A belated Preservation post….

I got entirely too caught up in the excitement of making a slideshow on my nerdy vice, that I forgot to post a weekly ‘reflection’…

I wanted to touch upon the argument on which is more relevant while deciding if a building needs to be preserved or not; the person that lived there, the event that occurred, or the style/era it was constructed in.

Growing up in a suburb of Boston, I saw many places (Paul Revere’s house, etc) that weren’t structurally impressive, nor did any specific event occur there. The mere fact that a founding father used to sleep there (think – ‘Abe Lincoln slept here’ for Boise…) makes this otherwise unimpressive structure, historically significant. Since a non-profit organization runs the Paul Revere house, I don’t have any quarrels with this site being preserved. If it were a state owned facility, I would be singing a different tune.

In working with the Idaho State Historical Society, there were many projects, sites, etc. where our resources were exhausted in trying to even maintain certain areas. One is the Stricker House and Rock Creek Station located outside of Kimberly, Idaho. I originally wrote a long article on this for my blog post, so be grateful that I deleted it (no one wants to hear a former Historian complain). In the case of this site, it annoyed me that the ISHS was spending time and money on a site where the yearly visitors barely numbered in the hundreds – with no attempts to improve the patronage.

Without going into a long rant, my view is that the buildings, sites, etc should be viewed in their cultural context. Is the site THAT significant, where it needs to be maintained and preserved for future generations to immerse themselves. Or is it just us being entirely too sentimental about a place that is only important when someone suggests it being otherwise?

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