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Franklin’s One-Night Stand in Greenbelt Museum

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UPDATE: Click here to read Franklin’s blog post about his visit to Greenbelt.

Franklin Vagnone is the genius behind Twisted Preservation, a “cultural and museum consulting firm.”

Franklin Vagnone at Greenbelt Museum

Just not your normal consultant. He’s a preservationist with a manifesto – for a more experiential, real-life presentation of historic homes than the usual “beige experience,” as he calls it. So he spends time living in them – usually in the form of one-night stands.

Franklin wow’ed me and I’m betting the whole full-house crowd last night in a talk for the Greenbelt Museum (their speaker series is terrific). Here he is sporting his historic house jacket, and look what house museum just got added to the sleeve!

Since arriving at the Greenbelt Museum yesterday afternoon, he told us that he’d already had a meal there, made from recipes in the historic Greenbelt Cookbook (think colorful jello creations), and worked at his computer from a desk in the living room. Living like a real person in a museum? Radical!

He mentioned that the next morning he’d be photographing the rooms but also observing and photographing people walking by on the inner sidewalks and playing in the large common area outside his window.

Franklin Vagnone at Greenbelt Museum

Well, I happened to walk by the museum at 6:30 this morning on my way to the lake (it being unusually cool) and spotted Franklin in the window!

In a week or so we’ll get to read Franklin’s account of his stay in Greenbelt on his blog, and I’ll share the link when it’s up. Meanwhile, I’ll be perusing his house-museum stories there because his perspective is fascinating and utterly new to me. Plus, he’s a ridiculously talented communicator.

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV.

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