School of Visual and Performing Arts
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)
Historic Preservation, Urban Renewal
Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts
Klima, Carolyn Grace, "A Case Study of the Edwards House: How a Community Fought to Preserve Their Cultural Heritage" (2019). Masters Theses. 581.
This study examines why an architecturally significant, Queen Anne style mansion in Downers Grove, Illinois was demolished even though citizens valiantly tried to save it for one year. With all the information available in the form of books, journals, websites and videos concerning historic preservation, why did the citizens of Downers Grove fail to save this historic gem? Academic literature shows the significance of historic preservation from economic and sustainability standpoints. Communities have used historic preservation to revitalize main streets across America, and large corporations like American Express and Walmart have supported historic preservation. Unfortunately, architecture is the most fragile of the arts. Thousands of historic houses and buildings are demolished across America each year. So, how can we help communities preserve their cultural heritage? My thesis examines those possibilities. Urban renewal can coexist with historic preservation. We cannot, and we must not, take our cultural heritage for granted.