Why Old Places Matter

August 18, 2019 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Stable at The Mount
2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA 01240
United States

why old places matter book coverJoin Thompson M. Mayes Acting Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation in conversation with Architectural Historian Richard Guy Wilson.

Why Old Places Matter reveals the fundamentally important yet under-recognized role old places play in our lives. While many people feel a deep-seated connection to old places — from those who love old houses, to the millions of tourists who are drawn to historic cities, to the pilgrims who flock to ancient sites throughout the world — few can articulate why. The book explores these deep attachments people have with old places –the feelings of belonging, continuity, stability, identity and memory, as well as the more traditional reasons that old places have been deemed by society to be important, such as history, national identity, and architecture.

“Mayes has framed the context of historic preservation for the next generation. Whether you’re a student, an activist, a professional in the field, or just care about your community, there is no better way to understand the ‘why’ of historic preservation than by reading this superb book.”
— Donovan D. Rypkema, President, Heritage Strategies International


Thompson Mayes, Acting Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation and author of Why Old Places Matter has spent his professional career preserving old places. In 2013, Tom was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Historic Preservation by the American Academy in Rome, and subsequently spent a six-month residency in Rome as a Fellow of the Academy.


Richard Guy Wilson is the Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History at the University of Virginia. His specialty is scholarship involving the architecture, design and art of the 18th to the 21st centuries in America and abroad, including research on the connections in architecture with literature and poetry. Wilson has been the author, or co/author of 13 books including Edith Wharton at Home, the editor and contributor to 5 other books, he has been the curator or co/curator of 11 exhibitions, he has published 111 articles in periodicals, academic journals, encyclopedias, and collections of essays.

This program is co-presented by The Mount, Chesterwood, and the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, info@edithwharton.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.