“Place really connects me to history,” said Brent Runyon. “It helps me understand historical timelines and events in ways that learning dates and names never did. I feel like it’s a really powerful tool for connecting us to our past, the good and the bad parts of it.”
Indeed. I find history intriguing because it helps me understand how people have influenced people, for years upon years, and how those people have created the places where we now live, which shape us.
As executive director of the Providence Preservation Society and someone who came to the preservation field through engineering, Brent is a good person to talk to about such topics.
“I have to say, the first month was kind of traumatizing,” Brent said, acknowledging the guilt and depression that went along with the early days of the pandemic for him. “It was really hard to get motivated and find a new way to work. What did work even mean anymore?”
As Brent notes, this is a difficult time to plan, and it is also an excellent time to consider transformation — of the work we do and the ways we do it.