Historically Situated: History, Memory, and Place
October 15 @ 8:00 am - October 17 @ 5:00 pm
In 1820, New York merchant William Ferris Pell took the remarkable step of purchasing the grounds of the former military post at Fort Ticonderoga. Pell prevented the further deterioration of the fort ruins by installing a fence, a small by powerful act that marks perhaps the first private preservation effort of an 18th-century battlefield site in American history. Throughout 2020 Fort Ticonderoga will be involved in a number of preservation efforts, the restoration of William Ferris Pell’s summer home the Pavilion, stabilization of the reconstructed fort walls, and an historical survey of the Carillon Battlefield. This focus on preserving the past bring us face-to-face with preservation efforts of our predecessors in the 19th and 20th centuries and has prompted the museum to host a conference on the subject of history, preservation, and the creation of memory at historic sites.
The Fort Ticonderoga Museum seeks proposals for new research, perspectives, and criticism on the broad history and practice of historic preservation. From an historic or contemporary point of view, what are the practical and philosophical challenges with preservation and restoration? How has the preservation and restoration of historic sites and buildings shaped history, and how will ongoing preservation efforts shape our future understanding of our past? How do monuments, writing, and memory preserve buildings, sites, and individuals that do not survive? What is the interplay between historic landscapes and the built environment? How do we manage our past with our present? How have historic landscapes, structures, and monuments been represented themselves in art, culture, and criticism?