2009.05.18 19:00 - Why preserve "historic" sites and buildings?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Threedee Shepherd. The comments are by Threedee Shepherd.

    Threedee Shepherd: Hio Corvi & steve
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi, Three, Steve.
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Whatcha thinkin' Steve, Three?
    Threedee Shepherd: Steve, I am about half way through reading the Tao of architecture
    stevenaia Michinaga: I ahve a continuing seminar tomarrow and I'm just etting my paperwork together, thought I's stop by to listen to stimulating conversations while I work....grin
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: rolls my eyes and throws a pillow at Steve.
    stevenaia Michinaga: you are father into it that I ahve had time for, but what I did read was interesting thus far
    stevenaia Michinaga: farther
    stevenaia Michinaga: it is not a quick read
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, he is strong on empty space as a design feature
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I thiught youmight like that
    stevenaia Michinaga: there is much to say about what the vessal holds
    Threedee Shepherd: What impressed me most was that I could get a book published in the mid-50s and out of print in 2 days used in great condition
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs
    stevenaia Michinaga: the space, the light, the heat
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes I do like the ways he deals with space
    stevenaia Michinaga: I ahve a 1981 paperback printing
    Threedee Shepherd: I must admit that there are sentences (perhaps even paragraphs) where the words make syntactic sense and I hoave only a dim idea of what he is saying ;>
    stevenaia Michinaga: considering it's "only" 72 pages weghty pages
    Threedee Shepherd: indeed
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: only 72 pages?
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that is such a slim book, then.
    Threedee Shepherd: What is your seminar about?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: histoic preservation, I am an alternate on a local historic district commission, so the feel I need to be informed
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes Covri, I think he subscribes to the idea that if you have nothing more to say, do so.
    stevenaia Michinaga: infortunately it means I must be out of the house at 6:30
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: oh!
    Threedee Shepherd: To be out at 6:30 I find it almost as easy to stay up all night.
    stevenaia Michinaga: some kindly soul will be driving us the 90 minutes to get there and back
    Threedee Shepherd: Why do morning people always get to set meeting times ;>
    stevenaia Michinaga: it;s about a 6 hour seminar, I jsut bought a car charge for mycomputer, considered getting work done on the road
    Threedee Shepherd: Personally, I would sleep
    stevenaia Michinaga: and my officemate who will be joining us usually gets up at 9:30, she is not a morning person either
    stevenaia Michinaga: and he has "issues" with the drive from the city who is also on the commission
    stevenaia Michinaga: she has issues
    Threedee Shepherd: So, there was recently an interesting historic preservation issue here in boulder, where historic preservation is BIG.
    stevenaia Michinaga: as it should be
    Threedee Shepherd: The question was whether a regular old house from the 1930s was worth preserving, even though it was totally non-special, which is "said some" what was now special about it.
    Threedee Shepherd: hiya ig pink bunny Hug
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, specialness could be how ordinary it is
    Peer Infinity: hi everyone :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello peer
    stevenaia Michinaga: thre was an interesting case in ENgland where fail public housing was considered historic for that reason
    stevenaia Michinaga: so not sure what the decision was in the end, keep it or remove it
    Threedee Shepherd: oh dear! I think people can gt out of hand on this kind of thing
    stevenaia Michinaga: sometimes
    stevenaia Michinaga: but each side's opinion matters to someone
    stevenaia Michinaga: and usually it;s the developer who contributes to the politicals who matters
    Threedee Shepherd: That too
    Threedee Shepherd: My question to you is: Are there principles of a general nature that should ground such decisions?
    stevenaia Michinaga: oh yes, and they generally disagree
    Threedee Shepherd: Is there ANY rational way in?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: between need and history?
    stevenaia Michinaga: there is certainly many situatiosn where it;s black and white
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: are there, really?
    stevenaia Michinaga: but many where it depends on many smaller factors
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I mean.I guess you'd preserve the whitehouse no matter what...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: despite condition and need...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: right?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, famouse architect or famous building or important histoical event happened there
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: what is famous enough?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: important enough?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: condition of the buildiing counts, right?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and what you need to build there.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was giving an example of criteria
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yeah but..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: famous is a sliding scale?
