Do your guests ever question why you are so concerned with restoring your house back to the past?
Do they ever laugh at what you think of as your labor of love?
Why don’t you like the latest trends of home improvement?
John Ruskin , a Victorian era critic, wrote on many subjects including architecture. In 1849 he wrote “The Seven Lamps of Architecture”.
In his writings there is an excerpt that explains the importance of preserving old buildings. This is a very powerful statement.
I’ve been told some homeowner’s frame this excerpt for display by their front door to help their guests understand their motivation for preserving their home.
“. . . Old buildings are not ours. They belong, partly to those who built them, and partly to the generations of mankind who are to follow us. The dead still have their right in them:
That which they labored for . . . we have no right to obliterate .” “What we ourselves have built, we are at liberty to throw down. But what other men gave their strength, and wealth, and life to accomplish, their right over it does not pass away with their death . . .”
by John Ruskin 1849, “The Seven Lamps of Architecture” chapter 6