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Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation



Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation

John H. Stubbs

ISBN: 978-0-470-26049-4 January 2009 448 Pages

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“The absence heretofore of a comparably thoroughgoing but accessible resource on a topic of such urgent public concern was a glaring lapse that makes this deeply researched, lucidly written, and helpfully annotated book an invaluable addition to the literature.”— New York Review of Books

Time Honored is a comprehensive survey of the practice, theory, and structure of architectural heritage conservation throughout the world. Offering an argument for why architectural conservation is indispensable to modern life, Time Honored describes its parameters and evolution in an historical context, and then methodically presents approaches used in various countries, showing how historic preservation in the West differs from conservation in the rest of the world. Illustrated throughout with over 300 photographs, drawings, maps, and charts. No other book navigates the global conservation programs, policies, and project types so completely.

Foreword by Sir Bernard Feilden.


PART I: Conserving History in Changing Contexts.

Chapter 1: Introduction.

Inevitable Change.

Globalization and Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Cultural Sensibility.

Chapter 2: What Is Architectural Conservation?

Origins and Concerns of Architectural Conservation.

Chapter 3: What Do We Conserve?

Determining Significance and Value.

Types of Value or Significance.

Associative Values: Historic and Commemorative.

Chapter 4: Why Conserve Buildings and Sites?

To Save the Prototype.

Historical, Religious, and National Respect.

Aesthetic Appreciation.

Romanticism and Nostalgia.

Shortcomings in Modern Architecture and Planning.



Chapter 5: Who Owns the Past?

A Heritage of Universal Importance.

Chapter 6: History, Historiography, and Architectural Conservation.

History and the Passage of Time: Facts, Values, and Notions of History.

Viewing Time Through the Lens of History.

Perceptions of Time.

Perceptions of History.

Historiography Until Its Professionalization.

Historical Method and the Elusive Ideal of Accuracy.

Antiquarianism: Putting the Past on a Pedestal.

Archaeology as a Path to Historical Certainty.

History and Heritage Conservation.

PART II: Problems, Principles, and Process.

Chapter 7: Perils to Built Heritage.

An Evolution of Awareness.

The Destructive Actions of Time and Nature.

Destructive Actions of Humans.

Cultural Bias.

Risk Preparedness and Response.

Chapter 8: Options for Involvement.

Levels of Participation.

Degrees of Intervention.

Chapter 9: Principles, Charters, and Ethics.

Philosophical Approaches.


Codification of Principles and Doctrine.

Five Influential Architectural Conservation Charters and Documents.

Ethics and Professionalism.

Chapter 10: The Conservation Process.

Chapter 11: Participants in Architectural Conservation.

Structure of the Field.

The Architectural Conservation Professional Defined.

PART III: Conservation of the Built Environment: An Enduring Concern.

Chapter 12: Prehistory Through the Fourteenth Century.

An Instinct to Preserve?

Prehistoric Through Hellenistic Times.

Reuse and Preservation in Ancient Rome.

The Middle Ages in Europe.

Chapter 13: Fifteenth Through the Eighteenth Centuries.

The Renaissance, 1300 to 1600.

The Baroque Period Through the Enlightenment, 1600 to 1780.

Chapter 14: The Forging of a Discipline: The Late Eighteenth to Early Twentieth Centuries.



Great Britain.

The German States and Austria.

PART IV: Contemporary Architectural Conservation Practice.

Chapter 15: International Activities and Cooperation.

Contemporary International Architectural Conservation Practice-Origins.

International Agencies and Frameworks.

Other Regional and International Organizations.

European Heritage Conservation Principles Abroad: Action and Reaction.

International Training in Architectural Conservation.

Chapter 16: A Multidimensional Field for the Twenty-First Century.

Chapter 17: A Summary Global Tour of Contemporary Practice: Challenges and Solutions.


North Africa and Western Asia.

Sub-Saharan Africa.

Central and South Asia.

East and Southeast Asia.

Austro-Pacific Region.

North America.

Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Polar Regions.

Chapter 18: The Past in the Future.

Meeting the Challenge and Beyond.

Going Forward.

Appendix A: Nomenclature Used in International Architectural Conservation Practice.

Appendix B: Organizations and Resources Relating to International Architectural Conservation.

