Conversation Starter: Telling Richer Stories of Place

Posted on: November 3rd, 2012 by Preservation Leadership Forum Staff

What makes a "richer" story of place? This was just one of the questions addressed by the panel in yesterday's conversation starter which examined four different sites and how they tell their story.

Those sites were described by:

Keith Magee, The National Public Housing Museum
Edgar Garcia, City of Los Angeles
Michelle Magalong, My HiFi
Aissia Richardson, Uptown Entertainment and Development Corp

So what makes a story rich? For some it is a measure of complexity, while for others it is sharing different perspectives. Edgar Garcia, one of the panelists stated that this was a narrative that confronts truths and stereotypes.

While the panel addressed a variety of issues it made clear that historic preservation through these projects is complex and celebratory--the power of buildings is to educate, inspire, and correct misconceptions.

The important part is that stories bring us together. That it is the responsibility for sites dealing with diverse issues to also look at the whole story, just as other places need to work to avoid "tokenism." When asked how they deal with resistance the panelists said that you need to bring everyone to the table. Start early and often. Keith Magee said "we need to start thinking about creating stories to be reciprocal. Tell stories in ways that can be told anywhere, not just at the original site."

Here is a quick summary of the talk on Twitter.


Diversity, Historic Sites, National Preservation Conference