    stevenaia Michinaga: ofcourse, like the buidling in england
    stevenaia Michinaga: famous for its failure
    stevenaia Michinaga: but success on an architectural level to sime
    stevenaia Michinaga: some
    stevenaia Michinaga: things get interesting the grayer the points are
    stevenaia Michinaga: when the absolutes dissappear
    Threedee Shepherd: There must be some kinds of thresholds, or everything would e saved?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: i bet it's a matrix of criteria?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, each dependant on the situation at hand
    Threedee Shepherd: OK, let's turn it around. Why *preserve* ANY building?
    stevenaia Michinaga: civic and social continuity matter
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: because it gives you a more sensual experience of the moments which where lived in it
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: than one can get from simply hearing the story.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: so one thing important is the value of that story to the community.
    stevenaia Michinaga: that to, which is why places where histoical even occure make the place important, like Gettesburg
    Threedee Shepherd: Well to paraphrase some guy, once you've seen one Williamsburg, you've seen em all.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: how important is THIS story to this community might include...how many similar stories re there...preserved already?
    stevenaia Michinaga: no
    stevenaia Michinaga: one may be all that is importnat
    stevenaia Michinaga: and how the story is framed may be more important than it really is
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yeah..if there are thirty williamsburgs already..then do we need another colonial story?
    stevenaia Michinaga: so you can tip the scales
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: with a vision? A new version of the story?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello fear
    stevenaia Michinaga: not a new version, bit an enhanced version
    Threedee Shepherd: Hmm, I now wonder just what happened when I went to Williamsburg as a child or about 12? Was it real to me, or just another museum of sorts.
    stevenaia Michinaga: do you remember?
    Threedee Shepherd: Hello, fear, we are a group that meets daily and discusses reality or unreality and everything in between.
    Threedee Shepherd: I remember every door and bed was small by adult standards
    stevenaia Michinaga: aww, second day in SL, welcome
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    stevenaia Michinaga: but so were you
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I remember that, too.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I ahve never been there but ahve several books on it;s restoration
    Threedee Shepherd: I think reading the "Federalist Papers" made more of a lasting impression on me than seeing Williamsburg or Mt. Vernon. Perhaps I am too cerebral
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: the thing about Willamsburg and other similar spots for me..was the stories about the community it took to support it.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: seeing the places each person tucked into to sleep..and the work they did to live.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, living communites portrated in history offer a better perspective than reading about it
    Threedee Shepherd: stories are pivotal. I agree and if th place provides a context available no ther way then it can matter
    stevenaia Michinaga: liek a movie
    stevenaia Michinaga: cept you can ask questions
    stevenaia Michinaga: of the actors
    Threedee Shepherd: So lets get the filmmakers and model makers to do a great film and then tear the damn building down
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ha!
    stevenaia Michinaga: here that would be not appreciating, but interacting with...appearance
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: well..its different to touch the walls than to see the film.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: to stand in a space is different..the scale for instance...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: how would you have known that bed was too small?
    Threedee Shepherd: If modern civilization does not self-destruct, in 100-years you will be able to experience that without going there.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: until then
    Threedee Shepherd: Actually, does it matter that I did. I learned about the changes in body stature due to improved health and nutrition in many other ways.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am aways amazed at what prediction do not come true, and which do, they are always more random then you ever thought
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smoke
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I remeber smoke at one one of those tours..in the kitchen
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: heat
    stevenaia Michinaga: like facebook, SL, very recent
    Threedee Shepherd: of course, Steve, just llok back at 1950s Popular Mechanics
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: there are alot of sensory experiences to capture..the buildings are like primary documents or original research.
    Threedee Shepherd: So, in taking parts of both sides to stand on, I am looking for pattern and balance in the context of competing pragmatic needs
    stevenaia Michinaga: were you at Adam's talk on sunday?
    Threedee Shepherd: When my grandparents and other early 1900s immigrants left the "old country" did they give much care of thought to the buildings they left behind?
    Threedee Shepherd: me, no
    Threedee Shepherd: I guess, to sum up this conversation, I have the usual kneejerk reaction that preservation and understanding of cultural evolution is a *good thing*. And, I then step back and am trying to have a second look....
    stevenaia Michinaga: it should outlast the individual
    stevenaia Michinaga: time for me to go
    Threedee Shepherd: same here. sleep fast
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