DEC 17, 2013

Architectural Heritage: why is preservation important?

Heritage preservation encompasses so much more than the conservation of historic structures. There are many more things at stake; it’s not simply about saving them for preservations sake.

So let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind a decision to conserve, restore and safeguard our architectural heritage.

Historic significance and educational interest

Perhaps the most significant (but certainly not the only) reason behind heritage preservation is to acknowledge a buildings’ historic importance and to keep it alive for future generations - especially for future students, who without it wouldn’t have the tangible artefacts to ‘bring alive’ their studies.

Cultural benefit

A building’s cultural significance leads on from the historic interest, and preservation serves to keep communities together, to see them remain true to their past and safeguard their future.

In cases where historic preservation has been ignored, a community’s connection to the past is lost. Their foundation is removed and with it goes pride and a sense of belonging.

Economic gain

Occasionally, heritage preservation is portrayed as being opposed to economic growth. But this is misleading. Conservation isn’t a waste of money. In fact, heritage preservation makes very sound economic sense.

That’s because, unlike the new builds which may have replaced them, the preserved site increases the opportunities for tourism. It also creates jobs (far more than new construction), with conservation efforts requiring skilled labour

Environmental reasons

To demolish a site and construct a new building isn’t as environmentally responsible as historic preservation.

When a structure is removed, the old materials are discarded and new ones need to be sourced and transported to the site – which is a huge waste of resources, energy and time.

Created on 17th December 2013
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