Appendix C: International and Regional Conventions, Charters, and Recommendations.

Appendix D: Annotated Bibliography of One Hundred Selected Titles.

Photo Credits.



Nomenclature and Common Understandings.

Linking the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Values in Heritage Conservation.

Riegl and the Meaning of Monuments.

Slowing Time and Valorizing the Past.

Effects of Writing and Printing on Heritage and Its Conservation.

The Distinguishing Role of Conservation Science and Technology.

Climate Change.

Recent Destruction and Reconstruction: From Ground Zero, New York, to Baghdad, Iraq.

ICOMOS-Recommended Qualifications for Competency in Architectural Conservation Practice.

International Conferences and Declarations: Milestones of Progress.

East Meets West: Two Examples.

Twenty Actions That Influenced Today’s World Architectural Conservation Practice.

Some Ideas That Would Help.

""Stubbs (Columbia) has produced a wide-ranging, well-researched, and thoughtful book that assumes the substantial task of addressing architectural conservation on a global scale. Time Honored is organized thematically into four parts covering the changing philosophical issues fueling the desire to preserve; threats to historic buildings and the process of conservation; a brief chronological survey of efforts to conserve the built environment; and a brief survey of contemporary architectural practice. The first three parts focus on the practice of architectural conservation in western Europe and North America, while the final section surveys the application of this practice throughout the world. A series of appendixes provide useful information about nomenclature, organizations, and charters, as well as a recommended bibliography. This book is a useful, much-needed survey of architectural conservation in a global context, and should become a welcome addition to the reference collections of students and professionals in historic preservation and architectural conservation. Time Honored is the sort of book that a student reads first out of necessity, and then returns to many times in the course of professional practice for an infusion of the valuable perspective this book thoughtfully offers. Summing Up: Highly recommended"" (CHOICE Reviews, January 2010)

""This is a wide-ranging survey of every aspect of heritage protection that all can learn from, with chapters that include Conserving History in Changing Contexts, Why Conserve Building and Sites? And Who Owns the Past? In the late Sir Bernard Feilden's words, this book ""offers the first truly comprehensive review and balanced portrayal of today's field from a professional perspective."""" (British Archaeology, Sept/Oct 2009)

""As the title suggest, Time Honored offers a global overview of the origins, evolving ethos, and multi-faceted practice of architectural conservation today. It constitutes the introductory volume to a five-part series that profiles  architectural conservation in different regions of the world....this is a well-researched and well-presented volume that inaugurates a highly promising series."" (Institute of Historic Building Conservation, July 2009)  

""…explores the problems, principles and challenges that conservationists are facing today. The book offers a unique, and also a personal, panorama of contemporary architectural conservation practice worldwide. Quite a challenge! Nevertheless, John Stubbs is certainly well placed to undertake the task. The book is well referenced and includes a large number of case studies."" (Journal of Architectural Conservation, July 2009)

""...this is a well-researched and well-presented volume that inaugurates a highly promising series."" (Context, July 2009)

""In this all-encompassing guide to the large and diverse nature of conservation architecture, Stubbs provides a global tour of geographical areas, demarcated by local cultural, historical and religious considerations. A range of restoration projects are documented with a plethora of photographs. The foreword by Bernard Feilden, the late, renowned international expert on heritage conservation and restoration, gives the book a momentous stamp of approval. A hugely useful resource."" (Building Design, May 2009)

""The first in a projected series devoted to historic preservation, this impressive volume provides an in-depth, thoughtful overview of the history, theory, and methodology of the field. Well-organized and illustrated, with notes, tables, and bibliography in each chapter."" (Book News, May 2009)

""This introductory volume of an ambitious series that will profile architectural conservation practices in different regions around the world lays a broad groundwork for the principles and practices of historic restoration and preservation. Major sections of this authoritative approach describe and analyze conserving history in changing contexts, challenges and processes, conservation of the built environment from prehistory to the 20th century, and contemporary practices."" (Library Journal, May 1st, 2009)

""John has put this incredible hands-on experience into a new book- Time Honored. If anywhere in the world, you are teaching a course on international heritage conservation, this should be your core text. If you are a student in historic preservation, and have an interest in international issues, buy this book."" (Heritage Strategies Blog,, January 31st, 2009)