Beyond Integrity: Prioritizing Historic Significance over Historic Integrity for a Representative Landscape of Built Cultural Heritage in Seattle's Central District
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Traditionally, the field and practice of historic preservation in much of the Western world has valued primarily white, European, upper-class male history and heritage. This is in large part because historic integrity is prioritized over historic significance in the evaluation of historic properties, which leaves vernacular built heritage associated with minority communities unrecognized and unprotected. Such is the case in Seattle’s historically Black Central District neighborhood, which is currently experiencing rapid growth and development that threatens many vernacular properties considered significant to Black history and culture. Using archival methods, analytical mapping, and field ethnography, this thesis quantifies how historic integrity has triumphed over historic significance in the evaluation of vernacular built heritage associated with Black history and culture in the Central District, and explores four cases in depth that illustrate this point further. The final chapter reflects on ways to rethink the evaluation of historic integrity and historic significance on both national and local levels, and offers suggestions to improve local efforts to preserve culturally significant heritage associated with minority communities.
- Urban planning 
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