Does Preserving the Past Keeps Cities From Moving Into the Future?

In the last 50 years, the preservationist movement has become powerful—maybe too powerful in a place like New York City, where a third of the buildings are now protected. But the buildings we think of today as landmarks inevitably replaced older structures, ones we tend to forget were demolished in the path towards progress. This provocative video argues that 'saving' so many buildings now will actually do more damage than good. Read More >>

Syria’s “Monuments Men” are Trying to Save History Amid ISIS Chaos

Roman ruins. Byzantine villages. Umayyad architecture. The relics of the Hittites, Assyrians, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes, and Ottomans. Syria has some of the most remarkable cultural history in the world—and now, National Geographic reports that Syrians are using archaeological first aid to save it. Read More >>

How Long Will CDs Actually Last?

Once upon a time, CDs were a shiny new technology with a promise of lasting (nearly) forever. In those halcyon days of the 1990s, museums and symphonies began transferring their archives to CDs — a decision that in retrospect may not have been so wise. The catch is that some CDs are durable and others are not; we just had no way of knowing back then. Read More >>

This 3,500-Year-Old NYC Monument is Being Cleaned With Freaking Lasers

Cleopatra's Needle is New York City's oldest outdoor monument; it's been around for a whopping 3,500 (!) years, and has spent the past 133 of those in Central Park. This spring, it's getting gently blasted with laser beams—all in the name of conservation. Read More >>

My Accidental Pilgrimage to the 1964 World’s Fair Site

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I expected another normal day. Work. Lunch. Work. Happy hour. Home. Heck, maybe I'd even treat myself to an iced coffee at some point. I did not expect to end up shivering, staring at rust, and dreaming about the America we'd lost. I did not expect to go to the World's Fair. Read More >>

The Internet Archive’s Scanning Centre Has Been Destroyed by Fire

Yesterday, a huge fire destroyed the Internet Archive’s San Francisco scanning centre, which digitally preserves all manner of books, films and microfilms for future use. Read More >>

Moving Mountains: Six Cities and Towns That Were Relocated Completely

Why is it so hard for us humans to let go? We're obsessed with preserving the things we love—even when logic tells us it's time to move on. One large scale example of this irrational behaviour: The billions spent to move entire towns out of harm's way. Read More >>