Holding loss at its center : age value at Missions Concepción & San José

Access full-text files




King, Meghan Elizabeth

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Mission Concepción and Mission San José in San Antonio, Texas belong to a collection of five eighteenth century Spanish Colonial Missions founded along the San Antonio River. The churches of Concepción and San José are of analogous construction, built of local tufa limestone with corresponding layers of lime stucco. The history of these buildings has seen several eras of preservation approaches, or lack thereof, up to and including abandonment. This thesis considers the state of the exterior stucco of both buildings as a means by which to contemplate the value preservation places on loss and look of age. In honoring all periods to the building of a monument, the preservation of the churches' picturesque and semi-ruinous appearances emerges at odds with the material needs of the buildings and presents a limited framework of interpretation. This analysis investigates the "why" of this preservation scenario why does loss prefigure so centrally in preservation? And from where does this value emerge? In investigating the ideological framework of the Venice Charter and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, an inherently broken notion of time reveals itself at their roots. In practice this produces a binaristic notion of loss and wholeness that are an inherent expression of age value's priority above all else. In applying this analysis against the Missions, this thesis seeks to redress the limits of this framework and locates a space for an alternative preservation discourse of capacious interpretations.



LCSH Subject Headings