Historic preservation is defined as the conservation of buildings, landscapes or other artifacts with historical significance, but structures with cultural significance continue to be demolished in communities across the U.S.
Social justice in historic preservation is now gaining traction and there are more efforts to protect areas that have long been rooted in a community’s history.
Graciela Sanchez, director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center; and Sarah Zenaida Gould, historian and director of Museo del Westside and co-chair of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, are members of the Westside Preservation Alliance.
Gould says historic preservation has long been thought of as being a field for upper income white communities, but long time residents have been stepping up to change that in an effort to preserve their own history.
Buildings or areas that hold a deep significance to a neighborhood or the community as a whole continue to face the threat of redevelopment. San Antonio’s West Side is a prime example of what communities can place when targeted for redevelopment, but also the rise of engagement in social justice through historic preservation.