Author Archive

Andrea Burns

Resource or burden? Historic house museums confront the 21st century.

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Jones House in the Snow by l. hutton

Jones House in the Snow.  Photo credit: L. Hutton

In 2002, Richard Moe, then president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), asked a troubling question in the Forum Journal: “Are There Too Many House Museums?”[1] Subsequent publications, conferences, and other forums have debated and reiterated Moe’s concerns that house museums are–besides facing dismal financial straits–too often “tired, antiquated, and disconnected from their communities.”[2]

Although many historic houses have been saved from the wrecking ball because preservation-minded community members transformed them into museums, Moe argued that the sustainability of these museums over the long term remained in grave doubt. Read More