A note from Richard H. Jenrette
Why do we believe so fervently in the cause of historic preservation? First off, we are great believers in the lessons that can be learned from history. Each of the old houses in Classical American Homes’ portfolio could be considered a time capsule or case history chronicling the ups and downs of the American economy, in war and peace. They are great teaching vehicles for American history. They are part of our heritage.
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Even without their educational value, these fine old houses are worth saving because of their classic beauty. They are architectural gems set in still, beautiful locations. Most have withstood nearly 200 years of history and seem ready for another 100 years. We open them to the public through hundreds of group tours each year. The response of the public has been overwhelmingly positive, and their comments and thank you notes make it all seem worthwhile. We are convinced these visits have made new converts to historic preservation.
America has many small preservation groups that maintain house museums, but most are poorly funded and have no marketing capability. We wish our National Trust for Historic Preservation had more of an appetite for taking on new house museums. The British National Trust, in contrast, has hundreds of historic houses and parks. As a result, there is a real need in America for privately funded groups such as Classical American Homes. Eventually, we would like to expand our mission to include helping other house museums. But we need a larger capital base before we can support more historic properties. Please help us!