As green initiatives are reshaping the way we think about architecture, redevelopment and community planning, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin examines what greening means for the future of historic preservation. “Historic Preservation and Green Architecture: Friends or Foes? According to architecture critic Blair Kamin, they’re natural allies--and always have been,” an article that appears in the March/April issue of Preservation Magazine, was adapted from a speech Kamin gave to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.
Kamin writes; “Preservations and conservations are close relatives - sisters or brothers - not strangers. Yet if you scratch the surface of their relationship, it is possible to find evidence of sibling rivalry.” How do you preserve the past, while simultaneously working towards a greener future? How do you negotiate a middle ground between the old and the new?
The article examines instances when this middle ground needed be negotiated for one reason or another. “A close look at three projects in the Midwest reveals the need for a broad spectrum of approaches, based on the recognition that different circumstances demand different responses--and a healthy dose of innovation,” Kamin explains.
Despite the potential for rivalry between preservationists and conservationists, Kamin thinks that they “can be friends, not foes. But like good friends or rival siblings, they may need, occasionally, to agree to disagree.”