Adventures in Preservation (AiP) is a non-profit driven by a passion for historic buildings and the role they can continue to play in our communities – from affordable housing to community centers to working glasshouses and more. Their all-volunteer staff of professionals develops projects, open to all, that offer remarkable travel opportunities, hands-on skills training in building conservation, and onsite experience led by conservation specialists.
Adventures in Preservation's goal is to save historic buildings that not only tell a community’s story, but also encompass centuries of efforts to design buildings using local materials that deal perfectly with the landscape and climate. The fact that historic preservation is innately “green” compels their volunteers to help keep historic materials in place and out of the landfills!
Adventures in Preservation was founded in 2001 by two women with a great love of historic buildings and a strong desire to travel and understand the world. While perusing the travel section of the Boulder Bookstore, the Volunteer Vacation section suddenly brought everything into focus. Judith Broeker and Jamie Donahoe combined their goal of saving historic buildings with the concept of experiential travel, and created AiP’s hands-on preservation vacations.
Work started on several sites in the U.S., and as word spread, requests for help began to pour in from around the world, underscoring the great potential of using volunteers to restore historic buildings. In supporting community-based preservation initiatives, they discovered that their love of old buildings could translate into environmental and economic sustainability for communities. They have found that well-managed heritage tourism is sometimes the only means for struggling communities to create new jobs and bring economic growth.
Their hard-working volunteers have been involved in diverse projects such as kulla conservation in Kosovo, coral rag house conservation in Kenya, and a heritage conservation program to save the tower houses of Gjirokastra, Albania, ongoing since 2008. Upcoming programs include Saving a Crumbling Cracker House (St. Joseph, Missouri), Restoring a Greenhouse to Grandeur (Moray, Scotland), Archaeology at Fairfield (Fairfield, Virginia), Building Documentation (Gyumri, Armenia), and Chateau Conservation Projects (Dole, France). To learn more about AiP and their current work visit Adventures in Preservation.