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 intricate size of homosexual men's lives via profiling early and modern preservationists from during the usa, highlighting contributions to the bigger tradition.
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Extra resources for A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
They are strongly attracted to established neighborhoods, places with richly What These Gay Men’s Lives Reveal 35 developed identity. “There can never be a suitable replacement for a living historic city,” said Jim Williams, who played a leading role in the rescue and resuscitation of old Savannah, Georgia. ”25 Gender atypicality, domophilia, romanticism, aestheticism, connectionand continuity-mindedness: this litany, though not all-encompassing, is helpful in understanding the preservation-minded dynamics of gay men’s lives.
After his mother died in 1934, he began to freeze the house in time, preserving everything as it had always been in his memory. ) Believing that his beloved Back Bay had been “the essence of a refined and cultured society,” Gibson opened his house to the public in the early 1950s. For the price of admission visitors got a time-capsule glimpse of High Victorian interior fashion: the profusion of decorative objects, richly patterned carpets and curtains, embossed and gilt wallpaper, overstuffed and tasseled furniture.
During the 1950s and 1960s, gays were well represented in local “hysterical societies” that were undertaking the new or renewed rehabilitation of urban neighborhoods, places like College Hill in Providence, SoHo in New York City, Beacon Hill in Boston, the Vieux Carré of New Orleans, the Battery District of Charleston, the old section of Savannah, and the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco. Gays were pioneering revitalizers in Philadelphia’s Society Hill and South Street neighborhoods. “I moved there in 1967, when South Street was not a place you wanted to be,” said one gay man.