Project Old is Gold: What Historic Preservation Means to Me

What is historic preservation?  Is it remembering our ancestors?  Revitalizing a downtown?  Preserving a ruin?  Practicing a tradition?

Image displays a Japanese memorial to children, a downtown city street, a Greek temple ruin and a luminaria display.

In the United States, “historic preservation” has often been equated with architectural history.  Specifically, preserving buildings designed by and for WWM (wealthy white men).  But over the last few decades, many in our field have worked not to bring preservation to the people, but people into preservation.  Working with communities.  Telling complex, layered histories.  Celebrating the importance of vernacular buildings, landscapes, oral traditions.

What do you think of when you think of historic preservation?