Saturday, November 23, 2013

Preserving the Buildings that Make Our Community Unique

Wayne Wood, a preservationist from Riverside, Avondale in Jackson, Florida, gives this TED talk on why preservation is important. He gives a great overview not only of what preservation is and why it's worth doing (historically, culturally, and economically), but also why it can be controversial and how preservationists can make blunders that confuse matters even more.

We highly recommend this 16 minute video, but if you don't have time for the entire thing, scroll down past the video to see a few quotes below.

If you're receiving this post via email and can't see the video, click through directly to YouTube using this link: Historical Preservation - A Radical Conservative Liberal Concept: Wayne Wood at TEDxRiversideAvondale.

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"Architecture is the most public of all of our arts. These buildings are out there for us to see and to enjoy every day. They're not housed in a museum or a gallery or in a theater. But we get to interact with our buildings in our community and connect to our community in that way. If a building is beautiful, it uplifts our community. And buildings are visual works of art that connect us all. If you have a building like this in your city, it gives you a sense of place, a sense of importance. And it makes our town different from all those other towns."

"An ugly building is a scar that must be endured by all of us."

"If you're gonna spend my taxpayer money and build a building in the name of my city, make it something wonderful that expresses the joy and grandeur and culture of not just now in our city, but what it will be like in the future."

"If you tear down a historic building, you've not only lost the historic value and the cultural value, but you've lost the materials it was made of and the energy that went into consuming it.  Now our society has this big penchant for recycling our household wastes. And yet if you demolish an average 2,500 square foot American home, you have totally obliterated all the environmental and economic benefits you gave by recycling one million aluminum cans -- a neighborhood's generation's worth of recycling." 

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