The New Heritage – Preservation Utah
UTAH HERITAGE FOUNDATION IS NOW PRESERVATION UTAH
Since 1966, Utah Heritage Foundation has worked to unite all Utahns to ensure that historic places thrive in a rapidly changing world. Utah’s historic architecture is as rich in diversity, style, form, and function as the topography by which it has been influenced. We’ve implemented tools for protection, advocated for financial incentives, restored iconic historic structures, and educated the next generation of preservation stewards. Beyond the aesthetic value of historic structures, we tell the stories behind what makes Utah’s historic places significant and relevant to us all today and into the future.
In Washington, D.C., First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson helped support the effort that led to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. “We must preserve and we must preserve wisely,” wrote Mrs. Johnson in the forward to With Heritage So Rich. “…in its best sense preservation does not mean merely sitting aside of thousands of buildings as museum pieces. It means retaining the culturally valuable structures as useful objects: a home in which human beings live, a building in the service of some commercial or community purpose. Such preservation ensures structural integrity, relates the preserved object to the life of the people around it, and not least, it makes preservation a source of positive financial gain rather than another expense.”
As the nation galvanized behind the milestone legislation that brought action to legally, consciously, and collectively preserve our historic places, a group of Utahns was doing the same locally. First Lady of Utah, Lucybeth Rampton, was actively helping to found a grassroots, non-profit organization “to stop the endless hand-wringing” when historic buildings were threatened with demolition. This is what would become Utah Heritage Foundation, and her passion, fight and vision remain at the core of our organization.
How we protect our historic places and landscapes is commonly called placemaking today. It includes the stewardship of cultural assets that make our communities special and contribute to our health, happiness, and overall well-being. Our mission statement, adopted in 2015, reflects how the field of historic preservation has changed since our founding in 1966. None of us has a crystal ball to predict what the next fifty years will hold, but what we’re doing now is preparing us for what may come. We continue to challenge ourselves in building our strategy by asking:
- How do we preserve Utah’s irreplaceable cultural resources in the face of constant change?
- How do we make a case for the long-term benefits of preservation over current conveniences, preferences, or short-term profits?
- How do we influence decision making to better balance our past with our future, and thereby enhance the strength and richness of our communities and all of Utah?
With our need to stay relevant, the story of Utah Heritage Foundation is also about to change.
Our renaming and rebranding, in 2016, was a strategic repositioning of the organization, better communicating our true role as advocates.
Utah Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Strategic Plan cited the need to refresh our image and build on the momentum of the 50th anniversary year. This was a repeating message we also heard from many of you – our members, volunteers, and community leaders – during the strategic planning focus groups. Our whole brand was leaving a less-than-positive impression, not helping us accomplish reaching new audiences and building membership and support. In addition, we have been frequently mistaken for a conservative think-tank, philanthropic grant-making organization, or an agency of the state or LDS Church for more than two decades.
One of the most difficult parts of the year-long process of 2016, was giving ourselves permission to change what has been our organization’s heritage – our name. But through that process, we believe the change will build upon the values of the organization and bring about a positive new culture within and outside of the organization.
Our goals were simple:
- Reduce confusion between our organization and others, both true heritage/history organizations and others that use similar words;
- Clearly present who we are and what we do through recognizable words and a new logo;
- Position the organization through rebranding to build on the past with an identity appropriate for the 21st century.
We wanted a scalable mark that could be used in many different types of spaces and materials. Equally important was having a logo that was recognizable to all users and thus set us apart as an organization through this new identity.
Utah Heritage Foundation has benefitted from the consulting assistance of Dinng in Salt Lake City to complete a year-long process. The creative team at Dinng delivered a fresh approach to convey our new name, statewide impact, and the sense that the organization is a guardian. Components of the new logo and mark include:
- A base logo of the iconic shape of Utah’s state lines, overlayed by a stylized letter ‘P’;
- Inclusion of a ‘cornerstone’ in the upper left corner of the mark;
- Use of a warm color palette that, like historic architecture, brings layers and depth of understanding to something that might appear so simple at first, giving you more to the story;
- A sans serif font that could be described as “no-nonsense and economical, without being in your face,” so much like the people involved with Utah Heritage Foundation; and,
- For the first time, the use of a tagline – People Preserving Places.
We wanted to bring you, our closest allies and supporters, in on our news as soon as we could. Our great thanks to the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation for their belief in and support for rebranding. Their challenge gift, along with many matching gifts from our supporters at all levels made this possible.
Our name and past logos are now visual poetry of the past. Preservation Utah, the name and brand, are the launching pad for the next fifty years.
Staying true to our mission to keep the past alive, not only for preservation, but to inspire and provoke a more creative present and sustainable future will ensure that our work in historic preservation will help keep more landmark places for future generations. Among our goals for 2017 are building on high enthusiasm but low understanding to bring in new members and constituents. Serving our members better. Bringing in new tools for redevelopment and emphasizing adaptive use as the heart of preservation’s future. Bringing a holistic approach to community preservation that considers family and business legacies, and broader community engagement.
t’s a great privilege to work with you to preserve Utah’s historic places for the enjoyment and benefit of all people. All this great work wouldn’t have happened without your help, passion, and dedication to historic preservation and Utah Heritage Foundation.
We are thrilled about what we’re creating together – a powerful force for education and advocacy to protect the places we love so much. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we appreciate your continued support and look forward to embarking on this new chapter with you. So let’s celebrate where we’re going! Come to connect with your fellow Preservation Utah members and make new friends over a toast to the future.