Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 19, 2013

BRADBERRY: Preserving & protecting, our past?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — • Keep public historic properties open to the public

• Develop risk assessment methods appropriate for historic and archaeological properties

• Incorporate security related provisions into building/site codes

• Design matters: sensitive security solutions must be selected to protect the property’s historic integrity

• Provide information and training to help balance historic preservation with security needs.

In considering ideas for keeping historic properties open to the public, the panel advises safety and security measures consistent with the National Historic Preservation Act that respect the visibility of the site as well as its importance to our nation’s story recognizing that , “For all historic properties, preservation of integrity is of paramount importance.”

They also stress the need to develop risk assessment methods, pointing out that “Historic and archeological properties are unique because they represent our country’s cultural heritage, and are, at the same time, living places fulfilling contemporary purposes.”

Finally, and perhaps most important at this stage of the State Park’s revitalization, and the conversion of the Shoellkopf site, Preservation America strongly recommends the use of “Multi-disciplinary design teams; architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, community planners, archeologists, historians, and security experts- should be selected for their experience and expertise, ability to be collaborative, talent and passion for creating lasting designs that meet the security requirements yet are compatible with a historic setting.”

To that, I might add this cursory suggestion, one that matters more to me because of my personal relationship with the park that served as my childhood playground.

If it really is true that a fence has been built to keep the people away from the water and the historic rocks at Three Sisters Island, I say, in the words made famous on June 12, 1987 by one shouting United States President about another barrier, “… tear down this…”FENCE!

Contact Bill at bill.bradberry@yahoo.com

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