Heritage School
A Keeper for Each House is a project aimed at forming a community of responsible citizens

The project was implemented in 2019–2020 with the support of the Ekaterinburg History Museum and the Presidential Grant Foundation.

It deals with the problem of preservation of the historical buildings of the city. The current state of historical architecture faces a number of problems and issues. It requires large-scale involvement of various resources, while dealing with heritage is impossible without a professional approach and understanding of the laws.

The goal of the project is to form respect to historical memory, expressed in the architecture of Ekaterinburg, and help people realize how they can contribute to the protection and restoration of the cultural landmarks.

The idea of the Heritage School is to develop public support for the preservation of cultural heritage and propose specific sustainable models for the reanimation of historical sites.

What made the project truly unique is the involvement of citizens, professionals, governmental authorities into competent and productive communication.

The school provides the participants not only with knowledge but also the possibility of putting it into practice.
The course took 8 months (from November 2019 to June 2020). The educational module consisted of a series of open lectures and seminars, topics ranging from basic concepts to specific expertise and practical preservation of cultural heritage, as well as legal matters.

For the practical course, 10 cases were developed to simulate positive scenarios for the problem sites. The participants joined existing heritage preservation projects and also launched new initiatives from scratch. While specialists and experts supervised the projects, the museum provided methodological support.

The cases are presented on the website. Some of the initiative groups still continue to work on their projects, while others have broken up. Positive examples include a group of inhabitants of the former Ryazanov estate who are still implementing a number of initiatives, such as the Ryazanov Days festival. And yet a number of projects got nowhere. One of the sites that the school participants tried to save—the building of the Uktus Airport—was demolished.

Regardless of the situation with certain site, the main achievement of the School was expanding the circle of supporters of the preservation of cultural heritage in the city (there is now a base of experienced volunteers), increasing their level of understanding of legal and social foundations of heritage preservation, increasing awareness of the cultural heritage of Ekaterinburg, combining efforts on the basis of professional approach, the emergence of scenarios for the revitalization of a number of objects, and increasing their investment attractiveness.