sustainability, urban planning
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Event about historic preservation at The Van Alen institute

Coming up is a super cool event about Historic preservation in New York. Preserving our ecosystems and heritage includes also streets and other public spaces, as well as historic buildings and architectural landmarks.

Tomorrow on January 17th, Euro Circle network is hosting a benefit for the “Neighborhood Preservation Center”. The Van Alen Institute’s 6th floor gallery is the event location, and the address is 30 West 22nd Street New York. One of the event hosts Elin Jusélius is pursuing her Masters at Pratt in Historic Preservation. She told me that the basic idea of this event is to introduce the historic preservation field to people who are interested in learning more about it.

EJ: Historic preservation (or heritage conservation as it is called outside of the US) is a changing field, it deals with both tangible and intangible heritage. It is closely linked to sustainability as it is always greener to keep existing buildings, than to build new ones. For instance, all buildings have ’embodied energy’, the energy spent on building it, on processing materials, and on transporting the materials to the site.

Historic preservation also deals with ‘a sense of place’ it examines what the contributing factors are that gives a neighborhood, a town, a city an identity. It evaluates the significance of a building which could be cultural, architectural, historical etc.

FI: New York’s Penn Station demolition in the 1960s was pretty horrible. I saw the Pennsylvania Station past and future exhibit in the Transit Museum Annex in Grand Central Terminal last summer.

EJ: Penn Station has inspired many to get involved in preservation, personally I am still shocked that anyone could think that it was a good idea to tear it down! Grand Central nearly had the same fate but preservationists won, this was a highly significant event, the court decision made preservation ‘legal’ in New York!

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