Enjoy Virtual Tours of Historic Places Across the U.S. With the National Trust's Virtual Preservation Month
This May, the annual tradition of Preservation Month—which has been in place since 1973— is looking a little different in light of the coronavirus outbreak. But the National Trust for Historic Preservation, responsible for the yearly celebration, wanted to ensure enlightening, educational programming was still available to Americans even if almost all of the National Trust's 27 Historic Sites are currently shuttered.
To that end, they launched the first "Virtual Preservation Month," with a lineup of incredible experiences you can participate in from the comfort of your couch at SavingPlaces.org/PreservationMonth. To partake, you can visit the website and/or sign up for daily and weekly email and text reminders to be the first to know as more virtual experiences become available.
So what can history buffs expect? So far, we've immersed ourselves in the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium (check out the video below), ventured to the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and learn the history of pickles from Manhattan's Lower East Side Tenement Museum. We're also loving the peek inside the attic at Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, and hitting Route 66 courtesy of Google Arts & Culture.
Though no substitute for visiting these awe-inspiring monuments and institutions in person, the National Trust hopes the project brings much joy into people's lives during this difficult period of time spent at home. "Historic places are so powerful that, even virtually, they come alive in wonderful ways," said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer for the National Trust in the organization's press release. "We are delighted to partner with American Express on this digital journey at a time when Americans need to feel connected and inspired. We look forward to continuing the 47-year tradition of Preservation Month by bringing 31 historic places to life in a way that is accessible to anyone who wants a momentary escape."
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Share with us, fellow American history enthusiasts: Which historic place are you most excited to take a virtual tour of first? How many of the National Trust Historic Sites have you visited in person?