Heart-bombs are valentines to historic places. In February, these hearts of appreciation demonstrate our love for the special old places and legacy businesses around us. What favorite building or business would you pick?

You might show your love for your favorite downtown storefronts or draw attention to an ignored property that needs some TLC. Let us show you how easy it is to get started.

Four historic storefronts in a collage
Some of our favorite places: Easton’s Carmelcorn Shop, founded 1931 (Northampton County); B&P Polish Deli in Bethlehem (Lehigh County); Humphry’s Flag Shop (across the street from the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia); and Sine’s 5&10 in Quakertown, complete with soda fountain (Bucks County).

The heart-bombing movement started with a group of young preservationists in Buffalo, NY, who wanted to highlight the lovelies in their Rust Belt city. For the last few years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has encouraged heart-bombing across the country. You can read about past efforts here.


  • Gather a group of people who are passionate about saving a place.
  • Make big valentines for the place you love. (We prefer environmentally-friendly materials.)
  • Take your valentines and either affix them to the place (without causing any damage; ribbons are good to tie one on!), or stand in front of it holding your declarations of love.
  • Take pictures. Especially of your smiling faces in front of the site.
  • If you can leave your valentines with the building, do so to draw attention to it. (Ask permission)
  • Post to social media using #PreservationPALove


We’ve made it easy this year to show your appreciation for the Legacy Businesses and special places in your community. We’ve created a downloadable pdf with valentine postcards for you to print out (we recommend card stock). Write a poem or draw a picture on the blank side. On the other side, let them know why you appreciate them. Are they part of an important family tradition? Is it a favorite hang out? Is the building a beauty that you’d miss if it were demolished or altered? Let them know you appreciate how well they are caring for the historic facade or groovy mid-modern vibe. Tell them how much they are loved in the community.


Let’s Make Valentine Postcards!

Beloved places for special treats: the Village Diner (Milford, Pike County); the fabulous Franklin Fountain (Philadelphia); Wellsboro Diner (Wellsboro, Tioga County)

As Mod Betty of Retro Roadmap likes to point out, we have to support the places that give our communities their character or they won’t survive. She also documents when retro places go out of business, like the recent closure of the beloved Dutch Haven in Ronks (Lancaster County). No more shoo-fly pie for you!

So, whether you organize a group of fellow enthusiasts to heart bomb a favorite historic place or deliver a valentine to your favorite Legacy Business, we encourage you to reach out to your favorite places this February to share the love!

Use the hashtag #LegacyLovePA to promote Legacy Businesses on social media. Download our postcard pdf to send a special note of appreciation to your favorite local places.


  • Promote Legacy Businesses on social media with the hashtag #LegacyLovePA. Let other people know where they are and why you love them.
  • Grab some friends and heartbomb a historic place you love.
  • Download our postcard sheet. Print on card stock, draw a picture, write a note or poem, drop one off and let your favorite place know that you appreciate them!
  • Buy gift cards to support local legacy businesses.
  • Become a member of your local historic site, historical society or advocacy organization. (Become a member of Preservation Pennsylvania here!)

Does this effort feel like preservation work? Preserving local businesses, supporting commercial corridors downtown, promoting restoration and reuse of historic buildings — all these efforts fall under the umbrella of historic preservation. Another way you can help protect and preserve the places that are important to your community is to submit a nomination to the annual Pennsylvania At Risk.


Preservation Pennsylvania has used Pennsylvania At Risk list to raise awareness of and build support for threatened places across the state and to advocate for increased resources for historic preservation in local communities.

Preservation Pennsylvania waives field service fees for At Risk Properties for the year and provides additional services and support such as letters of support for Keystone Grant fund applications or finding experts to offer services pro bono.

Pennsylvania At Risk (#PAatRisk) raises awareness about threatened properties that are a representative sampling of the Commonwealth’s most endangered historic resources. It is a useful tool to rally support for a local landmark.

“Endangerment” is defined as threat of Inappropriate Alteration, Compromised Setting, Physical Deterioration, or Demolition.

After review and selection by our independent panel of experts, we will announce the 2023 Pennsylvania At Risk during Preservation Month in May.

Preservation Pennsylvania is now accepting submissions through February 28, 2023. Click here to learn more, look up At Risk places in the database, and access the submission form.

Favorite places: Shane Confectionery since 1863 (Philadelphia); Termini Brothers Bakery at this location since 1938 (Philadephia); Colonial Theater, home to Blobfest (Phoenixville, Chester County). (Sadly, we originally included the beautiful Art Deco exterior of Royer Pharmacy in Lancaster County, but it has permanently closed.)

Where will you send a Valentine this year? Let us know in the comments! (Comments will be open for two weeks. Comments are held for moderation so you may not see it immediately upon submission.)