Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990 Page: 30
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historic districts that "The traditional preservationist, whose goals
are the humanistic interests of history, aesthetics and education,
has been joined by a new preservationist who uses the movement
as the means to a new and different end-profit" (p. 115). Murtagh
states that "Defining integrity is the crux of preservation as a
humanistic endeavor," and protecting it should always be the
preservationist's first concern. The Secretary of the Interior's
Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic
Buildings are mentioned, but the specifics of the topic remain
The chapter on landscape preservation begins with the
definitions established by the historic preservation committee of
the American Society of Landscape Architects. Murtagh insists
that the management of organic landmarks must be better
integrated with the preservation of cultural resources. Rural
preservation requires a slightly different interdisciplinary mix:
agricultural, economic, environmental, social, political, and
historical factors need to be considered.
Archaeology is dealt with in a very short chapter, largely
devoted to the definition of prehistoric and historical archaeology,
and suggesting their sub-disciplines. "Preservation in Practice"
serves as the conclusion primarily by offering two case studies: the
first, the Maryland Historic Trust, a successful state public agency,
and the second, the Historic Savannah Foundation, a successful
private organization. The Epilogue contains Murtagh's
observations on where we are and where we are going, and what we
might do to change course. As noted above, the author believes
that preservation has become a means to new money, and that
education has taken a back seat to the profit motive. Consistent
with the position of Stipe and Lee, Murtagh flatly states that many
preservation leaders seem to have lost sight of the humanistic
purposes that should guide them. The solution offered to this
problem is somewhat different: more education, particularly in the
primary and secondary school systems. His is a long term agenda.
Keeping Time synthesizes a great amount of information and
presents it in easily manageable form. Each chapter is short and
there are a number of illustrations, although the Main Street Press
might have spared some of its ink. Many of the images suffer
because the shadow detail is obliterated. The basics are included,
and although there are no footnotes, the appendices, a glossary of
specialized vocabulary and a general bibliography will assist those
who want to further, so that the book might be adopted as a text at
the undergraduate level.
For those familiar with the literature on the topic, however, it
will quickly become apparent that Murtagh has added little to the
body of knowledge in the field. Much of the text is derived from
previously published work, as the author acknowledges at the
outset. The chief item of interest is the brief account of the
formation of the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation in
1966. The other contributions seem like afterthoughts: the update
on the Tax Act program provided by Earnest Allen Connally and
the case studies in the Conclusion.
In summary, two new books on historic preservation have been
brought on the market. The first, The American Mosaic, is a
relatively advanced reader that should be on every serious
preservationist's bookshelf. The second, Keeping Time, should be
purchased if the reader needs a basic introduction to the field.
Michael A. Tomlan
Director, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
30 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1990
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990, periodical, Summer 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45427/m1/30/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.