2014, June 12 | Thursday 12:46 am

by Peter Samuel

We’re characterizing historic preservationism as extremist when itRooftopsParkFgd5c2c

- refuses to consider trade-offs, such as costs and opportunity foregone, effects on monthly rentals and property values

- claims jurisdiction over broad areas of a city rather than over portions of historic significance and quality

- invokes notions of inter-relatedness of groups of buildings, many changed and not as old, and insists the whole group must be preserved, what we term ‘total preservationism’

- sets vague subjective criteria for preservation that allow arbitrary and capricious rulings

- says that small and subsidiary features are ‘character defining’

- jeopardizes preservation projects with an insistence on controlWPatrickBFritch5c3c

- disregards practice in earlier cases insisting that precedent is irrelevant and ’non binding’

- puts decisionmaking in the hands of preservation enthusiasts and self-interested preservation staff rather than elected officials or independent persons

- fails to recognize that while preserving our history matters we live in the present, and hopefully have a future, so parts of history have to yield to other priorities

- sees historic preservation as freezing buildings as they are, failing to recognize that real history has always been a process of change and adaptation

- fails to recognize historic preservation is something of a luxury good, a higher-income indulgence and can be a burden on lower income people, disastrous for those at the bottom of the income ladder

- uses the cover of historic preservation to dictate a style preference of the ‘preservationists’ or to keep out newcomersNightRoofLine3c2c

- is empire-building, constantly trying to expand its jurisdiction, by moving to gain new tracts and people under its control

P Samuel 2014-05-09

Your Comments are invited.Please send feedback to petersamuel@mac.com
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