After 34 years as a local non-profit promoting local architectural history, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance has achieved a history of its own. And what a history it is: a number of pivotal events in LPA history are also important moments in city history. Lawrence today would not be the same if LPA had not existed, and every day we work to ensure that statement continues to remain true.
We reached out to the first president of LPA, Oliver Finney, and asked him to search his files and memory to write an early history of LPA. At LPA’s inception in 1984, there was no organized preservation effort in Lawrence. The Old West Lawrence Historic District was in existence, but there was no preservation ordinance, no Historic Resources Commission, and no Historic Resources Administrator. There was a strong sentiment among Lawrence leaders that individual property rights far outweighed historic or cultural concerns. If those early LPA Boards wanted to accomplish something, they had to band together and do it themselves (often putting up their own money), and they had to expect resistance. We are certainly glad that they did, and very pleased that Oliver has recounted these important historic events that follow. Thanks Oliver!