Eric Dexter is a Senior Project Manager at Berglund Construction and has been a member of Skyline Council for more than five years. He also serves on Skyline Council’s Fun Committee, which is in charge of organizing some of the group’s most popular annual events like Trivia Night and neighborhood pub crawls. Below, Eric tells us what it is about historic preservation that interests him and how he sees younger generations impacting the preservation movement.
What is the best part of your job?
Working on historic buildings and understanding how they were constructed many years ago. In doing so, you are able to see building components and spaces that most people never get to see up close. Some of the buildings we work on haven’t been repaired or altered since they were built.
When and why did you become involved with LI and join the Skyline Council?
I have been involved with Landmarks Illinois for a little over five years. Some of the first buildings I worked on were historically significant buildings, and I really enjoyed the challenge of working on them. The Skyline Council offered an opportunity to network with people that share the same interest in these buildings/spaces, while trying to build new interest among new members.
Why is historic preservation important and what about it interests you?
Historic preservation is a link to previous times, along with the story behind the space. Without preserving these buildings, future generations will no longer have a physical connection to the construction, materials, craftsmanship and events that make these structures great.
What is one thing about historic preservation you would tell another young professional to spark their interest?
You are able to help save these unique buildings/spaces so future generations can experience them in person, instead of through photos.
What impact do you think young professionals like yourself will have on the future of historic preservation?
I think younger generations will approach the buildings with more adaptive reuse in mind, very few buildings can be saved without a source of income. They will provide new ideas how to save historic fabric, while lending itself to an exciting space.
What do you do to support and advocate for preservation either in your professional or personal life? (or both!)
I have been a part of a few projects where we help restore/preserve a small part of the main overall building, which will typically spark excitement from people outside the project. Sometimes this can be as simple as a cleaning, small mock-up or repair; but it goes a long way in opening people’s eyes to the possibilities of what can be done.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy working on home improvement projects, from installing a backsplash to gutting a bathroom. In the summer, I like to play golf and could always play more.