Monthly Archives: September 2007

Historic Preservation Answers “World without Us” issue

The World Without Us, a best-selling book by Alan Weisman describes our how planet would exist if, in some future time, all humans would vanish from it. Weisman conjectures that by 25,000 years, no noticeable trace would be found of the civilization that we know. The only human-made elements that would exist would be glass and plastic.

The book gives many people much to think about, but nobody is jumping into action to do anything about it. Except for a group of historic preservationists. Searching for ways to preserve monuments that signify human history, this preservation group is formulating two methods. One is the paperwork process of studies to mitigate adverse effects. The other is to encapsulate edifices in plastic. The name of the group has become to be known as “Paper or Plastic.”

While the mitigation studies will go through various committees for some time, the Plastics contingent will soon release a model of its first proposal – encasing the Grain Belt Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis in a gigantic plastic enclosure.

Just as ancient kings such as Ozymandius, subject of a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, built a stone monument of his visage that he knew would outlast him, citizens of Minneapolis can be assured that this historical structure will exist, ironically, long after any human can know its significance.