UMW Announces 2012 Historic Preservation Book Prize

"Saving Wright" by Jeffrey Chusid is the winner of the 2012 Historic Preservation Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2012 Historic Preservation Book Prize to “Saving Wright: The Freeman House and The Preservation of Meaning, Materials, and Modernity” by Jeffrey M. Chusid.

The book is “a comprehensive and compelling case study detailing the history and preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Freeman House,” said Michael Spencer, jury chair and assistant professor and chair of historic preservation at UMW.

The center awards the Historic Preservation Book Prize annually to a book that a jury deems has made the most significant contribution to the intellectual vitality of historic preservation in America.

Chusid is an architect and an associate professor in the historic preservation planning program at Cornell University. His architectural and materials conservation projects have taken him around the world, including to China and Fiji, and he has presented numerous exhibitions in New York. “Saving Wright: The Freeman House and The Preservation of Meaning, Materials, and Modernity” was published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2011.

“From the unique perspective of having lived in the house, Chusid provides a detailed account of the structure’s design, clients, construction, materials, stewardship, and preservation,” Spencer said. “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.”

Jeffrey Chusid

This year, the jury for the $500 prize also included Cristina Turdean, assistant professor of historic preservation at UMW; Ashley Wilson, Graham Gund, architect in the Historic Sites Department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Michael Klein, archaeologist with Dovetail Cultural Resource Group; and Sarah Sanders, UMW student juror.

Entries may come from any of the disciplines that relate to the theory or practice of historic preservation. To be eligible for the 2013 prize, a book must be published first in the United States between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012.

Established in 1980, the Center for Historic Preservation is a research and public outreach organization affiliated with the UMW Department of Historic Preservation. The center sponsors lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences for students and faculty in the historic preservation department, and it offers programs for the public.

For more information, contact Smith at or (540) 654-1316.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.