Cover Art Photos

They say a photo is worth a hundred words, but for me, the photo can spur a hundred questions too.

Each year, as part of the annual Historic Resource Council (HRC) Directory drive, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network committee sends an appeal for photos to be used as the annual directory cover art. The photos can be of buildings under construction or with their restoration or rehabilitation complete. The photos with the greatest appeal to me have people in the image — hard at work assessing a distress in the building, tuck pointing the masonry, or adding that last final touch of paint.

As I review each of the submitted photos from past years, questions come to mind… the obvious ones first-

• Why this building?
• Who is in the photo?
• What are they looking at?

Then the more detailed questions-

• How did they determine the repair?
• How did they find themselves at this project, and at this point in the life of the building?
• Why that color??

In review of the photos from the 2011 HRC Resource Directory, I immediately wonder what the people are looking at on that barn foundation. Is it a crack? Are they determining how far to tuck point? Are they determining what the variation of stone is?

I look at the scaffolding around the lighthouse… could I climb that and work 60 feet up in the air? 80 feet? What is the view? It must be spectacular!

Then the photo on the bottom center, the brick building that is being rehabilitated – I can almost feel the anticipation it feels as the masonry is tuckpointed and the windows are rehabilitated and re-installed. But, I wonder, how will it look when it is finished? And, who is the project team on this building rehabilitation? Would they let me in for a tour??

With the 2012 HRC Directory drive officially underway I wonder what type of cover art will be submitted this year. Will it be mainly of houses that showcase the diverse range of architecture we have here in the State of Michigan? Or, will it focus solely on the modernism branch of our preservation world? Maybe it will it again be a collage of all projects great and small, including both completed and nearing completion projects?

And of course, I wonder where are these great images will come from… Do you have any photos you would want to share? What work would you love to showcase on the most demanded publication from MHPN? Proper credit will of course be provided if your photo is selected for the cover art. Please send all submissions to

I wait with great anticipation…

Cheryl Early
Historic Resource Council
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