by: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Published by: National Trust for Historic Preservation
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Reviewed by Julie Failla Earhart
Subtitled: The Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
I've subscribed to Historic Preservation for many years. It's a benefit of contributing to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. And it's a deal too, at twenty bucks for six issues. My heart is in restoration, not renovation. I've worked at Daniel Boone's last home here is Missouri and for other historic landmarks here in the St. Louis area. The magazine's writing is always the highest caliber. At times I might not like an article, but that has more to do with the subject than the writing.
Historic Preservation is not a how-to magazine; it's about what's being saved and how. And that can make for some extremely interesting reading. In the May/June 2007 issue, I was fascinated by the restoration occurring in Havana, the site of Hemingway's retreat, Finca Vigia. The article, "Papa's Place," examines the need to save this literary landmark. The writing is vivid and concrete and makes me feel like I am touring the house, "in the shade of jacarandas and mangoes." It's remarkable that the house is almost exactly as Papa left it shortly before July 24, 1960. That's the last date on the bathroom wall where he obsessively kept track of his weight (190.5 pounds). Something I find even more remarkable is that many of the liquor bottles--Campari, gin, and bourbon--are just as he left them. Thus the need for restoration.
In addition to the three or four features, some of the regular departments I enjoy are "Transitions," which briefly describes what landmarks have been lost, are threatened, or saved from total demolition. I also like "Place," and this month's issue tells the about how the 200-year-old Congressional Cemetery, where the likes of J. Edgar Hoover, Mathew Brady, John Philip Sousa, and Leonard Matlovich lie--has become almost a park, where families go to play and dogs romp among the tombstones.
However, my all-time favorite department, the one I go to first, is "Historic Properties." Here there are real estate listing of historic homes (and usually how much the asking price is). I don't know why, because I don't have near the kind of money to own and keep a historic home. But it's always fun to dream.
Armchair Interviews says: If you love history and restoring/saving history, check out this magazine.
From our armchair to yours...