More Historic Preservation

It is interesting to me that there are so many steps to establishing a building’s significance before it can be preserved. It is good that the community seems to be very involved in the selection and preservation process, since the building is likely to be something they have to look at every day. It does concern me that so few communities seem invested in which areas of their cities are preserved. I feel like the people might be more invested in preserving the heritage of an area if they felt more connected to its history.

I feel like architectural preservation efforts are important, even if I will never be able to recognize a classic example of the colonial style on sight. I think it is good that more emphasis on preserving ‘recent’ historical places, such those built in the sixties and seventies, as rapid urban growth tends to destroy those places before they’ve hit the magic fifty-years-old mark. I suppose I had not considered that the architectural style of a building would contribute in some way to the history of a community, but I am glad that there are people who take an interest in such things. Old buildings are some of the most intriguing locations on city tours and if historic districts rely on tourism, then preserving as many as possible would be very beneficial to them. It does concern me that so many of the criteria for preservation are highly subjective.

Of equal concern is the possibility that companies might bully city planners into approving poor construction project plans with the threat of litigation. I am fully aware that such corporate goons are out there, but it makes me angry to think about what archaeological material may have been lost through intimidation and a lack of resources that small communities can use to protect themselves. More and more it is apparent that history and community significance consistently loses out to greed and self-interest, and what a pity that is.


One thought on “More Historic Preservation”

  1. I too worry that self-interested greed will destroy all the important, historic places. The laws and processes that are in place make it impossible to save these historic places unless the community is directly involved. As historians, I think we may have more empathy with regard to historic things and we are more likely to see the value of an old building than most. Unfortunately, by ourselves we can’t save them.

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