Preservation Chicago Welcomes Max Chavez for the National Trust Mildred Colodny Diversity Scholarship Internship

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Preservation Chicago is thrilled to announce the newest member to our team! Max Chavez, a recent graduate of New York University in London’s Historical & Sustainable Architecture graduate program, has joined us as an intern for the next five months.

A Los Angeles native, Max has come to Chicago thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation which selected him as a recipient of the  Mildred Colodny Diversity Scholarship We are excited to work with Max who has enthusiastically jumped into a number of challenging and interesting Chicago preservation projects.

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Max was given the option of completing his National Trust internship with a local preservation organization as a way of continuing his work during the pandemic while also contributing to on-the-ground preservation efforts where help is needed most. This is how Max came to reach out to Preservation Chicago.

Max was drawn to preservation as a way to tell more diverse stories about our cities and the people that live in them. His graduate thesis, which won NYU in London’s Gavin Stamp Memorial Award for Outstanding Thesis, focused on managing and reusing sites of what Max termed “burdened architecture”: contentious sites marked by historical traumas and injustices.

He is also committed to preservation of underrepresented heritages, most specifically those of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities. In addition to his interests in social and community issues, Max is also a self-avowed enthusiast of architectural history and is very excited to be in a new city full of beautiful sites to explore.

We consider this local/national partnership a best practice and are hopeful that this model that can be replicated in the future. This approach represents an outstanding opportunity for the National Trust to further their efforts to support the next generation of talented, diverse preservationists by providing them the opportunity for direct, hands-on advocacy experience. Additionally, these bright and enthusiastic emerging preservationists bring valuable additional capacity to local preservation organizations on the front-lines of preservation efforts.

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