Getting your dose of Culture

History reaches out to us, bonding with us as it weaves its tale with the help of literature, art and architecture. For a history buff, wading through books and texts, is a part of understanding the essence of their study. The presence of these elements, bring a sense of culture into the world – a sense of continuance. Globalization has become a phenomenon of the 21st century, with different cultures thriving in the same society. With age-old traditions being replaced by newer ideologies, one must make sure that they aren’t letting go of their roots.

Courtesy of Ferran Vizoso

Courtesy of Ferran Vizoso

This has brought forth the phrases (and their corresponding ideas) – conservation and preservation. For a while now, we have been trying our hand at maintaining artifacts from the past, as it would have been in its era. This strive – to ensure that the future generations can still look at, and comprehend, the past with these preserved elements – has left people standing on a thin line – unable to perceive which side to take. Especially after preservation seemed to have become notorious for being an alternative to economic development.

Courtesy of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning

Courtesy of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning

Preservation has become more like an idea to develop and progress in a specific direction than in maintaining an old building just for the sake of it. Preservation is a vehicle – trying to paint a large picture, by starting small. Revitalization of an area, job creation, tourism etc are few of its broader goals.

Courtesy of OMA

Courtesy of OMA

Museums in many cities have taken up this idea of preservation by trying to create awareness amongst the residents about the landmarks in the city that is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. The Museum of the City of New York, started an exhibition – Saving Place : 50 Years of New York City Landmarks which launched with “Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century”. This museum, took up a very neglected and a very important task – one of trying to figure out how, with the preservation and restoration – how the preserved landmarks will help New York continue being a dynamic city.

Courtesy of Adam Bresnick Architects

Courtesy of Adam Bresnick Architects

Preservation of today, tries to restore the building to its original glory, such that it can be adapted and reused – creating a link that connects the past, the present and the future.

Courtesy of Brownhill Hayward Brown Architects

Courtesy of Brownhill Hayward Brown Architects

Courtesy of Planetizen

Courtesy of Planetizen

Around the world, people have started (very slowly, though) that preservation of landmarks in history, can help boost the economic growth and that the two are not mutually exclusive.

by Aishwarya Pai

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