After 17 years of heated debate, the German government decided in 2003 to demolish the former Palace of the Republic, once the site of the first free elections and German reunification. This heavily contested site was previously occupied by the baroque City Palace, which is now the focal point of the "Humboldt Forum" competition aiming to create a world cultural museum in a reconstructed shell of the palace. The heavy symbolism, connection to identity, and historical past factor into the difficulty of creating a new structure with an appropriate program. It is simply not enough to reconstruct an old baroque palace and thus use preservation as an act of forgetting historical events and structures that once occupied the site. Preservation must use a new and inclusive approach to address the complexity of this urban site in the heart of Berlin and thus give future generations the ability to witness structures from the past that help shape their future.