Quotations

Quotations

“If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future…I care desperately about saving old buildings.”—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“We will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.“—”Farewell to Penn Station,” New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963

“May the fallen buildings we mourn be fuel for our resolve to save the ones we can.” —Kim Stafford

“We must learn to value our architectural riches enough to protect them, and when we are told we can only have jobs and housing or economic development by sacrificing this legacy, we must say ‘No!’ in such a way that we are understood to mean business.”— Michael Adams

“The Congress finds and declares that:
(a) the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage;
(b) the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people.”
— Preamble to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

“We are only the trustees for those who come after us.”
— 
William Morris

What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.” — Mollie Beattie

“We strain to listen to the ghosts and echoes of our inexpressibly wise past, and we have an obligation to maintain these places, to provide these sanctuaries, so that people may be in the presence of forces larger than those of the moment.”
— Ken Burns

“Preservationists are the only people in the world who are invariably confirmed in their wisdom after the fact.”
— 
John Kenneth Galbraith

“Maybe if people started to listen, history would stop repeating itself.”
— Lily Tomlin

“How will we know it’s us without our past?”
— 
John Steinbeck

“Buildings need to fit in, to stand appropriately side by side; they are subject to the rule of good manners as much as people are.” — Sir Roger Scruton

“If we do not honor our past, we lose our future. If we destroy our roots, we cannot grow.”
— Friedensreich Hundertwasser

“Traveling makes you realize what an immeasurably nice place much of America could be if only people possessed the same instinct for preservation as they do in Europe.”  — Bill Bryson

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  — George Santayana

“There’s no going back. Once you lose your cultural heritage and your connection to the past, it’s gone forever.” — John McCulloch

“We may talk of saving antique linens, species, or languages; but whatever we are intent on saving, when a restoration succeeds, we rescue ourselves.”
— 
Howard Mansfield

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
— Harry S. Truman

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”
— Aldous Huxley

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
— George Orwell

“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for our use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will look upon with praise and thanksgiving in their hearts.”
— John Ruskin

“Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters.”
— 
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”
— Jane Jacobs

“I love this house. Without the cherry orchard, I can’t make sense of life, and if it really has to be sold, then sell me along with it.”
— Anton Chekhov

“Do people ever say, “Damn, we should have torn that building down when we had the chance”? I don’t know. I’ve never heard it.”
— Jack Neely

“To make a new brick today to build a building on a site where there is already a building standing steals from two generations. It steals from the generation that built the brick originally by throwing away their asset before its work is done, and it steals from a future generation by using increasingly scarce natural resources today that should have been saved for tomorrow.”
— Donovan Rypkema

“We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.”
— Winston Churchill

“I call architecture frozen music.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Architecture may be frozen music, but it melts.”
— Osbert Lancaster

“If this sound advice [Ruskin’s advice about preserving old buildings] had been universally taken many a beautiful old cottage would have been spared to us, and our eyes would not be offended by the wondrous creations of estate agents and local builders who have no other ambition but to build cheaply.”
P. H. Ditchfield

“There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here and there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.”
— Richard Moe

“Whatever is goode in its kinde ought to be preserv’d in respect for antiquity, as well as our present advantage, for destruction can be profitable to none but such as live by it.”
— Nicholas Hawksmoor

“He who loves an old house never loves in vain.”
— Isabel La Howe Conant

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
— Michael Crichton

“It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
— William Murtagh

“It’s not good because its old, it’s old because it’s good.”
— Anonymous

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Never believe a politician or a bureaucrat who says there’s no money for preservation.”
— Charles Payton

“It has been most truly said at our meetings that these old buildings do not belong to us only; that they have belonged to our forefathers, and they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our property, to do as we like with. We are only trustees for those that come after us. So I say nothing but absolute necessity can excuse the destruction of these buildings; and I say, further, that such a necessity has never yet existed in our time.”
— William Morris

“The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes.”
— Confucius

“It is forbidden to disfigure external decorations on private buildings through modern additions, and to spoil historic buildings in an important town out of avarice and the desire to make money.”
— Theodosius, Valentinianus, Arcadius [309 AD]

“Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward.”
— Søren Kierkegaard

“In the end, the character of a civilization is encased in its structures.”
— Frank Gehry

“A country without a past has the emptiness of a barren continent; and a city without old buildings is like a man without a memory.”
— Graeme Shankland

“A building does not have to be an important work of architecture to become a first-rate landmark. Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place it holds in a city’s memory.”
— Herbert Muschamp

“Tourism does not go to a city that has lost its soul.”
— Arthur Frommer

“A house comes with responsibilities, and a historic house comes with more responsibilities. We are only the caretakers of these houses, which were here before we owned them and which will be here after we are gone. They contain the wood from the old-growth forests, they are monuments to the skill of those who labored to build them, they represent our cultural heritage.”
— Jane Powell