In this week’s discussion about Avondale Estates, I could not help but think about this past week’s reading in context to our project.
First and foremost is the consideration of the author who asserts that these types of programs applies “mostly to inner city neighborhoods” and the fact that it seeks to draw upon the experiences and insights of others as being necessary to understanding the unique challenges confronting residents of inner city neighborhoods.
I never gave much thought about the issue of buying an old home and the challenges that can confront residents when the value of their homes place them in financial hardships after their acquisition “value” adds to their debt to income ratio. Its one thing to envision living in a historic district, but quite another to realize the goal only to find out that the assessment of increased property values may make remaining in the home economically feasible when property taxes levied are double and tripled that of what you were paying the previous years.
With respect to Avondale Estates, Hurley’s book talked about the problems and challenges confronting these preservation projects and the mandate that responsible preservationists pay attention to the “scars of racial discord,” “utilizing University resources effectively”, “balancing skill transfer and product delivery, and “wrestling with conflicting perspectives of the past” (94). All of which are part of the challenges we are faced with regard to the AE project.
I also like their use of terms like “public archaeology” and “adaptive reuse.” I thought about my trip to Philadelphia this past summer when I went to the site of Ben Franklin’s old house. There were three plexiglass windows that when you look down upon them are supposed to show aspects of the “excavated” remains of his original home. Its difficult to see through the windows now, but fascinating to think about it in terms of archaeological remains.