Thursday, January 2, 2014

Help Save Norristown

That sounds like a tall order for the New Year, but you can fairly easily help save parts of Norristown, namely the architecture and history.

On their Facebook page this morning, The Norristown Preservation Society announced a sale on 2014 membership dues. If you send in a check for $10 on or before January 18th, you become a member for the coming year.

Ten bucks is pretty cheap for membership in any organization these days, but the NPS says they want to get more residents of Norristown involved, plus encourage history buffs from the surrounding area to help us save what we've got.

For your dues, you get

-- a monthly email newsletter telling you about upcoming events and meetings, updating you on the status of the Selma Mansion restoration, N-town preservation news, and more.
-- discounted admission to all NPS events.
-- invitations to members-only events, like our annual picnic and year-end meeting.
-- bragging rights that you're a part of the preservation of Norristown's long and important history, and of the town's unique architecture.

To join,  send your check for $10 along with your name, address and email, before January 18th to

Norristown Preservation Society
P.O. Box 2097
Norristown, PA 19404-2097

The first issue of the newsletter will come out around January 8th. If you're sending a check for dues, to make sure you get the first newsletter, also send an email saying you joined to with "NPS" in the subject line. Some of you may recognize that as my business email address. That's right--I volunteered to write the newsletter.

There's also a discount on dues for anyone who volunteered at Selma events in 2013. If you were a volunteer, include with your check a list of the events you worked at, and deduct a dollar for each event from your payment. So if you were one of the lovely ladies who modeled 19th century fashions last May or one of the ghouls popping out the woodwork at the Ghost Tours last October, you get a break on your dues as a thank you.

Why is it important to get Norristown residents and businesses involved with historical and architectural preservation? As I've said before, our "look" is one of our best architectural assets. I'm getting tired of hearing people tell me how great the old buildings look in Phoenixville and Doylestown and Malvern, now that they've been cleaned up and brought business back to their downtowns. Malvern built a set of big ugly apartment buildings last year on their main drag. I drove through last night--the new buildings sit dark and empty, while the old section of King Street looks alive and inviting. We don't need tall ugly behemoths downtown. We need to promote the architecture we've got. And for that, we need citizens coming forward to protest all threats of demolition.

I want people saying how great Norristown looks this time next year.

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