What an excellent introduction to the field of Historic Preservation! This is a realm I wish I could contribute more to. This last friday in fact, Preservation Idaho had an event that appealed to me, but I couldn’t make time to attend. Tyler says saving historic buildings and places historically lacked initiative from the federal government and the broader community (27-31). I have to agree with this assessment, and argue there are major clusters of Americans that still feel this way. Even though the field made advances with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, the Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the list of Historic Places, I still feel there is a sentiment in America that historic preservation is just a pet project for us historians, even though I will agree that this sentiment is shrinking.
The conflict persists due to development rivalry. One the one hand we have these designs for CADillac structures that defy physics and symbolize the technology based reality we live in – we just need space to build them. On the other hand we have an ever-expanding American history that is told through beautiful, uniquely American, buildings. Which structure deserves the space? A symbol of where we came from, or a symbol of where we are going? In Boise, we have great examples of this question being answered in the worst possible way: destroying the history and not building the future, however this run-in with Urban Renewal should not cloud the fact that there is still room for compromise.
The author shows several ways architects conjoin historic buildings with new ones. I think with proper amounts of grassroots support, and tasteful architectural plans, many cities, states and nations can both preserve history and build for the future.