Architectural salvage : understanding the values and improving the practice

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It may be an increased interest in recycling or the thrill of hunting down the prefect solid wood door or the belief that somewhere exists a claw foot bathtub to replace the one that was lost in a previous renovation, but whatever the reason, the practice of architectural salvage is on the rise. While many salvagers consider themselves preservationists because they prevent unique items from being destroyed, some preservationists see the practice as detrimental because once an item is removed from a building it loses its original context and its history can easily be lost. Multiple values guide the actions and beliefs of both groups and in some cases they share the same values. This paper will consider some of the values driving the actions of historic preservationists and architectural salvagers and explore ways to use this knowledge to improve the practice for the benefit of all.


Masters final project submitted to the Faculty of the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Historic Preservation. HISP 710/711 final project, 2011.