"we lose individual noises all the time."
so says anne matthews, author of the recent cover article of preservation magazine which explores the lasting impression and importance of sounds unique to certain spaces/buildings/ places, through a particular recording project (undertaken by longtime audio producer alex van oss and the goethe-institut in washington) that recreates the soundscapes relative to landmarks desgined by german architect adolf cluss. read an interview with matthews (who is incredibly well-spoken on the subject) and hear excerpts from the cluss-inspired cd here.
if you think for just a minute about your own favorite places (like...alliance bakery in chicago) and then what they sound like (excitable customers debating outloud which cupcake will taste best, espresso machine whirring away, old timey cash register ringing up orders) i think you'll agree that the savoring AND saving of place-sounds is a worthy endeavor. here's a dutch website devoted to just that - the library of vanished sounds.