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What Were We Thinking? by Gary N. Costello

posted Apr 23, 2012, 11:13 AM by Pamela Davison

The Patriot, Volume 2, Issue2  – May 2008

It is important that we understand why we do what we do.  It is important in all things, to understand our motivation.  To help those who may be wondering why we have taken on the challenge of restoring the historic Hull House and developing a meaningful heritage experience for our guests, I offer the following.

We believe that Western New York has great potential for heritage development. We have many important and interesting resources in our heritage sites and buildings, of which the 1810 Hull Family Home & Farmstead is one.  Our rich fabric of cultural heritage is something to cherish, protect and to build upon.

Heritage development is about a holistic approach to community and region that seeks to preserve and to enhance a broad range of resources.  It is about sensitive stewardship, protection, and enrichment for the future.

The Hull House Foundation is about sustaining, overseeing and ensuring the continuation of the Western New York story and the rich heritage that can be interpreted through this historic treasure – the 1810 Hull Family Home & Farmstead.

There is a demand among our citizens for authentic sites.  And there is an important role for these places in the education and the cultural development of those who live in our community.  These sites help to tell the story about how we got here, how we grew and developed, and about who we are as a community.  These sites deserve to be preserved,   interpreted, and celebrated for their own sake and for all the residents of our community and across the state. 

 Maintaining the authenticity and the integrity of our historical sites cannot be over emphasized.  The key to and the heart of heritage development is to tell real stories – stories that explain the places and also tell why they are important.  The benefit that derives from this is an appreciation and an understanding of the significance and the value of our community and its past.  This in turn helps to create a sense of shared experience and meaning and helps to build a greater sense of community for all of us.