“Historic buildings and preservation of the buildings is part of the discussion, but also the identity, culture and people who live in the buildings is just as important. Preservation of the buildings alone lacks an understanding of what we’re trying to preserve” (25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez)
Power of Place is a feature length documentary film tracing the evolution of the American preservation movement, from its earliest days restoring the mansions and estates of our “Founding Fathers”, to the last decade when it has increasingly worked to embrace the full complexity of American history.
We’ll meet with experts in a variety of disciplines to discuss how powerful places are developed and preserved with a focus not only on history and architecture but also sociology, urban planning and psychology. We’ll travel across the country to look closely at some innovative preservation projects.
We’ll look at how immigrant stories contribute to the character and identity of a place, and what is lost when those stories aren’t given the honor and recognition they deserve. We’ll look at how legacies of economic struggle are central to some communities, and what happens when gentrification threatens to erase those legacies. Finally, the film will also examine the pivotal importance of traumatic histories in shaping place, and what happens when those histories are covered up or ignored.
From the lessons of the past and triumphs of the present to the influence of the built environment on the human psyche, Power of Place will inspire a deeper appreciation for the diversity and importance of today’s Historic Preservation movement in enriching the identity and spirit of places across America.
Power of Place Trailer