Annapolis, June 19, 2009 - Among those who are most in need of innovative ideas are historic preservationists. Until now, every one of them watching their treasured neighborhood structures deteriorate has known that to save the building either they'll have to form a non-profit 501(c)3 museum and compete for scarce funding with thousands of other museum or, come up with lots of their own money to purchase and restore the property. The ways to save a historic structure are severely limited. Now, however, a preservationist has a new option and is looking for others to join an online project called Save the Historic Houses, that will create a historic preservation business model based on a residence club. A residence club provides members with a shared vacation house. This arrangement is unique because all the property expenses are divided evenly among members; which dramatically reduces the overall costs for everyone, and considering how expensive historic houses can be it is a key benefit to the business model. Also the model will cover both the acquisition of the property, funding of a restoration, as well as maintenance in the future.
"This search for a business model solution came to me out of necessity," says Charles Mazurek, an Annapolis-based historic preservationist for over 12 years. "I am trying to figure out a way to preserve a colonial home my family has owned for over 100 years, in the Annapolis Historic District, and I am appalled that there are so few practical ways to do it that make economic sense. Unless you are a place like Mount Vernon or Monticello you don't stand a chance. After hundreds of hours of business research, I happened to stumble upon a newspaper article about residence clubs and quickly realized that this would be the perfect solution for historic preservationists. Given the current economy, with grant funding getting slashed everywhere, the options for preservation are getting even more narrow so there is a desperate need right now for those projects that are self-supporting."
Mazurek will use online technology that makes it easy to gather input and support from a range of professionals to create the new historic preservation business model. He says "My business experience and financial resources are limited for this project, but rather than abandon it I realized that many others share my absolute obsession with old houses and would want to be a part of this community and contribute to its development." There are a few ways to help out with the project, including donations, passing on the information through online social networks, becoming a fan on the Facebook Page, or joining the group creating the business documents.
Once complete, all the templates for the business model will be available online, for free, so anyone can use it for their own historic preservation projects.
To contact Charles Mazurek or learn more about this project please visit the website at http://www.savethehistorichouses.com.