I thought that the Cronocaos article brought up some interesting points (although somewhat stark and overgeneralized) about the ambiguities and contradictions within the preservation field, and the fact that the westernized ideology of the field has to adapt in order to survive. The second bullet in particular spoke about time and the author’s belief that “Time cannot be stopped in its tracks, but there is no consideration in the arsenal of preservation of how its effects should be managed, how the ‘preserved’ could stay alive, and yet evolve”. I do feel that at times in their zeal to preserve/save a structure some preservationists forget that buildings are a part of the current world and try to freeze a building within a particular period. How do we balance the fact that we need to make these buildings functional and work by current standards yet not allow this to make us compromise on important values?
“Its French black walnut paneling has remained reasonably intact, yet almost everything above a certain datum is too far gone to be delayered.” – Suzanne Stephens on the Herzog & de Meuron Park Ave Armory
“Delayered” is a made up word but encompasses so much of what we discuss in the preservation field. How can this “delayering” be considered in terms of placemaking and the curatorial nature of preservation?
How can preservation open its doors to creatively and collaboratively “placemaking” with artists? An example that comes to mind is Funeral for a Home, which stimulated community, art, activism, preservation, social justice and more into one light. Do the historic reenactments at Gettysburg constitute as performance art inspired by preservationist values?
If any conscious act of preserving something is itself a reflection of cultural beliefs and values and therefore constitutes an additional layer of history, why not be creative with it? If some modification to or loss of historic fabric can play a role in reviving a building for a new and interesting use isn’t it worth it? Maybe the goal of putting a building back into lively use should be prioritized above retaining meticulous historical “accuracy.”
In their introduction to their ‘Cronocaos’ exhibition, OMA laid out a series of ambiguities and contradictions surrounding the idea of preservation. I found one of these to be intriguing considering the voice saying it as well as the intended audience to hear it:
“Through preservation’s ever-increasing ambitions, the time lag between new construction and the imperative to preserve has collapsed from two thousand years to almost nothing. From retrospective, preservation will soon become prospective, forced to take decisions for which it is entirely unprepared.”
Considering Mr. Koolhaas and OMA are such an influential pillar in the architectural industry’s dialogue and self-reflection, what could be the message to disciplines not immediately concerned with preservation? The idea that longevity should be considered (or, for temporary construction, at least acknowledged) in design and architecture may seem obvious, but is it? How can this be communicated in both a theoretical and practical context to disciplines responsible for design, construction, funding, and management of sites that will/may be formally preserved in the future?
In Markusen and Gadwa’s Creative Placemaking, all of the project cited relied on art to bridge communities and space. What about the practice and enjoyment of art makes these connections possible? How can we harness this creative power into creating the same type of support and community celebration around preservation projects?
What would the criteria for prospective preservation look like?
Should all (some?) newly built projects be kept from demolition for a number of years after completion to avoid cases like the American Folk Art Museum?