Fine old buildings, built with unique details by craftsman skills no longer available or affordable, are works of art. Works of art are the property of mankind, and ownership of them carries with it the obligation to preserve them for future generations.
This is the idealistic basis for preservation. But from the more practical and broader standpoint, it is more than simply freezing an old thing in time. Consider that preservation deals intimately with each of us, whether or not we live or work in a historic or architecturally significant structure.
What makes Wallingford a desirable place to live?
Most certainly among the reasons are the friendly people, an excellent school system, and an small-town atmosphere in the heart of Seattle. But what about our well-kept homes and business places, the scenic views of the Seattle downtown and Gas Works Park, our recreation areas, — even our interesting local history that played a prominent role in the development of Seattle?
We should be thankful for the foresight of those dedicated citizens who, over long periods of time, created and left for us this physical and cultural heritage, and we should do no less for the forthcoming generations.
That is what preservation is all about.
And still there remain people who ask “Why?” They think that preservation is simply “saving” an old building — normally the project or passing fancy of a handful of social do-gooders. However, preservation has an great economic advantage — that an attractive, historically-preserved and well-maintained community attracts quality residents and quality business to serve them.