selected pages ...

Front & Back Covers. Full-size images of the front & back covers.

Table of Contents. Read the table of contents and learn how the book is organized.

Introduction. Read the author's introduction.

HABS Photos & Drawings. See a typical HABS two-page spread.

The "HABs NOTS" Gallery. Read the introduction and rationale for the "HABs NOTs Gallery" that celebrates the more modest-size historic homes in Newburyport, Mass.

About the author ...

Reginald W. Bacon is a museum and history professional with specialties in 17th- and 18th-century New England architecture and domestic life --- and early 20th-century vaudeville and circus. His first career as a journalist, editor, and designer informs his current work in the museum field. A 35-year career as a touring professional acrobatic juggler and jazz/ragtime musician informed his performing arts research. He is the author of ten books on under-the-radar history, performing arts, and editorial/graphics topics. In a "busman's holiday" sort of way, he serves on the board of directors of several history and preservation organizations, including on the "working board" of the Newburyport Preservation Trust.

The HABS and the HABs Nots:
Documenting the Architecture of Newburyport
in the Historic American Buildings Survey

by Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2017)
160 pages; hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-9977528-1-6
LOC: 20156920943

The HABS and the HABs Nots, "the newest 'must-have' book on Newburyport architecture" (Northshore Magazine), takes a look back at the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the wide-ranging federal program that advanced historic preservation throughout the U.S. in the 1930s. For viewing pleasure, the large-format casebound volume presents the crisp analog photos and elegant measured drawings for the surveys conducted in Newburyport, Mass., the small coastal city north of Boston known widely for the riches of its authentic 18th- and 19th-century domestic architecture.

The "HABs Nots" Gallery, celebrating the city's smaller historic homes, then takes a look at the future of preservation in the once down-and-out but rejuvenated port city. The city's smaller-footprint historic homes, never the subject of the HABS-like attention lavished upon its Georgian and Federal-style showplaces, fill the city's 750-acre National Register Historic District and contribute to its ambiance. Yet their authenticity is at the greatest risk of being lost to the "march of progress."

For additional context, the book includes chapters on the economic history of Newburyport; the origin and evolution of the HABS program; and other notable efforts to document Newburyport architecture both before and after the HABS surveys. Also included is an illustrated guide to 300 years of house styles in Newburyport, plus a bibliography-by-topic sure to thrill avid history enthusiasts and preservation advocates.

The HABS and the HABs Nots received the 2017 Book Award for Informational Nonfiction from IPNE (Independent Publishers of New England).

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Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.