Maybe I Should Come to the Office More Often

DJB with NTHP colleague Leigh Ivey and Trustee Gloria Estefan - the new spokesperson for the preservation of the Miami Marine StadiumI recently did the math. In one three month period this spring I am in the office less than one-third of the time.  True, I’ve been to some wonderful places, but if my two days in Washington this week are any indication, perhaps I should come to the office more often.

When she was in fourth grade, my daughter told her class that her dad’s job was to “sign papers and go to meetings.” This hasn’t been one of those weeks.

At the National Trust, we’ve been working hard to help Americans understand and protect the full story of our nation’s life together.  That  work was front and center yesterday and today.

On Wednesday, our great friends at American Express announced a $1 million grant to the Michelle Obama at Decatur HouseNational Trust Historic Site Decatur House and our partners at the White House Historical Association.  The grant will help ensure that the site’s slave quarters – one of the few remaining urban examples of slave quarters – are preserved and used in the educational work at the site.  First Lady Michelle Obama was present for the announcement, and it was great to have her with us to honor this gift and the work it represents.

Then today, newly minted National Trust trustee and seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan stopped by our offices to talk with the staff about our work together to save the modernist Miami Marine Stadium.  In a 30-minute interview and Q&A with staff, her passion for place – and especially this unique venue and Miami icon – was evident.  She spoke of her concerts at the stadium, a recent photo shoot on site to help bring attention to this one-of-a-kind urban landmark, the building’s special resonance with the Latino community given its design by a young Cuban-American architect in the 1960s, and her hopes for its future.  My assistant Leigh joined me (photo above) as we had a chance to thank Gloria for her commitment to preservation. Afterwards, I was fortunate to join Gloria, her husband Emelio, her daughter, and the president of the Estefan’s company for lunch with several colleagues.  There we talked further about the steps needed to save the stadium and to learn more about the Estefan’s long-time passion for place.  For an old bluegrass guy, it was great to get to know the Queen of Latin Pop – and an ardent preservationist.

Let’s see, I’m in the office again tomorrow. Must be a scheduling error.  I wonder what it will bring!

More to come…

DJB

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