The 2012 Historic Preservation Book Prize, sponsored by the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation, has been awarded to Saving Wright: The Freeman House and the Preservation of Meaning, Materials, and Modernity by Jeffrey M. Chusid. W.W. Norton & Company published Saving Wright in 2011.
Saving Wright is a comprehensive and compelling case study detailing the history and preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Freeman House, a 1924-1925 residence in Hollywood, California. From the unique perspective of a former resident, Chusid provides a detailed account of the structures design, the clients, construction, materials, stewardship, and preservation. Included within this study is the often ignored aspect of the workman’s impact on design, in this case the use of the innovative textile-block system and its installation. He also deftly tackles the conservation issues that are arising with more modern buildings – how to manage the interaction between innovation and cultural knowledge at the time of the building’s construction and during subsequent renovations. These efforts, described in detail, offer a broader, more philosophical approach on the Freeman House renovation, often conjuring up the question of “what would Wright do to preserve the meaning, materials, and modernity of the building?” The book is well illustrated with construction details, photographs of the renovation and architectural drawings.
In making its selection, the jury focused on books that broke new ground or contributed to the intellectual vitality of the preservation movement in theory, philosophy or method.
Members of the Jury for the Historic Preservation Book Prize for 2012 were Jury Chair Michael Spencer, Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington; Cristina Turdean, Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington; Ashley Wilson, Graham Gund Architect, Historic Sites Department, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Mike Klein, Archaeologist, Dovetail Cultural Resource Group; and Sarah Sanders ‘13, student juror, University of Mary Washington.
The Jury seeks nominations for the 2013 Historic Preservation Book Prize. To be eligible, a book must be published between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Letters of nomination from any source and six copies of the nominated book must be postmarked by January 7, 2013 and sent to Historic Preservation Book Prize, Center for Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Combs 134, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5300.
For more information, contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 540.654.1316.