The treasures at Independence National Historical Park are famous throughout the world. They include buildings, sites and objects of historical, cultural and architectural importance.
Responsibility for Preservation
Congress has charged the National Park Service with the responsibility for preserving our nation’s treasures, historic as well as natural, for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
This challenging task requires the expertise, dedication, and cooperation of many people. Architects, archaeologists, historians, curators and consultants provide knowledge provide knowledge and supervise preservation efforts. Restoration craftsmen and laborers make preventive and routine repairs. Custodians provide daily and seasonal care. Rangers protect the treasures and explain the need for their preservation. Visitor assist by treating these treasure with respect and by understanding that continuous maintenance is required.
Cause of Deterioration
Historic treasures must survive many threats. Moisture poses the most common danger. Living organisims such as insects, birds and fungi can cause damage. Acid rain and auto emissions are the chief atmospheric pollutants that disintegrate materials. Age, natural events, and man-made alterations can produce unwanted physical changes. Finally, there are harmful effects created by everyday use.
A Continuous Process
Preservation of historic treasures is an unending process requiring accurate responses to three basic questions: What’s happening? What’s the cause? What’s to be done?
At Independence, staff members inspect, monitor, and record conditions. When a problem is detected, they determine its cause and urgency and consider solutions. The chosen course of action insures that the character of fabric of our irreplaceable treasures are preserved.
During your visit, you will probably see instances of this process in operation, exemplifying the principle. Maintenance is Preservation. Learn more about our current preservation projects.