Sites Worth Saving

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The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s community development program, Sites Worth Saving, provides hands-on assistance for significant historic sites that face emerging and developing threats or ongoing challenges to their preservation. Through this program, PAM staff and volunteers support local efforts to develop preservation solutions and reverse the endangering circumstances. PAM assists by partnering with concerned local citizens to develop a strategic vision and action plan and then engaging in activities that build local capacity for preservation.

Sites Worth Saving takes the place of PAM’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list. This name change symbolizes a shift in both approach and philosophy. With Sites Worth Saving, we aim to set a tone of collaborative problem-solving and community engagement, and to advance a preservation solution in a hands-on, strategic way. PAM believes that advocacy efforts are more likely to be successful if they can start from a place of mutual understanding that historic buildings, structures, and sites have value in our communities.

Our first tactic is to highlight the historic and architectural significance of the resource and its place within the community. Next, we can address the specific challenges to preservation by developing a strategic plan and empowering local citizens to take action. PAM participates in these ways:
  • by providing accurate information, best practices, and case study examples to local advocates
  • by helping build a network of support among local citizens, donors, and community leaders
  • by increasing visibility and publicity of the historic resource and preservation efforts
  • by providing information about and access to preservation incentives and grants
  • by supporting efforts to find a preservation-minded buyer for the property, when appropriate.


Sites Worth Saving is a comprehensive program, not an annual publicity vehicle. A multi-step, collaborative plan of action will be developed for each site or advocacy issue selected for the program. This plan will provide guidance to PAM staff and volunteers as well as local advocates, and will have benchmarks to allow us to gauge our effectiveness and tweak our approach. A multi-phase publicity plan will also be developed for each site—PAM will periodically announce Sites Worth Saving as they are accepted into the program, and regular updates, calls to action, and public information sharing will be part of the action plan for each site.

The Sites Worth Saving program has a formal application process, consisting of a standardized application form that is supplemented by written responses, photographs, press clippings, and letters of support. Applications will be reviewed by PAM staff and a volunteer Steering Committee, which will evaluate local capacity and the potential for meaningful preservation of the historic resource. Completed applications may be submitted at any time, but please be aware that PAM typically requires sixty days to sufficiently review submitted materials and cannot formally engage with prospective Sites until a plan of action has been drafted. There is no set number of applications that will be accepted, although PAM’s involvement will be highly dependent on our internal capacity as well as the level of local and volunteer commitment. Applicants should demonstrate their willingness to engage with and support PAM by becoming members, or by joining Places of Interest, which is equivalent to an associate-level membership in Sites Worth Saving. Places of Interest memberships include up to 6 hours of dedicated staff assistance, regardless of whether the application is accepted for Sites Worth Saving.

PAM has found that local preservation efforts support community development by bringing people together in unique and valuable ways, and by capitalizing on a community’s historic assets for economic and cultural benefit. We look forward to sharing a community-building experience with you, and we hope that our mutual efforts will guide, strengthen, and support preservation activity, historic communities, and Sites Worth Saving throughout Minnesota.

Please contact PAM’s Field Representative, Erin Hanafin Berg, for assistance in preparing your application to Sites Worth Saving: or 651.293.9047 x3.