This I Believe

Michael - Rochester, New York
Entered on January 15, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: place
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I Believe in Historic Preservation. I believe in preserving our homes, our office buildings, our factories, our stores and our churches. I believe in preserving all of these types of buildings, not necessarily for use as they may have been originally designed, but using them in new ways so that they will not be destroyed. I understand that times have changed and the needs of the community have changed, but once we loose these structures, they can not be reclaimed. These structures are our history, our beginnings. They have stories to tell and they give those who were not there a glimpse into the past. Yet all too easily we will say, tear it down and build something new. Old buildings will sit empty so long that there is nothing else that can be done except tearing them down and this is shameful. Someone took the time to design and build that structure and yet we are so quick to make way for a new shopping mall. It’s not that there aren’t other options out there. Houses can be moved, factories can be re-used as loft apartments, and even the facades of old office buildings can be saved if we just take the time to look at how they can be reused and make that extra effort.

I live in a home that is 150 years old in the Susan B. Anthony Preservation District and although I purchased the home not knowing much about preservation, I have grown to understand the value of saving this home. There are many others in my neighborhood who are working to preserve these old homes as well, and there are many other structures in our area that are in dire need of preserving. They have a history or story to tell and it is our job to preserve them and tell it. I’m sure my community is not much different than many others. So I will ask local investors, preservationists, national governments and local governments to step up their efforts to encourage investment and revitalization of many of these urban areas that are filled with historic buildings just waiting to be saved and I will encourage others to do the same. I believe if we loose these buildings we loose a big part of our past that can never be replaced and for me that is what preservation really is all about. I believe in Preservation.