Going to the Sock Hop: Preservation and Change at a Community Nonprofit


An historical school building is scheduled for demolition. The South Auburn Historical Association (SAHA), which recently started as a small group sharing old photos and hosting informal dances, has a purpose of bringing back pride and spirit to South Auburn. Mona, an out-of-town professor who grew up in South Auburn, becomes involved in the development of the SAHA. Initially, the group focused on social activities. Given the impending demolition, the SAHA faces the dilemma of remaining a “fun club” or becoming a force to rescue the building from a wrecking ball and preserve it for the enhancement of the area. If it chooses the latter, organization development must occur more rapidly than in “non-crisis” times. The clock is ticking toward the building’s destruction. (Because the SAHA likes to host informal dances, you’ll find references to sock hop songs in each section of this case!)

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