Historic Preservation is Not About the Past

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Contrary to many people’s impression and understanding, historic preservation is not about nostalgia for the past.

Rather, it is about continuity. Places with historic buildings give people a sense of their place in time; understanding that others came before them, living their lives in similar yet different ways, and that others will come after us.

It is about community. Places with neighborhoods served by walkable commercial centers foster community interaction and pride, building a sense of belonging.

It is about character. Places that people love and care about do not spring up overnight; they are built over time, giving them a sense of those who came before and developing character that is unlike anywhere else.

It is about the future. Historic preservation helps keep exciting, viable, interesting places for future generations.

Posted on January 9, 2009 12:12 pm
  1. preservation

    Hi Jo-Anne,
    You are so right! So well put! Especially the “walkable” nature of a town. San Jose, CA used to have a safe and beautiful, walkable downtown. In the 70’s, there was a mass exodus to the suburbs and malls, and many downtown buildings were torn down. Now the downtown has become so seedy in places that people no longer stroll along the streets. It’s very sad. In fact, I should blog about it. 😉


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