How do you present History. Do you put it on a stand, with lights all around and a band playing? Or do you show it in a manner as close to it’s original form and place as possible? We have stressed this in many posts here at HHP. Part of a Historical object or place, is it’s surroundings. Remove those surroundings or remove the object from it’s place, and much is lost. So how do you present and preserve what remains at Haven Hill? Our opinion is…..at the lowest profile as possible. No Bells & whistles. Do not yank out what remains and put it on a pedestal for display, nor turn the place into a circus, with observation towers, Plexiglas enclosures in the middle of the grounds, or large poles and new surrounding buildings to exhibit the estate. It is much more Historical, educational and presentable to show what IS there with out it becoming a Circus. There are so many low profile means in preserving while showing the History there and keeping the Natural environment solid, all at the same time. New technologies, low-voltage lighting and equipment, preservation means that keep objects where they are, and by no means add modern additions to existing historical structures there. Is’nt that against our own state Historical codes?
Take the proposed Gate house-Information Center. Sorry…that just does not mix. Since this building has already been removed from it’s original location, the best that should be done is the restoration of it, to it’s original form. Since we are already at the Park entrance, and have newer buildings there, another greeting, gift shop building would not harm anything and keep all the new stuff in that building and at the bottom of the Hill away from the main Historical area and away from the Natural world that has grown there. If anyone would want to touch this gate house with additional stories, maybe a built in Pool, Tennis courts, Basketball courts, etc. …what is the point of calling it History. Have all this stuff that doesn’t even resemble the original building so we have a nice place to tell the stories of the original buildings? I am confused by this. Is it History or money making. It should be decided first. Is it for the money, or for the actual History and education of the public. Who own these grounds and buildings anyways. We have entrusted them to the DNR, who we pay to watch after these things for future generations. Which is actually in the DNR’s Mission statement. I am not trying to be snotty here, nor am I being critical, unless of course, these are the plans for the Historical & Natural sites at Highland recreation area. Is there a master plan? Is it to sell History there?
The FRIENDS group at the Park seem to want to preserve and maintain the Historical buildings and places at the park and Haven Hill. Finally someone to the rescue. Yet in some quarters, I have seen drawings and renderings that say that every structure there will be getting a new modern face-lift. What is the actual plans there? Are there State plans? Historical Society plans? DNR plans? Oakland county plans? Who is actually orchestrating all this? Are they going to preserve the Estate and educate the public on the Historical and Natural aspects at the park, or sell it to the public while a few people make a career and a name for themselves. Which is it? Lets watch and see.