The 19th and early 20th century efforts to preserve patriotic landmarks in this country represented not so much shared memory as an attempt to write history.
I want scrutinize a few of the more common assumptions deployed in preserving buildings and places. They relate to citizenship, aesthetics, environmentalism, and the cultivation of a politics of locality.
For academic researchers and policy makers interested in the economic, social, and political impact of the arts, the Garden of Glass experience offered an opportunity to study the ways that cultural events like this one impact the attitudes of city residents, the lives of community citizens, and the strategies for economic redevelopment already in place. Garden of Glass was unquestionably an artistic success, but did it influence the neighborhood that hosted it?
Several theories of the new politics and new economy suggest that amenities drive urban development. Do they?
What is a list for? How do those who use it as a tool of historic preservation conceive of it? Is it merely a designation or is it an award? What are the intended reactions to the fact of listing? What are the actual reactions? What are the issues involved in compiling the list?