Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Loss

Gossips learned yesterday that this garage on Robinson Street--an example of architecture as folk art--has been demolished. 

There is no way of knowing if this building would have been spared had the Robinson Street neighborhood become a historic district, but a certificate of appropriateness would have been required from the Historic Preservation Commission before the demolition could be carried out. 


  1. I don't know about that one, not every falling down, rotting structure is worthy of historical preservation. At a certain point when things rot enough they just become rotted wood. If you take it apart piece by piece and replace it with new parts, like the General Worth House, is it still historic? Seems more like a replica to me, like the dinosaur bones made of plaster in the Museum of Natural History.

  2. When I was in Japan once a friend took me to a Shinto temple which she told me was over 1000 years old. I can't prove that she was right but assume the building was several centuries old at least. And it was in phenomenal shape! I asked her how they preserved it in such wonderful condition and she told me that in Japan -- unlike here -- they view the building as a holistic piece, not the sum of its parts. Thus, when a single board or beam becomes rickety or rotted, they simply replace it using the same material and the time-tested methods of construction. It is, indeed, a different method of preserving historic buildings I think, and something we might gain from integrating into our own preservation efforts.