Sunday, September 11, 2005

"They aren't important until they are gone and it's too late"

Jim Martin writes on Instapundit:

As inexpensive as digital images are ... everyone should take the time to photograph, in detail, the historic structures where they live. The huge damage Katrina wrought to the Gulf Coast is a hard lesson for the rest of the coutry. Most of the old antebellum mansions are totally erased and will never be recontsucted. It would have been nice to have had detailed photos of them for posterity in a safe place far from hurricanes.

There are hundreds of old buildings, some on the National Registry of Historic Sites, which need to be photographed from all angles: up close, inside and outside to show minute detail of construction methods...If any of these structures are damaged by fire or storms and enough remains for restoration, architects and builders will find photos taken as special projects by archivists a great advantage.

A weekend is all many would require, a great Fall project to get started.
His parting shot, "They aren't important until they are gone and it's too late" really hits the mark, from my experience.

Especially since not all destruction of historic buildings is caused by natural disasters, and the "it's not important" argument is the one you hear most commonly from the destroyers.

But about that digital preservation project: is anyone in Greensboro up for a historic structure photoblog / digital archive? Let's make it happen. Write me.

UPDATE (smacking myself on the forehead): My neighborhood already has a digital archive of the exteriors of every house and building in it -- we started working on it last year, and Stefan-leih Geary of HCD and her assistant did the lion's share of the work. But we don't have interior records, and ours is only one neighborhood.

No comments: