Blog entry by Louise Burgess
“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own
we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Why should we preserve the architecture of the past?
Why will its preservation matter to our future?
The idea to preserve buildings, communities and landscapes isn’t a new one though it is a growing. It also is a topic that has so many facets it would be impossible to do justice to the scope of historic preservation in one blog. What we do want to do is to create a forum that invites all aspects of historic preservation into one usable tool. A resource for homeowners, people in the building trades and realtors to come for ideas and the tools they need to maintain a buildings historic character. That is what we aim for this blog to become. Please join in on our conversations and share why preservation matters to you.
For myself, I grew up in Murfreesburo, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California. From an early age I remember being surrounded by old building that seemed to hold secrets and if I was patient enough I may just be granted the ability to learn. What I walked away with was a deep respect for the architects and vernacular carpenters that told stories using wood, concrete, glass and mortar.
But why preserve? Some historic buildings are beautiful in their elaborateness and others, their quiet charm. It is their beauty that has spurred Heritage Tourism across the country and around the world. People dream of Paris not only for croissants but its architecture – and it isn’t the architecture of the 1980s and 90s. People want to visit these sites to walk and touch the spaces of the past. These buildings become a community’s collective soul.
Many communities are looking for adaptive reuse of their old building stock. What once were warehouses are now chic condominiums. People are buying old churches to make into single-family dwellings. This is happening because the charm of the past isn’t easily replicated. It is also happening because we have been a throw-away society for much too long and the consequences are beginning to take a toll.
Karla of Restoring History asked me to work with her on writing blogs and working on her website. I feel honored to have the ability to write about topics that are close to my heart. I have worked in the Historic Preservation field for close to 15 years. While studying historic preservation at the University of Oregon I worked at the Historic Preservation League of Oregon, where I continued to work for the next 5 years.
I’m guessing I met Karla about 6 years ago when I worked at a local salvage company. Karla was often on the hunt for materials to use for her home or the homes of her clients. She has always been quick witted and thoroughly steeped in her knowledge of historic preservation.
Please take some time to follow our blogs and postings. And please share this information with others so together we may work to preserve our architectural past – and hopefully we may just have some fun along the way.
Louise lives in Beaverton in the most modern house she has ever lived in – a 1947 ranch on ½ an acre lot. Her husband and two daughters have all had parts in restoring their home.