Why Preservation Matters

Top of turret on Reunion building

Importance of preserving buildings

Preservation is important for multiple reasons including:

  • Honors our diverse heritage
  • Supports sound community planning and development
  • Maintains community character and supports livability
  • Supports sustainability in our communities
  • Keeps historic resources for the benefit of future generations
  • Supports economic development

History of heritage conservation in America

In 1966, a Special Committee on Historic Preservation for the U.S. Conference of Mayors explored the issue of heritage conservation in America. Their report titled, With Heritage So Rich, sparked adoption of the National Historic Preservation Act that year.

In its introduction, author Sidney Hyman set forth fundamental reasons for preservation that remain just as valid today:

“What we want to conserve, therefore, is the evidence of individual talent and tradition, of liberty and union among successive generations of Americans. We want the signs of where we came from and how we got to where we are, the thoughts we had along the way, and what we did to express the thoughts in action. We want to know the trails that were walked, the battles that were fought, the tools that were made. We want to know the beautiful or useful things that were built and the originality that was shown, the adaptations that were made and the grace-notes to life that were sounded. We want to know the experiments in community living that were tried and the lessons that were taught by a brave failure as well as by a brave success.”