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System for historic preservation needs to be buttressed

The June 12 editorial “Failure to preserve JP home shows cracks in landmarks law” demonstrates that we still have work to do in balancing the city’s evolution and development with an awareness of the impact on historic resources. Before demolition or gross alteration moves forward, we must be confident it is the only viable alternative, since it cannot be undone.

We have had many triumphs in historic preservation, but we can’t rest on our laurels. The city’s historic resources are immense in quantity, quality, and importance to Boston’s economic success. They are the essence of Boston’s character.

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Yet the resources available for their identification, documentation, and protection are woefully inadequate given their centrality to the city. Let’s use the Jamaica Plain case, as well as the underreported pending demolition of 124 Chestnut St. in Beacon Hill and challenges to the 18th- century Fowler-Clark Farm in Mattapan, as a wake-up call to enhance the system, support the preservation cause, and introduce important solutions.

We all benefit from the city’s historic character — we should all work to enhance it as well.

Greg Galer

Executive director

Boston Preservation Alliance

Boston

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