The “Ultimate Goal”

Preservation’s “ultimate goal is not fixing or saving old things but rather creating places where people can live well and connect to meaningful narratives about history, culture, and identity” (Kaufman, Place, Race, and Story, p.1)

As preservationists we have the responsibility to tell stories of the underrepresented, dispelling the notion that our practice is an elitist stewardship of “ornate mansions and national shrines,” and furthermore transform the public understanding of the field to that of a craft of enlightenment, by attempting to grant those who live in our world a comprehension of complex, intangible cultures and identities that exist or existed in it, through the simple act of tangible storytelling.

The ambiguity – but also importance – of ‘feelings’ of attachment to a place pose a dilemma near impossible to categorize through technical language of preservation policy. The result is either a law that excludes the concept of ‘feeling’ entirely, or leaves it so vague that anything could be deemed worth of preservation due to ‘feelings’ equating to ‘resources’. Let’s try to write something that works.


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