The Collins English Dictionary defines domino effect as “a series of similar or related events occurring as a direct and inevitable result of one initial event.”

It is my presupposition that a single event can begin a chain reaction causing similar or related events that can bring about change.

I live and breathe old buildings…my entire job is centered around the preservation of historic structures and helping property owners bring their historic buildings back to life.  In the past year an additional responsibility was added to my job scope to include the review of condemned and derelict structures for potential historic significance.  On the surface, this project had the potential to be exciting.  It was a project that would allow me to learn a great deal more about the historic urban neighborhoods in the city of Jacksonville and have a legitimate excuse to research…I LOVE to research.  Then, the addresses started to pour in and with it the realization that the majority of the structures I was reviewing would ultimately face demolition, decimating entire historic neighborhoods in the process.  I began to wonder if there could be another way.  What can be done to remove the blighting issues to these neighborhoods and save the buildings at the same time?  This thought has become my obsession, my passion, my drive, and my vision.  I still don’t have the answer but my thoughts, feelings, and efforts have begun to revolve around one concept, the domino effect.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Lao Tzo

One step, one action will lead to a second step, a second action which in turn leads to more.  This is the most basic explanation of the domino theory.  It is my opinion that the most effective method in which to bring about change is one step at a time.  If I want to make an impact on these houses and these neighborhoods and communities, it will be one building/property at a time.  I believe that if a house on a block is being repaired it will inspire a neighbor to do a little bit to fix up their own home or yard which will lead to another, which will lead to another renovation and, in time, an entire area will be turned around both from within and without through the partnership and cooperation of renovators and neighbors.  This will be the first step…in time, more change will come.


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