Restoring Things


I like the concept of restoring pieces of the past. Preservation is important, of course, but the act of restoration–actually taking something that has been lost and bringing it back to life–is a gift. Whenever I see an effort underway to restore something I can’t help but stop and chat up the people doing the work. What is the history? How long will it take? What are they planning to do with it? And of course, I take some pictures.

Workers restoring an art deco building/

There is something comforting about surrounding ourselves with things that have a connection to an earlier time. I believe it gives us a clearer sense of our place in the world, and a respect for those who came before us.

Worker on scaffolding.           Worker climbing scaffolding.

I also simply believe that some things were just done better in years past. Craftsmanship mattered. Things were built with the idea that they would still be standing 100 years later. Artisans trusted that their creations would be looked after with the same amount of care that went into creating them. And when that hasn’t happened and a beautiful home sits in ruins, or a classic car rusts in a driveway, I can’t help but feel that society has betrayed that trust.

Plasterer sits atop a scaffolding.

Perhaps I’m a little like the guy in “Midnight in Paris” — I have a mild case of Golden Age Syndrome.

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