New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the Long-Term Preservation of America's Historic Houses / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $24.24
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 21%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $24.24   
  • New (3) from $27.09   
  • Used (1) from $24.24   


A generational shift is occurring at historic house museums as board members and volunteers retire while few young people step forward to take their place. These landmarks are also plagued by serious deferred maintenance, and many have no endowment funds. What will happen to these sites in the next ten years, and what can be done to assure their continued preservation for generations to come? In New Solutions for House Museums, Donna Ann Harris examines possible options and provides a decision-making methodology as well as a dozen case studies of house museums that have made a successful transition to a new owner or user.

About the Author:
Donna Ann Harris founded the nationwide consulting firm Heritage Consulting Inc.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Museums Aotearoa
Harris' message is prudent and pragmatic and the operating circumstances surrounding her case studies of house museums that have successfully made the transition to a new owner or a new use will be very familiar to many small museum operators...
Richard Moe
Taking care of an old house isn’t easy, and being a responsible steward of a historic house museum is particularly challenging. In this thoughtful book, Donna Harris offers advice that can help boards and staff ask tough questions—and, if necessary, make tough decisions—to ensure a viable future for the historic resources they manage.
David G. DeLong
Donna Ann Harris brings unique insights to a critical problem facing advocates of historic preservation: the proliferation of house museums, too often under-funded and under-staffed. Through penetrating analysis of actual as well as hypothetical cases, she outlines how transitions to new uses and new owners can best achieve the desired result of saving the building itself. This book should be required reading for anyone even remotely connected with running a house museum.
November 2008 Museums Australia Magazine
This publication brings together a number of workable solutions for a contemporary issue of concern....Timely, concise, practical, well researched....and written in everyday language, this is a handy management tool.
The Public Historian
Harris's book is organized in a very clear fashion....At every step, the author displays an emphatic objectivity....Harris comes well positioned to write such a book....Donna Harris has done a great service for historic house museums and the people who are passionate about them.
The Journal Of Heritage Stewardship, University of Michigan, Winter 2009 - Michelle McClellan
In this book, Donna Ann Harris, a preservation consultant with more than 20 years of experience, provides a critical resource for boards, staff, and volunteers at historic house museums, who need to consider whether creative alternatives to the house museum model may allow them to better realize their fundamental obligation—the preservation of the house.
Terry Dickinson
I would certainly recommend this book to my colleagues in the historic house museum community who may be facing house museum sustainability challenges, and who may be able to use the contents and insights offered in this book as a source of inspiration, and/or as a catalyst for moving their institution forward in pursuit of a successful alternative.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Donna Ann Harris has over twenty years of experience as an educator, program designer, and executive. She has worked in all levels of government and the non-profit sector in the historic preservation field. She has earned a Masters in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Assessment and Decision Making
Current Trends in Historic House Museums     3
Is This Your House Museum?     21
Legal and Ethical Issues     27
The Decision-Making Process     41
Making the Transition     65
Solutions and Case Studies
Eight Solutions Explained     81
Case Study: Study Houses     103
Historic New England
Case Study: Reprogram for Mission-Based Use     107
Nantucket Historical Association
Case Studies: Co-Stewardship Agreements     121
Historic Adams House
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
Case Studies: Asset Transfer and Merger     129
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum and the Atlanta History Center
Cliveden of the National Trust and Historic Upsala Foundation
Case Study: Long-term Leases     139
Hazelwood of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Case Studies: Short-term Leases     155
Heritage Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services
Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust
Case Studies: Sale to a Private Owner with Easements     181
Elfreth's Alley Association
Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home
Case Studies: Sale to a Nonprofit Stewardship Organization     205
Casa AmestiFoundation
Heurich House Foundation
Case Study: Donation to a Governmental Entity     225
Adel Historical Society
Conclusion     229
Bibliography     237
Index     247
About the Author     259
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)