Hi Colleen and Barbara,
This is a very interesting thread! I like Colleen's perspective of looking at whole communities as places that will engender significance that will resonate with people 50-100 years from now, because communities draw a larger portrait of the narrative of their significance, with individual buildings/places acting as different points within that narrative. With this in mind, I do believe that one way preservationists can help capture the enduring significance of these communities is to expand our view beyond a specific point or period of when these communities are (or will become) significant, and begin to look at the continuous evolution of these communities' significance over time. After all, communities' significance-their impact and imprint on the social, cultural, and historic backdrop of their country and world-does not begin or end at a static period or point of significance.
For example, the story and significance of Langley Park, particularly its inclusion in WMATA's plans for the pending Purple Line, is already being documented. Not by preservationists, but by urban planners who are using new technology and techniques to record the community members' attachment to place, the everyday meaning of places in the community, and the community members' fight for social justice during the planning and building process of the Purple Line. Similarly, the story of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl or "Neza" and its growth from slum to city, is being documented by journalists. The citizens' victory in getting basic utilities installed in Neza, how Neza is continuously perceived by both outsiders and inhabitants, and what Neza's evolution means on a local, national, and international scale is already being considered, documented, and explored.
With both of these examples, the problem is that though opportunity abounds for preservationists to become involved in considering and preserving the significance of these places; they tend not to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities. Particularly because the opportunities do not mesh with preservation/conservation regulatory, doctrinal, and ideological limits of practice, especially that of determining a significant period, person, or event associated to the community, or a place in the community. If we begin to accept the perspective of continuous and constant evolution of significance, I think preservationists will be better equipped to take advantage of the abounding opportunities that are present today to preserve community significance.
Also, I took the style quiz, and I got Second Empire. I was surprised at first, then I read the description and I was like…makes sense! Lol.
"Report: Purple Line threatens affordable housing in Langley Park." Washington Post, January 24, 2017.
"New study finds Purple Line threatens, but provides solutions for affordable housing in Langley Park." The Sentinel, February 1, 2017.
"For low-income communities, the Purple Line is an opportunity and a threat." Washington Post, February 18, 2017."Prince George's County allocates funds for affordable housing initiatives, Purple Line." The Diamondback, June 6, 2017.
Lung-Amam, Willow, Casey Dawkins, and Brandon Bedford. 2017, August. Story Mapping in Action: Engaging an Immigrant Community in Planning for a New Light Rail. National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education and Enterprise Community Partners.
Lung-Amam, Willow, Casey Dawkins, Zorayda Moreira, Gerrit-Jan Knaap, and Alonzo Washington. 2017. Preparing for the Purple Line: Affordable Housing Strategies for Langley Park, Maryland. National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education and CASA. With the support of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
The Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a network of preservation leaders — professionals, students, volunteers, activists, experts — who share the latest ideas, information, and advice, and have access to in-depth preservation resources and training.
COLLABORATING PARTNERS National Trust Insurance Services National Trust Community Investment Corporation National Main Street Center
The National Trust's federal tax identification number is 53-0210807.