This chapter originated as a policy study carried out in 1993-95 for the Municipal Art Society of New York, where I served as director of preservation, and was published by the Society in 1996 as History Happened Here: A Plan for Saving New York City’s Historically and Culturally Significant Sites. Excerpts were republished by the New York Council for the Humanities in Culturefront the following year, with responses from Mahasti Afshar, Thomas Bender, Nathan Glazer, and Douglas Greenberg. Because it is in some sense a historical document, the full text is reprinted here with only minor changes intended to clarify the meaning. No attempt has been made to update it.