Our Bloggers

This inspiring group, all experts in the field of traditional building and design, will deliver regular opinions about a wide range of subjects and challenge your thinking in the process.

Clem LabineClem Labine: New Tools for Rescuing Wood Windows
“‘Those crappy old windows can’t be fixed. They gotta be replaced.’ Managers of old buildings have heard this bleak assessment countless times. What that glib pronouncement often means is that the person rendering judgment doesn’t know how to restore wood windows–or doesn’t want to be bothered. Most contractors find it’s easier, quicker and more profitable to slam in replacement units. But now two new books make it possible for building owners to avoid the hidden costs incurred by discarding historic wood windows that could otherwise be saved.”
Read more.

Peter H. Miller: A Grand Time in Our Kind of Town
The theme for our recent Traditional Building Conference in Chicago, September 19-20, could have easily borrowed from the title of speaker Susan D. Turner’s seminar, ‘Historic Buildings as Renewable Resources.’ The first morning of this two-day symposium began and ended with lessons in recycling.” Read more.

semesSteven W. Semes: The Origins of Modern Conservation Theory in Fascist Italy: An Expanded Edition
“Yes, that title is intentionally provocative and, admittedly, simplistic. But so are all attempts to associate architectural ideas or actual built forms with particular political programs. One often hears new traditional architecture dismissed because Classical forms were employed by the Nazis and Italian Fascists, even if historically various styles were used by various political movements, both democratic and authoritarian.” Read more.

rudychristian1Rudy Christian: Is “Preservation” Why Buildings Fall Down?
“Obviously the process of preservation by definition is intended to keep buildings from falling down, or more often from being torn down, but just how much damage have we really done by placing the ubiquitous umbrella of preservation over the very important part of our economy that involves building conservation?” Read more.

Ward HamiltonWard Hamilton: When Do Building Materials Metamorphose Into Historic Fabric?
“‘Historic fabric’ is a term used quite regularly in the historic preservation world, but what it is or – better – how it comes to be receives disproportionately little attention. McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of Architecture and Construction defines historic fabric as ‘those portions of a building fabric that are of historic significance.’ This definition implies that materials that are part of a building develop significance, presumably over time and as they relate to the life of the building.” Read more.