Why Old Places Matter: How Historic Places Affect Our Identity and Well-Being

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Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
September 01, 2018
8.7 X 11.1 X 0.7 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Thompson McCord Mayes, vice president and senior counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has spent his professional career preserving old places. In 2013, Tom was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Historic Preservation by the American Academy in Rome, and subsequently spent a six-month residency in Rome as a Fellow of the Academy. The essays that are collected in this publication came about as a result of that experience. They were previously published in 2014 and 2015 as a series on the National Trust's Preservation Leadership Forum Blog, http: //blog.preservation leadershipforum.org.


Thompson Mayes presents the case for being loyal to places we love. Actually, he makes the case for falling in love and remaining true through a series of thoughtful and stimulating essays. Rome is Mayes' muse. One of the world's oldest and most significant cities, Rome provides the inspiration for his clarion call for preservation. The interdisciplinary community of the American Academy in Rome, where Mayes was a Fellow, enriches his deep grounding in the historic preservation institutions built heritage of the United States. Mayes' essays are lively and full of insight and hope. Why Old Places Matter is essential reading for anyone engaged in the design or planning of the built environment.--Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor, Co-Director, The Ian L. McHarg Center: Urbanism + Ecology, University of Pennsylvania
Mayes has framed the context of historic preservation for the next generation. Whether you're a student, an activist, a professional in the field, or just care about your community, there is no better way to understand the 'why' of historic preservation than by reading this superb book.--Donovan D. Rypkema, President, Heritage Strategies International
[Mayes] has summarized his years of work - and six months in Rome - devoted to answering that most basic question about the importance of places commonly perceived as 'old.' The book is a great read for built environment professionals, elected officials, and others who work with urban issues. . . . He tells stories of continuity of building use, and changed attitudes about Confederate statues, including those in his own hometown. On a practical level, Mayes equates "old places" with today's fascination with DNA tests, and ancestry websites . . . what I like best is the author's voice as a fireside storyteller, providing accessibility to otherwise heady concepts.--Planetizen