Why Preservation Matters

November 20, 2020
Why Preservation Matters

Commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the NationalHistoric Preservation Act, a critique of the preservationmovement—and a bold vision for its futureEvery day, millions of people enter old buildings, passmonuments, and gaze at landscapes unaware that these acts arepossible only thanks to the preservation movement. As we approachthe October 2016 anniversary of the United States National HistoricPreservation Act, historian Max Page offers a thoughtful assessmentof the movement's past and charts a path toward a more progressivefuture.Page argues that if preservation is to play a central role inbuilding more-just communities, it must transform itself to standagainst gentrification, work more closely with the environmentalsustainability movement, and challenge societies to confront theirpasts. Touching on the history of the preservation movement in theUnited States and ranging the world, Page searches for inspirationon how to rejuvenate historic preservation for the next fiftyyears. This illuminating work will be widely read by urbanplanners, historians, and anyone with a stake in the past.