Saving America's Treasures
National Geographic Society, 2000 - Antiques & Collectibles - 192 pages
America's treasures come in all shapes and sizes. Tucked away in every corner of the nation, they literally embody the history of our country and our culture -- but all too often they languish forgotten, the priceless legacy of our past crumbling quietly, inexorably, irreplaceably away. "As a nation," writes First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in her eloquent foreword, "we have allowed too much of our heritage -- the places and objects that comprise the collective memory of America -- to deteriorate. Their preservation is our sacred trust."
At the heart of this important effort is Save America's Treasures, a partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, nourished by countless ordinary citizens who have pitched in to help identify and reclaim hundreds of landmark artifacts, buildings, and sites. Taken together, they tell the story of America. This fascinating, vividly illustrated book is a wonderfully varied showcase of 47 treasures, carefully selected to display the extraordinary breadth of the project's scope and profiled in a concise text that captures its place in our national chronicle.
Each chapter features an essay by such prominent writers as Thomas Mallon, Francine Prose, and Ian Frazier, who explore the many facets of the American experience: politics and government, invention and industry, quiet congregations at prayer, and exuberant crowds at play. We visit San Esteban del Rey, the mission at the heart of what is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in America, and the African Meeting House in Boston, where black Americans have worshiped for two centuries. In a Texas airfield hangar we ogle a glamour girl painted lovingly onto the sleek nose of a World War II-era bomber; in Florida, we gawk at the opulent Gulf Coast palazzo of circus impresario John Ringling; in New Jersey, we peer into the prolific world of Thomas Edison, whose West Orange laboratory is a living mirror of his fertile mind. Along with these highlighted landmarks, there's also a complete list of the more than 500 preservation projects gathered into Save America's Treasures.
In these pages, we find a remarkable portrait of America: her barns and lighthouses, her factories and fun houses, and above all, her people. Encompassing everything from the private papers of our Founding Fathers to Babe Ruth's personal scrapbooks, from the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde to Taliesin, home of our quintessentially modern architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, this evocative volume offers a glimpse of a marvelous but endangered legacy -- and a heartfelt call to safeguard our heritage before it vanishes forever.
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Save America's Treasures is the name given to a nationwide historic preservation project directed by the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Besides ... Read full review
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