By Will Fellows
From huge towns to rural groups, homosexual males have lengthy been impassioned pioneers as keepers of tradition: rescuing and restoring decrepit constructions, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods. Will Fellows explores this real and complicated measurement of homosexual men's lives via profiling early and modern preservationists from in the course of the usa, highlighting contributions to the bigger tradition.
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Extra resources for A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
Also a first in the nation was the institute’s creation of an outdoor museum staffed by docents dressed in period costume. William Sumner Appleton’s culture-keeping vision was not satisfied by museums and archives. Convinced of the need for a concerted program to protect New England’s historic houses in situ, he corralled seventeen of his Saving Old New England 41 friends to found the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA) in 1910. )9 Within a year, the SPNEA bought its first property, a seventeenthcentury Massachusetts house.
Gay naval officers may also have figured prominently in efforts to restore the old section of Annapolis. Despite the city’s abundant architectural treasures, early preservation in Richmond, Virginia, did not fare as well—perhaps because there weren’t enough dedicated women to make up for the lack of a critical mass of house-hugging gay men. , area. The rehabilitation of Georgetown, once a slum, began early in the second decade of the twentieth century, and Alexandria was reborn in the rarefied orbit of Mount Vernon.
He acquired most of the lumber from an old shed that he bought and disassembled, and he used secondhand bricks fifty years old in building his chimney. Thoreau’s conservative sense of economy underlay this recycling, but it was more than that. Old things had an inherent appeal for him, and he wanted to perpetuate their lives and use. “How much more agreeable it is,” he wrote, “to sit in the midst of old furniture like Minott’s clock, and secretary and looking-glass, which have come down from other generations, than amid that which was just brought from the cabinet-maker’s, smelling of varnish, like a coffin!