Conservation, Not Preservation

THOMAS DOBSON 716 PRESS

Okay folks, let us start off with some simple definitions, and then proceed to talk about what the hell this has to do with the Queen City.

pre·serve

[pri-zurv]  Show IPA verb, pre·served,pre·serv·ing, noun

verb (used with object)

1.

to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve ourliberties as free citizens.
2.

to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.
3.

to keep up; maintain: to preserve historical monuments.
(from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/preservation?s=t)
Compare that to

con·ser·va·tion

[kon-ser-vey-shuhn]  Show IPA

noun

1.

the act of conserving;  prevention of injury, decay, waste,or loss; preservation: conservation of wildlife; conservation ofhuman rights.
2.

official supervision of rivers, forests, and other naturalresources in order to preserve and protect them throughprudent management.
3.

a district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision.
4.

the careful utilization of a natural resource in order toprevent depletion.
5.

the restoration and preservation of works of art.
Now, like I promised, we shall relate this to Buffalo. We constantly complain about when someone even thinks about thinking about thinking…(ad infinitum) about tearing down an old building, or that something nice and new, such as a Panera Bread’s is coming to Elmwood, because, oh my, it will drive business away from Spot Coffee’s and Globe Market’s. Guess what, we’ve heard this argument before, just in the wording “Legalizing gay marriage will destroy the foundations of society right now, and send our economy down the toilet, and etc.”. Guess what folks, same argument, and it still has the same structural support as it does before, that is, a quark put on the structure would cause it to collapse. (For you non sciencey folks, aka the smallest thing known in the multiverse[I subscribe to the multiverse theory, but that is a different point. Tweet at me @applepie716 for more details] so far).
Preservationists seek to keep the city exactly how it is now, keeping up all old buildings just because something historical happened there 100 years ago, or because some famous architect built it. And oh, in cases such as the Panera’s one, try to keep all the new business out, either because of fear that it would hurt business for the existing local companies, or just because Panera’s or the like is a national chain. Guess what Folks, just as Shelby says, it is YOUR choice to eat there, and if Spot’s and Blog market’s is a better business model and better food, then guess what, they will win. No one is tying you down and forcing you go to Panera’s, it is a CHOICE that you make. By all means, support the Buffalo companies, I am all in favour of that, trust me, but do not be AFRAID of new competition. And that, that is the difference between preservationism, and the better way, conservation.
I still hold that we should work within our existing resources, and as an artsy fellow, simply ADORE the treasures in architecture that we have, and would be saddened and heartbroken to see them go down. We must USE our existing resources to the best extent that we have, but also realize that new things will come, and it will help us GROW. We do not want to remain exactrly how we are, because eventually, the city, like a preserved forest, will die due to age. We must not cut down the trees as the grow just because they are new, but rather promote their growth, and the health of our current trees, but also realize that, eventually, that they will be need to be cut down, in order to let the forest, our city, grow and being even stronger, more vibrant that what we already are.
Keep what we have if at all possible, but realize that we cant save everything, and keep the growth of our city as the number one goal. Do not waste what we have my tearing down things, but do not be afraid to do so if it will make more resources for us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s