Thompson M. Mayes

Thompson M. Mayes

National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize
September 1, 2013–July 31, 2014
Profession
Deputy General Counsel, Law Department, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Project title
Why This Place Matters
Project description

Currently, there is no single source that explains the primary reasons for historic preservation, either online or in print. While statements exist in textbooks, statutes, and articles, the most compelling explanation of preservation continues to be With Heritage So Rich, which was published in 1966. In the forty years since, the reasons for historic preservation have greatly expanded beyond the earlier rationales of commemoration and architecture to include community revitalization, economic development, sustainability, and others. Yet all of the reasons have never been gathered, tested, and stated together in evocative and concise language. My proposal is to gather the primary reasons for historic preservation, to test them against the preservation laboratory of Rome and the broader perspectives of the Fellows at the American Academy, and to restate them together in evocative language.