In the Minds of the Living: The Adaptive Reuse of Monuments and Memorials
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Type of Work201 pages
DepartmentWelch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsThis work may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
site-specific art installation
Historic preservation -- Theses
Since 2015, the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces across the United States has caused the public to question the permanency of monuments generally and their role in perpetuating cultural heritage. Traditionally, Western-style commemorative monuments and memorials were intended to be immutable carriers of memory. In contrast, a historical study of monuments reveals that the public tacitly changes their symbolic meaning over time as collective memory changes. In this unstable commemorative landscape, the public assignment of heritage value to monuments can be contested, inverted, re-contextualized, forgotten or abandoned. How should historic preservationists respond to these changes to ensure that monuments and memorials continue to serve the social needs of living people? This study draws from a body of research across several disciplines including historic preservation, history, philosophy, literature, psychology, and others. This evidence will be used to argue for the adaptive reuse of memorials through a democratic and participatory process similar to what is outlined in the Burra Charter. The challenge for preservationists is to mediate the historical value of memorials with their contemporary cultural heritage values since adaptive reuse may require physical changes to the original artifact that are incompatible with its historical appearance. To allow for future changes in collective memory and cultural value systems, modifications to memorials ought to be reversible or temporary, in most cases. As a means of reconciling potential conflict between historical and present value systems, this study advances treatment options—mainly site-specific art installations—guided by philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of the “heterotopia” or a space in which multiple conflicting or contradictory ideas can coexist. Among monument types, this research particularly focuses on “living memorials” or memorials that also serve as utilitarian buildings since these places pose the greatest opportunity for adaptive reuse.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This work may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email email@example.com.