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Art and Architecture > Architecture > Historic Preservation

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Farm House

College Farm to University Museum

Now available for the first time in paperback, Farm House tells the story of the first structure built on the Iowa State University campus. Mary Atherly provides a comprehensive history of the Farm House from its founding days to its role as the center of activity for the new college to its second life as a welcoming museum visited by thousands each year.

Construction on the little red brick house on the prairie began in 1860, two years after the state legislature passed a measure providing for the establishment of the State Agricultural College and Model Farm. In the 1860s, as the only finished house on campus, the building was the first home for all new faculty members, farm managers, farm superintendents, the college’s first president, and their families. In the 1870s, after the college officially opened its doors, the Farm House also served meals to as many as thirty people each day, most of whom boarded there.

As the college grew, the house became home to the deans of agriculture; it was expanded in 1886 and renovated in the 1890s. After the last dean of agriculture moved out in 1970, the Farm House was lovingly restored to its nineteenth- and early twentieth-century appearance. Now a National Historic Landmark, it opened to the public as a museum on July 4, 1976.

This second edition includes a discussion of the archaeological dig of 1991, which carefully excavated the area under the Farm House, and thoroughly documents the extensive renovation and reconstruction of the exterior of the house during the 1990s. New photographs add to the first edition’s rich array of images and a foreword by Gregory Geoffroy, ISU’s president since 2001, adds to its historical content. The history of Iowa’s only land-grant university and its impressive cultural and educational impact on the state and the nation as it evolved from model farm to college to modern multipurpose university is inseparable from the history of the Farm House.

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Forum Journal

Vol. 27 (2012) through current issue

The National Trust's Forum Journal is a quarterly publication featuring in-depth articles on preservation issues. It includes timely, comprehensive pieces, often organized around a specific theme, about preservation issues of interest to a wide range of preservationists working across the country.

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Future Anterior

Vol. 5, no. 1 (2008) through current issue

An international point of reference for the critical examination of historic preservation. Future Anterior approaches historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and theoretical analysis. The journal is an important international forum for the critical examination of historic preservation, spurring challenges of its assumptions, goals, methods, and results. As the first and only journal in American academia devoted to the study and advancement of historic preservation, it provides a much-need bridge between architecture and history. The journal also features provocative theoretical reflections on historic preservation from the point of view of art, philosophy, law, geography, archeaology, planning, materials science, cultural anthropology, and conservation. Future Anterior is essential reading for anyone interested in historic preservation and its role in current cultural debates.

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A Guide to the Historic Buildings of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County

Kenneth Hafertepe

This richly illustrated book tracks the evolution of Fredericksburg architecture and guides readers through the streets of this once-westernmost German settlement in America, pointing out the log, fachwerk, and stone buildings that housed the town’s full-time residents, its weekenders, and the businesses of the nineteenth century.

Abundant with details uncovered by Hafertepe in his research, including corrections to construction dates based on newly tapped records, this guide features those buildings visible to visitors from the public streets and sidewalks. The author lists which buildings are open for tours and which ones have been converted to public use such as museums, stores, or restaurants.

The buildings of Fredericksburg reflect memories of classic German construction and technique with a gradual transition to American styles, including a few remarkable decades that were neither purely German nor American distinctively but saw the creation of a regional style.

This book allows readers to walk down the streets of Fredericksburg and see the layers of Texas history on display: everything from a pioneer log cabin to an art deco courthouse.

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Historic Preservation in Indiana

Essays from the Field

Photographs by Kristen Clement. Edited by Nancy R. Hiller

Over the last half century, historic preservation has been on the rise in American cities and towns, from urban renewal and gentrification projects to painstaking restoration of Victorian homes and architectural landmarks. In this book, Nancy R. Hiller brings together individuals with distinctive styles and perspectives, to talk about their passion for preservation. They consider the meaning of place and what motivates those who work to save and care for places; the role of place in the formation of identity; the roles of individuals and organizations in preserving homes, neighborhoods, and towns; and the spiritual as well as economic benefits of preservation. Richly illustrated, Historic Preservation in Indiana is an essential book for everyone who cares about preserving the past for future generations.

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John Gaw Meem at Acoma

The Restoration of San Esteban del Rey Mission

Kate Wingert-Playdon

Built by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the seventeenth century, the magnificent mission church at Acoma Pueblo in west-central New Mexico is the oldest and largest intact adobe structure in North America. But in the 1920s, in danger of becoming a ruin, the building was restored in a cooperative effort among Acoma Pueblo, which owned the structure, and other interested parties. Kate Wingert-Playdon’s narrative of the restoration and the process behind it is the only detailed account of this milestone example of historic preservation, in which New Mexico’s most famous architect, John Gaw Meem, played a major role.

