Why Old Buildings Matter

I don’t actually advocate for rehabilitation of old buildings as a strict preservationist. While I have a huge amount of respect for historic buildings, I approach rehabilitation from a pragmatic perspective. I strongly advocate for preservation of “character defining” aspects of historic buildings and neighborhoods.

On the flip side, I also recognize that current building codes, construction technologies, economics, and use requirements often conflict with historic preservation. I believe that change can be sensitively incorporated into a historic building – it becomes a part of the building’s unique “story”. Particularly, at the individual building level, navigating this tension between historic character and modern renovation approaches is of critical importance in effective rehabilitation work.

Here’s a quick overview of the topics explored in this presentation:

  • Why DO Old Buildings Matter – This, of course, is the main event. In deference to the Twitter generation, I have distilled it down into a list of four items.
  • The Nostalgia Trap – Respect for historic buildings is not (necessarily) nostalgia. Indeed, in order to be effective advocates, we need to make the case that old buildings are worth preserving for logical and objective reasons.
  • Preservation Activism – How to we take this case to the public?
  • Questions – There is always a good discussion after this presentation!

Leave a Reply