Across the United States, many historic buildings are disappearing as they’re demolished to create space for newer, brighter buildings.

This is progress, and it’s been the American way for centuries.

But there’s another narrative worth telling in this country. Right alongside new buildings, old ones are being made new. Houses once abandoned are rehabilitated, church houses once dilapidated are being restored…land once used for farming is being repurposed.

In a country built on capitalism and innovation - two things that aren’t inherently bad - there live people who believe this truth: 

The places we inhabit matter,
and the spaces we fill hold meaning.

When a space is revived with purpose, it brings along with it the old meaning added to the new. The Rehabitation Podcast from creator Eiler Thompson celebrates these places and the people who believe in them.


A letter from the creator:

Dear friend,
I count myself fortunate that you’ve made your way to this landing spot for a new project idea exploring Americana at its finest. I believe we all love stories that warm our hearts and stretch our imaginations. It’s my hope that this project will accomplish both these things as I intend to tell stories about the old places being reclaimed for new purpose and the people who are doing it.

Having recently finished a podcast, I have become aware of how resource-consuming a project like this is. To do a podcast with quality, there are many elements to consider. First, there is the question of capturing the audio of conversations and experiences. I learned quickly that in order to be effective and to make quality art, there was a need to aim for the highest quality of audio recording and mastering - something that takes a great deal of financial resources. Second, the sheer amount of time each episode requires to be edited correctly can be rather astounding. I haven’t actually tallied my time, but a single episode can take up to 7 hours of editing time, and then at least 5 more hours of preparation, administration, marketing, etc. I’d venture to guess the average hour-count of a single episode is right around 12 hours…and then multiplied by an entire season, well…let’s just say, the good things don’t come easily - or quick! This could be a part-time job, but as it is with many things…we do it simply because we love it. And my, do I love it!

Before I tell you about the final consideration when examining resources needed for a project such as this, I’d like to share the impetus for this project. In short: It came to me in a dream. I’m not kidding - it really did. I wouldn’t believe it either, but I assure you that one morning I woke up with my dreams so vividly replaying in my head…I had dreamt I was in a high-rise apartment that had been renovated but still had the gorgeous original floors and open-brick walls. The windows were huge but new, and I remember thinking, “Someone had a vision for this place to be made new, and I want to talk to them about it.” I woke up with the most clear picture of this project’s goals, ambition, and character.

Before you read on, I do want to plainly say that this is often how cults are formed…by someone confessing God visited them in a dream and therefore anything they say after this HAS to be believed hook, line, and sinker. Please my friend, think critically as you continue to read. It is not my intention to woo you into a strange cult. Someone else can do that.

This brings me to the final consideration when examining the resources needed to complete a project of this nature. I am based in Nashville, which has some of the most wonderful locations for this project’s purpose, and I fully intend to tap into them. However, it does leave me locked to one geographical location - which is not ideal for the completion of a whole picture of our country’s use of old spaces. This project, to be done well, not only requires financial resources for quality production (for which I will be prepared to fund), multitudes of time (for which I am grateful to give), but will also require the ability to travel. This expense is not something I am easily able to fund, and makes this project a difficult one to follow through with.

If I were reading this, I know exactly what I would be thinking, “Is she really asking me to fund her LITERAL dream?” In a way, I am. But, I’m prepared to offer you

Gratefully,

(Leslie) Eiler Thompson

how to be involved:

This podcast aims to explore places across the country. To accomplish this task well, financial resources will need to be made available.