Why I’m a Preservationist
“One generation plants the trees, the next generation gets the shade” - Chinese proverb
In 1995 the City of Monrovia adopted the Historic Preservation ordinance that began the process of designating properties as historic landmarks. As Monrovians, we did not have to wait a generation to enjoy the shade or fruits of our city’s historic preservation efforts. It’s been 27 years but the truth is preservation of Monrovia’s historic and iconic buildings is not about the past, it’s about our future.
While there are many reasons why people call themselves preservationists, I want to focus on my own personal reasons why I’m a preservationist. First, once a historic or potentially historic building is demolished, it’s gone forever. No replica vintage structure, no matter how beautiful can replace it, when a building like this is demolished, a little bit of Monrovia dies with it.
Second, historic homes and other historic structures in Monrovia are part of Monrovia’s identity. They are icons of Monrovia and can be credited with what attracts some to our town. They make up a great deal of the character and charm. If this changes, we are no longer Monrovia. We lose our identity.
Third, we shape the future of Monrovia by our actions today. Historic preservation is forward-looking. We need to plant those preservationist seeds today, to create that shade for future generations, for our children and children's children.
Yes, Monrovia and its historic character and charm are the envy of the San Gabriel Valley. But we can’t take our present progress as a mission accomplished. Sacramento has continued to remove local control from us. We need to be in control of our destiny. We determine the future now. This is why I’m a preservationist