Is it historic enough for you

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Note: This is my last year doing the Inshaw blog, which I'll wrap up in 2013. I do plan to keep blogging, as it is a nice writing exercise. I haven't entirely decided on how the next blog will work out, but below is the kind of stuff I plan on writing.

The Help was driving me up Route 1, passing by the newish and still being constructed EYA Arts District condos in Hyattsville. I asked him if he'd want to live in that development. "No," he answered. "Why not?" I asked. He explained that there wasn't any history there. He wants to live in a place with a past. "There was a past there," I shot back. In the past, there was an auto showroom and an auto lot, where Lustine sold cars. The condo gym is the old showroom.

Not good enough for the Help, he said that the condos were just too new. He said that he wanted a place with more history.

To test him, I asked, "Well what if a house built in the 50s," as he does not consider anything from the 60s 'historic', "was halfway destroyed in the 90s by fire, and the burn part rebuilt? Would that be historic enough for you?" He gave a less than happy "yes." Then I asked if the house had burnt down to the foundation and only the foundation remained, would it still have history? He gave it some thought and was less sure.

Then he tried to turn it around and said our house had history. Yes, our home built approximately in 1874 as rental housing had history. But the only thing original to the house was the fa├žade and the bricks and beams hidden behind the wall. The basement/cellar appears to be a late 20th century thing and in 2007 I gutted the main house down to the beams. Except for the few floorboards that were reused, there is nothing original to the 1874 house visible from inside.

So for the rest of the car ride, the question was, how much can be taken away until the sense of history, however it is defined, is gone.

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