Notre Dame fire hit home for those tasked with preserving LA's historic buildings

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Notre Dame fire hit home for LA preservationists
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A Los Angeles preservationist is reflecting on the importance of historical architecture in light of the Notre Dame cathedral fire.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Compared to Paris, Los Angeles is a relatively young city. But there are still churches and other buildings with a rich history here.

So when flames ripped through the Notre Dame cathedral, anguish ripped through Adrian Scott Fine's heart.

Fine is the director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, a nonprofit tasked with preserving the city's most historic pieces of architecture.

"When you see it go up in flames like this, it's a guttural reaction in terms of loss of heritage," Fine said.

RELATED: A look at the historical and architecural significance of Notre Dame cathedral

Los Angeles has no shortage of historic churches that are approaching or already passed the 100-year mark - buildings that play an important role in the city's life.

"It's our touchstone to our past," Fine said. "It's how we connect ourselves to our stories, our roots and it's how we see how we've come forward by looking at our past."

Just maintaining these buildings though is exorbitantly expensive.

Repairing a structure that is steeped in history can be astronomical, but Fine says communities often feel it's a necessity.

"It's a loss that you feel personally, not just that you're losing a brick and mortar building but you're losing a connection to stories and history that can't easily be replicated."