Cross posted from From Auschwitz to Skokie where I discuss my recent trip to Poland to study Jewish history, heritage, memory, and the Holocaust as well as my work with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, IL.
Historic preservation is an important aspect of the work that many Public Historians in the United States do. So important, in fact, that my program requires all Public History students to take a course on historic preservation, which I took last semester. Ask me about the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, particularly Section 106, and I can bore the pants off of you with information about the federal government’s role in historic preservation. Then, of course, there are all the state and local regulations that impact historic preservation efforts as well.
There are multiple theories of historic preservation about what we mean when we use the term “preservation” and what goal we should have in mind. There are three main schools of thought:
1. Restoration to a former state
2. Preservation in the current state
3. Adaptive reuse