In class we had the opportunity to hear from Patrick Grossi who works for the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Grossi gave us a brief overview of the objectives of the PAGP and how they work with the city and its communities to facilitate the preservation of the many historic buildings in Philly. Preservation was not something that I knew much about, at least not in any detail. Mr. Grossi gave an interesting insight into a part of public history that was unknown to me at the time.
I thought it was really interesting to hear how, since his time working at the PAGP, he approaches sites from a more practical standpoint rather than just wanting to preserve them all. Ideally all historic sites and building would be preserved, however that is not realistic in the growing, metropolitan city like Philadelphia. A lot of these historic buildings are in prime real estate, and there are plenty of building companies who are wanting to purchase them. Hearing how he balances the want to preserve as much as possible, with the practicality of operating in a growing city, and the fact that most of time he is coming up against billion dollar companies, was really interesting. When I left class, I wondered where I stand on the matter, because as a history major, I obviously see the need for protecting historical sites, however I think you have to pick and choose your battles rather than try to save all of them.