Historic reconstructions have been a consistent part of the historic preservation and heritage conservation movements in the United States and Canada. Indeed, reconstruction has been the primary tool at the most influential historic sites, for example: the Governor's Palace and the Capitol at Colonial Williamsburg, USA, and in Canada, the Fortress of Louisbourg. Dozens of other reconstructions have appeared during the past century in North America, undertaken by individuals, communities, states, and provinces, and by national agencies responsible for cultural heritage. Despite this prevalence, historic reconstructions have received little scholarly attention and the question of what motivated the proponents of these projects remains largely unexamined.
This book explores that question through detailed studies of ten historic reconstructions located throughout Canada and the United States, ranging from 1908 to 2011. Drawing upon diverse archival sources and site investigations, the proponents of each site are given voice to address their need to remake these landmarks, be it to sustain, to challenge, or even subvert a historical narrative, or – with reference to contemporary heritage studies – to reclaim these spaces.
Reconstructing Historic Landmarks provides a fascinating insight into these shifting concepts of history in North America and will be of considerable interest both to students and scholars of historic preservation and indeed to heritage professionals involved in reconstructions themselves.
Table of Contents
- Historic Reconstructions: history, theory and practice 2. Looking Back: Europe and the Civilized Frame 3. Making Nations: Two Histories and a Landscape 4. Taking Stories, Reclaiming Stories 5. Forward, to the Past
Wayde Brown is an associate professor at the University of Georgia, USA, teaching within the historic preservation program. He holds a PhD from the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, UK, a post-graduate degree in conservation studies from the University of York, UK, and a professional degree in architecture from Dalhousie University, Canada. He is a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Wayde Brown's research has been focused on the history of the historic preservation/heritage conservation movement, and especially the motivation to 'make historic sites.' He is currently exploring the use of 'place' in the United States to memorialize the AIDS epidemic.