Sunday, May 18, 2008

Preservation : Act 1

Provincetown Theater, Greenwich Village, New York City
Considered the birthplace of Off-Broadway and alternative theater.

As we have traveled in Europe, we have greatly valued the European concer for the preservation of historic buildings. Europeans seem uniquely able to re-envision their historic buildings to take on new purposes or simply be refurbished. Facades and shells are saved and the building re-imagined. Americans, on the other hand, seem to believe that preservation is too cumbersome and that NEW is easier, and in the long run, better. We think in most cases this thinking diminishes our sense of place and the connection to our roots, with long-term cultural consequences.

So we were very inspired to read this in the NYT. Apparently after an long and arduous battle with local preservationists, New York University relented and agreed to preserve the historic Provincetown Theater in Greenwich Village. NYU's original plan was to destroy it for new campus buildings. The Theater is not actually a very old building, but its historic nature begs saving. And it will be. Thank you NYU and all of those who fought for the theater's life.

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