Preservation, Not Restoration


I find value in buildings as they’ve evolved through time: no need to annihilate everything after 1800 for me. And no need to furnish houses to the max, either. I like seeing original items in historic houses, but I’d rather see them empty than with repros, or even “of the period” furnishing.  It’s the buildings themselves capture me: I want to be an architectural historian when I grow up.

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So how happy was I to find Drayton Hall, a former rice plantation just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, with a circa 1738 house that was being preserved, but not restored, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. By preserved, they mean that they’re keeping it as close as possible to what it was when the Drayton family sold it to them in 1974.  Repaired and kept up, but not taken back to what it was earlier in its life…

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