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Master Builder of the Lower Rio Grande

Heinrich Portscheller

W. Eugene George DECEASED

In 1865, Heinrich Portscheller emigrated to Mexico from his native Germany, perhaps motivated by a desire to avoid compulsory military service in the Austro-Prussian War. The scion of a well-known family of masons and master builders, he had the misfortune to disembark at Veracruz during the Franco-Mexican War. Portscheller and his traveling companion were impressed into the imperialist forces and sent to northern Mexico. Sometime following the Battle of Santa Gertrudis in1866, Portscheller deserted the army and eventually made a place for himself in Roma, a small town in Starr County, Texas.

Over the next decades, Portscheller acquired a reputation as a master builder and architect. He brought to the Lower Rio Grande Valley his long heritage of Old World building knowledge and skills and integrated them with the practices of local Mexican construction and vernacular architecture. However, despite his many contributions to the distinctive architecture of Roma and surrounding places, by the mid-twentieth century he was largely forgotten.

During nearly fifty years of historical sleuthing in South Texas and Germany, W. Eugene George reconstructed many of the details of the life and career of this important South Texas craftsman. Containing editorial contributions by Mary Carolyn Hollers George and featuring a foreword by Mariá Eugenia Guerra and a concluding assessment by noted architectural historian Stephen Fox, Master Builder of the Lower Rio Grande: Heinrich Portscheller at last permits a long-overdue appreciation of the legacy of this influential architect and builder of the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

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The Once and Future New York

Historic Preservation and the Modern City

Randall Mason

In the popular imagination, the controversial 1963 demolition of Pennsylvania Station gave birth to New York City’s historic preservation movement. As Randall Mason reveals, however, historic preservation has been a persistent force in the development of New York since the 1890s, when the city’s leading politicians, planners, and architects first recognized the need to preserve the rapidly evolving city’s past. Rich with archival research, The Once and Future New York documents the emergence of historic preservation in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. Between 1890 and 1920, preservationists saved and restored buildings, parks, and monuments throughout the city’s five boroughs that represented continuity with the past. Mason argues these efforts created a “memory infrastructure” that established a framework for New York’s collective memory and fused celebrations of the city’s past with optimism about its future. Focusing on three major projects—the restoration of City Hall Park, the ultimately failed attempt to save historic St. John’s Chapel, and the construction of the Bronx River Parkway— Mason challenges several myths about historic preservation. Against the charge that preservationists were antiquarians concerned only with architecturally significant buildings, Mason instead asserts that many were social reformers interested in recovering the city’s collective history. Even more important, he demonstrates that historic preservation in this period, rather than being fundamentally opposed to growth, was integral to modern urban development.

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A Passion to Preserve

Gay Men as Keepers of Culture

Will Fellows

From large cities to rural communities, gay men have long been impassioned pioneers as keepers of culture: rescuing and restoring decrepit buildings, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, saving artifacts and documents of historical significance. A Passion to Preserve explores this authentic and complex dimension of gay men’s lives by profiling early and contemporary preservationists from throughout the United States, highlighting contributions to the larger culture that gays are exceptionally inclined to make.

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Preservation Education

Sharing Best Practices and Finding Common Ground

Barry L. Stiefel

Over the past twenty years, there has been a fundamental shift in the institutional organization of historic preservation education. Historic preservation is the most recent arrival in the collection of built environment disciplines and therefore lacks the pedagogical depth and breadth found in allied endeavors such as architecture and planning. As the first degree programs in preservation only date to the 1970s and the first doctoral programs to the 1990s, new faculty are confronted with pedagogical challenges that are unique to this relatively nascent field. Based on a conference that included educators from around the world, Barry L. Stiefel and Jeremy C. Wells now present a collection that seeks to address fundamental issues of preservation pedagogy, outcome-based education and assessment, and global issues of authenticity and significance in historic preservation. The editors argue that the subject of the analysis has shifted from, “What is the best way to fix a historic building?” to, “What are the best ways for teaching people how to preserve historic properties (and why) according to the various standards that have been established?”

This important reconsideration of the state of the field in historic preservation education will appeal to a broad audience across numerous disciplines.

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