Anney Grish serves as Chair of the Skyline Council’s Fun Subcommittee, which organized the upcoming Holiday Pub Crawl in Portage Park December 13. Outside of her volunteer efforts with Skyline Council, Anney works as an emergency & critical care veterinary technician at MedVet Chicago. She is also a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Policy. Previously, Anney interned with Preservation Chicago and below, she more about her passion for preservation and how she hopes to shape the preservation movement in the future.
You formerly served as a communications intern for Preservation Chicago. What was your favorite part of that role?
The most exciting part is when we are successful in finding a new use or owner for a building that would have otherwise been demolished. I also really enjoy meeting and working with people from all different walks of life who are invested in the preservation of their neighborhood buildings and culture.
When and why did you become involved with Landmarks Illinois and join the Skyline Council?
I joined at the beginning of 2019 because I saw the Skyline Council in the Landmarks Illinois newsletter and wanted to connect with more like-minded people.
Why is historic preservation important and what about it interests you?
Historic preservation is important most of all because our past informs our future. Old buildings and other landmarks are exciting to me because they’re tangible pieces of history that you don’t need to go to a museum to see.
What is one thing about historic preservation you would tell another young professional to spark their interest?
There is no other art form in the world whose historical works people would be comfortable with destroying on a regular basis. The art community would never allow the Mona Lisa to be thrown out to make space for a newer painting, and it’s important that we respect our architectural treasures in the same way.
What impact do you think young professionals like yourself will have on the future of historic preservation?
I think as any generation comes of age they bring a new approach to all aspects of life. Young professionals in the field today are looking back critically on the follies of the “urban renewal” and suburban sprawl of the last century, while still trying to make sense of our housing economy after the recession. My hope is that we continue to make strides on empowering communities to advocate for themselves so they’re not at the whim of bureaucracy or developers dramatically changing their neighborhoods without residents’ support.
What do you do to support and advocate for preservation either in your professional or personal life? (or both!)
On a whim a few years ago, I started an Instagram account mostly dedicated to architecture, urbanism and historic preservation. It’s actually become a really cool outlet to connect with interested friends and family, other people fighting the good fight for preservation around the world and has resulted in me working with groups like the Rust Belt Young Preservationists.
What do you do in your free time?
I’m in the process of getting my Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy, so school takes up a lot of my time these days! I’m also an avid traveler, have three pet birds and have been playing on an internationally competitive roller derby team for more than seven years.