Synopses & Reviews
A comprehensive look at Williamsburg's evolution and important role in defining our understanding of 18th-century America
Today best known as the world's largest "living history" museum, Williamsburg was the capital of the colony of Virginia in the 1700s and the setting for key debates leading to the American Revolution. Inspired by growing interest in America's colonial heritage, W. A. R. Goodwin, supported by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., initiated a major restoration in the 1920s and 1930s that has allowed visitors to see how Williamsburg looked in the 18th century. Restoring Williamsburg expands on Williamsburg Before and After, a now-classic book with more than 200,000 copies in print, offering an updated and nuanced look at the continuing process of restoration. In addition to capturing moments throughout the site's transformation, the book offers important considerations about modern curatorial practices and changing approaches to historic preservation.
Lavishly illustrated with more than 350 photographs, watercolors, sketches, maps, and other illustrations, Restoring Williamsburg features new images from both before and after the restoration. This is an important contribution not only to architectural history and restoration practices but also to our understanding of the town that continues to inspire Americans to think about their history.
This up-to-date and comprehensive look at the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg illuminates the important role it has played in our understanding of 18th-century America.