Dante is the star of Halloween at our historic house. He is the youngest of the four Maine Coon cats who live with us in this old Maine house.
Several holidays have associations with historic houses, mostly drawing on nostalgic concepts of “home and hearth,” but Halloween draws on the character of neglected old houses. Cold and dark, these “haunted mansions” evoke terror in children and some adults. For others, they trigger an urge to save and restore their original purpose and beauty.
Whether a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by the fireside or a black cat peering from the broken windows of an abandoned mansion… there is a strong emotional component associated with these images. Emotions connected to memory and fantasy are powerful forces, forces that help to power the historic preservation movement.
As a preservation professional, I deal a lot in the science and technology of understanding and rehabilitating historic buildings. I do academic research to understand and document buildings and work with architects, builders, and owners to deal with mechanical systems and energy efficiency as much as fine finishes and craftsmanship.
In writing “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners,” I sought to bring the science and technology together with the emotions that motivate so many of us to care about historic houses.
The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers.
Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author in our shop, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.
Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.
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