This essay is an attempt to describe a humanist approach to historic preservation that has evolved over a research and teaching career begun in 1976. It addresses how that approach has been manifested in my own work and in some of the work of my students and colleagues. The humanist approach discussed herein seeks to demonstrate how tracing layers of cultural development informs the public about environmental and human intervention over time. It also seeks to tell complete, interwoven histories that inform us about diverse identities in the process of placemaking.

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