Current Issue Article Abstracts

2021 Vol. 10.2   

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Frank Matero

Kecia Fong



Questions of Integrity
Jukka Jokilehto

The condition of integrity is subject to the recognition of the significance of objects and resources resulting from human creativity. Creativity has long been a subject of philosophic and historical inquiry, and these discussions have resulted in various types of outcomes. The notion of a work of art as a major achievement of human creativity reaches back to the time of the Italian Renaissance. Because nature was understood to be God's creation, observing nature as the way to perceive the original divine idea was the model for art. To fully appreciate the work of human creativity as a whole, it is necessary to understand that its significance depends on the "idea." Identifying the elements that contribute to the unity of the whole is part of the process of recognizing the significance of a work of art. This was indeed the starting point for the modern theory of conservation of works of human creativity and the condition of their integrity. In 1922, the League of Nations founded the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, chaired by the French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859–1941), a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. In his publication Creative Evolution (1911), Bergson argued that creative capacity endures in the universe as a "life force" (élan vital) that generates growth and diversification. Human cultural diversity is the product of such creative evolution.

Integrity as a Legal Concept
Sara C. Bronin

Integrity—the ability of a resource to communicate its historic significance—is a physical concern for heritage conservation practitioners. But it is also a legal concept, integral to binding judgments that determine whether and how certain resources are protected. Focusing on US law, this essay articulates the contours of integrity both before and after a resource is designated historic. The essay begins by exploring scholarly critiques of the designation process, which requires resources to demonstrate integrity and which, as a result, tends to bar certain types of resources from designation. It then identifies integrity issues that arise in three post-designation legal contexts: laws imposing obligations on public actors, laws imposing obligations on private actors, and laws conferring benefits on private actors. In these laws, integrity is essential to the legal obligation itself, and it is treated as formally as it is during the designation process. The essay concludes that integrity, as a legal concept, may be more complicated, and more difficult to dislodge, than current scholarship suggests. 


Integrity as Process and Feature: Cultural Landscapes of Underrepresented Communities
Robert Z. Melnick, Andrea Roberts, Julie McGilvray

National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) integrity evaluation is the primary means by which historic resources are documented, designated, managed, and interpreted in the United States, measuring the degree to which a property's defining features, linked to a specific period of significance, are unchanged. Standard application of this integrity process fails to recognize more complex and layered historic places that often comprise contested spaces with underrepresented histories. The cultural landscape concept can strengthen application of the NRHP integrity evaluation, with an understanding of place and placemaking that is both process and feature based, considering these places as evolving systems with critical inherent change.

Case studies illustrate how current applications of integrity lack cultural and environmental literacy and how this practice marginalizes, erases, or ignores minoritized groups' heritage. The authors argue that resistance to change, including cultural discontinuity or normative processes of change over time, perpetuate assumptions that marginalize lived experience, local constructions of landscape dynamics, and place meaning. Inequalities, misapplication, and erasure perpetuated by the currently accepted approach to assessing "integrity" in historic places is revealed. Recommendations are presented to broaden our thinking and evaluation of integrity with application of the cultural landscape lens to a range of historic resources.


Three Aspects Of Integrity
Michael J. Mills

Integrity in differing contexts is illustrated by three short case studies.

Louis Kahn Trenton Bath House: Integrity of an Unrealized Design

The design for Kahn's Trenton Bath House was not fully constructed. A preservation project gave an opportunity to create elements that interpreted Kahn's original intentions. The renovations allow the integrity of unrealized site design to be appreciated.

Statue of Liberty Renovations: Integrity of Original Materials

Visitor facilities were replaced at the statue for fire safety and accessibility by a reimagination of the interior. The NPS defined integrity as limited to the sculptural and structural materials. The two new stairs and three elevators installed within the pedestal create a lively journey to the observation areas and highlight the integrity of the original features.

Renovation of Saarinen's Hill College House: Integrity of a Design Idea Expanded

Hill College House at the University of Pennsylvania is a Saarinen-designed dormitory of cast concrete. While the hierarchy of the building's major spaces was preserved, the integrity of its design details had been lost. The goal for the renovation was to balance the preservation of a mid-century modern design with expanded facilities for twenty-first-century students.


Integrity of the Cultural Landscape of Persepolis
Mehr Azar Soheil

This paper examines the condition of integrity of the World Heritage Site of the Royal Ensemble of Persepolis within its territorial context in the region Fars. There are still many Achaemenid elements in this territory that contribute to the significance of the site. Persepolis was built from the sixth to the fourth century BCE according to the original urban plan and architectural concept of Darius I (521–486 BCE), which formed the model followed by successive Achaemenid kings. The original concept prescribed building proportions and the use of the sacred form of square both in plan and in elevation. This system was integrated with sculpted architectural details, bas-reliefs and engraved texts that contributed to the significance of the site. Indeed, it became a new architectural language that symbolized the Achaemenid Empire. It expressed unity in architecture, based on forms and motives derived from the existing cultural context, using the workmanship and materials coming from the various lands of the empire. The new architectural language of the Persepolitan palace layout continued to influence Persian architecture through the following centuries up to modernity.


Unsettling "Historic Integrity" at Honouliuli National Heritage Site, O'ahu, Hawai'i
Desiree Valadares

This provocation unsettles "historic integrity" as defined by the US National Park Service. I argue that historic integrity remains a troublesome concept in preserving Pacific War landscapes with multiple and overlapping histories involving Indigenous populations (federally recognized or unrecognized) and minoritized, diasporic, racialized, and noncitizen groups. I consider the recent designation of Honouliuli National Historic Site in O'ahu, Hawai'i and argue for a broader study of this landscape beyond its defined boundaries and period of significance. Specifically, I argue that categories such as "location" and "setting" that are used to determine a site's historical integrity must consider how distinct legacies of militarism, carcerality, and colonialism effect land tenure. I conclude by advocating that preservation processes at Pacific War sites restore access, caretaking, and stewardship relations. In addition, I advocate for a wider preservation and interpretive mandate that is inclusive of distinct and varied experiences of civilian and non-citizen populations in these former carceral landscapes.