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Historic Preservation

  • By: Jeremy Wells
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Historic preservation is the specialized, interdisciplinary study and treatment of historically significant movable and immovable objects, including landscapes. This term is used only in the United States; other countries prefer the word conservation to preservation and contextualize the meaning, as in such terms as urban conservation or building conservation. The chief concerns of historic preservation are to establish why certain older places have acquired value over time and to identify methods that retain the historical integrity of building and landscape fabric. The overall goal is to ensure that changes to these places are made in a manner that does not impair their historical authenticity.

Historic row houses line a street on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Source: Christopher Messer/iStockphoto.

Within the discipline of geography, historic preservation is ...

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