Historic Sites: Challenges and Opportunities

As Trustee of the National Trust and a member of the Historic Sites Task Force, Dr. Michael was involved in the effort to address deferred maintenance and operating issues throughout the organizations portfolio of more than two dozen sites nationwide. The successful effort addressed the deferred maintenance that often plaques such sites and worked to develop new business plans and operating procedures.

In Monterey, California. He worked with the Trust as they developed a new plan for the Cooper-Molera Adobe that will open up the site to more commerce and help revitalize the downtown area. Today the plan insures the preservation of the original adobe house, a superior example of the “Monterey Style,” a link to the city’s early history, and a key fulcrum in the historic downtown.  The site has been revitalized with new business and event venues.

In San Antonio, Dr. Michael has been involved in the Steves Homestead, a site that the Conservation Society of San Antonio has operated as a house museum since 1954.  After a two-year experiment with operations by another non-profit, the Homestead switched to weekend-only hours.  Creative new programming is helping to address the significant operating deficits attached to the great majority of house museums.