The Whys and Hows of Historic Preservation

The Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Company building of New York from 1953 has been the focus of much debate over the right way to preserve an historically significant building.

Avinash Rajagopal sees the building as the quintessential example of the confusion at the heart of historic preservation efforts. Given landmark status in 1997, developers pushed to preserve the exterior but redesign the interior:

"There is a case to be made for preserving the envelope of a building as the marker of a period in architectural history, but in most cases a building's aesthetics are intimately linked to its interior life. The issue becomes especially tricky in the case of the Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Company building: where the aesthetics, the function, the interior and exterior were so intricately woven together by Gordon Bunshaft that it is nigh impossible to separate those strands."

Full Story: Modernism Mummified

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