City’s vacant historic buildings getting some love. Next year, perhaps we can get more of our communities sharing their feelings?