By Will Fellows
From huge towns to rural groups, homosexual males have lengthy been impassioned pioneers as keepers of tradition: rescuing and restoring decrepit constructions, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods. Will Fellows explores this genuine and complicated size of homosexual men's lives through profiling early and modern preservationists from through the usa, highlighting contributions to the bigger tradition.
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Extra info for A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
Despite the warm Currier and Ives tones in which nineteenth-century American life is often envisioned, it was a decidedly unpretty and disorienting era for many in the industrializing United States. Standardization and mechanization accelerated the pace of life. As cities grew ever larger, old buildings and neighborhoods were torn down with abandon. The rise of corporations redistributed wealth and reorganized society in oppressive ways, and massive immigration created unprecedented cross-cultural tension.
10 In this more aesthetic orientation to architecture, Macomber no doubt resembled his students. Indeed, architectural practice has long been a refuge for artistically inclined men in search of respectable work. Within the field architectural history and restoration hold a special attraction for gays. Preservation pioneers in many cities and small towns around the United States were inspired by the work at Williamsburg. It seems that the more picturesque a place was, historically and aesthetically, the more attractive it was to gay men and consequently the more likely it was to sprout early preservation initiatives.
Derleth recalled the house of his grandmother, “whose gentle eyes regarded me in much the same manner as I imagine the house itself looked upon me. There was suffering in her eyes, and there was suffering in the walls of the house, but there was peace in both, the tranquil peace that follows in the wake of suffering. ”10 As in Derleth’s musings this romanticism encourages the inclination to see old houses as persons or at least as having personalities. Jim Williams What These Gay Men’s Lives Reveal 29 described an eighteenth-century South Carolina plantation house as “more a person than a house.
A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture by Will Fellows