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Reviews of Architectural Conservation in Asia

"[T]he scope and the breadth of scholarship that guides the reader through the heterogeneity of the cultures, histories, ethnicities, languages, and national polities that inevitably impinge upon questions of heritage and architectural conservation is impressive. What we have is a scholarly and very readable overview of the Asian built environment from the co-authors, assisted sporadically by separately boxed, invited contributions by named and some unnamed experts that provide further specialist commentary... In summary, this is an accessible, valuable reference and also an ambitious project as the paradigm on heritage conservation has shifted dramatically in the past few decades. It provides the student and interested reader with an extensive overview of architectural practice in the region as a whole as well as a snapshot of developments in each country. Extended chapter/country references provided at the end of each section offer useful guides for follow-up reading." - Natsuko Akagawa, Senior Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland, from International Journal of Cultural Property (2020) 27:157–160 [full review]

"Stubbs and Thomson are ideally equipped to undertake the book...The twenty-first century is now commonly referred to as the “Asian century,” although this is perhaps presumptuous only nineteen years into the century. This global shift will eventually be fully reflected in the field of cultural heritage conservation as in other forms of cultural production. Consequently, we need to know more about the heritage places, site management projects, and conservation approaches belonging to the world outside Europe and North America. This makes the Stubbs and Thomson book very important at this particular time." - William Logan, Professor Emeritus at Deakin University and fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, from Journal of Urban History, Volume 46 Issue 1, January 2020 [full review]

'Architectural Conservation in Asia provides a comprehensive overview of architectural conservation practice throughout the Asian region and is a valuable reference for teachers, architectural conservation practitioners, site managers and students of architecture, planning, archaeology and heritage studies worldwide.' - Elizabeth Vines, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Cultural Heritage in Asia & the Pacific, Deakin University & Anita Smith, Lecturer, LaTrobe University, from Historic Environment Journal, Vol. 29, No. 22, 2017 [full review]

'John Stubbs and Robert G. Thomson have done an excellent job summarizing the current state of architectural conservation practice in Asia...The third volume in Stubbs’s comprehensive story of conservation practice throughout the world, this last offering is essential reading for anyone interested in heritage and conservation and especially those involved in practice in Asia.' - William Chapman, Professor and Interim Dean, School of Architecture, University of Hawaii at Manoa, from Global Journal of Archaeology & Anthropology, Vol. 4, Issue 4, June 2018 [full review]

‘Architectural Conservation in Asia is remarkable in that it is the first book of its kind that provides a systematic and comprehensive overview of architectural conservation not only across geographical and political boundaries, but also across traditional and contemporary built heritage in Asia. In this regard, it is an invaluable reference for students and enthusiasts of architectural conservation, and it provides the necessary foundation for deeper understanding of the topic.' - Dr. Ho-Yin Lee, Head of Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong


'The built heritage of Asia is among the oldest, most widespread, and most diverse in the world. But it is also the most endangered. Wars, rapid urbanization, explosive population growth, antiquities thieves, climate change and other challenges are putting at great risk this heritage which belongs not just to Asia, but to humankind. This new book by Stubbs and Thomson is both timely and critical to generate an international demand for the protection of these irreplaceable assets.' - Donovan Rypkema, President, Heritage Strategies International


'This latest contribution on the histories and current challenges of built heritage conservation by John Stubbs, this time partnering with Robert Thomson, is an important contribution to correcting the overemphasis on Europe, which has shaped how we understand conservation and world history in the modern era. A highly ambitious book, Architectural Conservation in Asia provides a unique overview of how the conservation of built heritage has evolved across the region, tackling debates about the materialities of uncomfortable histories, or how ‘Asian approaches’ to conservation intersect with 19th century colonial practices. I am particularly heartened to see chapters on Central Asia, a long overlooked, yet historically significant, region. This is essential reading for anyone interested in both the global and Asian history of conservation.' - Tim Winter, Research Chair in Cultural Heritage, Deakin University, Melbourne


'A remarkable achievement. A magnificent guided tour through Asia’s architectural conservation. Following the success of Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation and Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas, this book continues to offer readers an exceptionally wide and valuable perspective, as well as insights into the diverse practices of architectural conservation in Asia. It has achieved this challenging task with confidence and aptitude. This is a go-to book for anyone who wishes to have an overview of Asia’s architectural conservation history.' - Yeo Kang Shua, Singapore University of Technology and Design

Reviews of Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas

“Stubbs and Emily G. Makaš’s Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas is a country-by-country compendium of case histories that, taken as a whole, display what must approach a complete range of the concerns at play in historic preservation today. From such well-known and long-vexed sites as the Athenian Acropolis to more contemporary locales like the Space Age Modernist capital city of Brasília, the conflicting and not always neatly resolvable forces that bear upon preservation are addressed as clearly and thoughtfully as the general reader could hope for.”— Martin Filler, New York Review of Books, November 2012

“Following on from Time Honored: A Global view of Architectural Conservation parameters, theory and evolution of an ethos, published in 2009, this second book in the series (Architectueal Conservation in Europe and the Americas: national experience and practice) is an astonishing feat of research, compilation and synthesis.”— Harriet Devlin, Context, 126, September 2012

“North America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. If you are interested in the heritage policy of Albania, Azerbaijan, Malta, Belize, Cuba, Eleuthera, Panama, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay you will not be disappointed. Highlighted sections (several penned by expert contributors) are devoted to key topics such as sustainability… An astonishing range of heritage types is documented, from the megalithic moai of Easter Island to the topiaries of Wales. The authors report on the statutory status of not just buildings but also archeological sites, monuments, industrial sites, landscapes and maritime heritage… It is no small achievement that all 36 chapters maintain a consistent pace and level of detail, especially when you consider the heroic effort of researching and describing so many countries…”— Raymond Pepi, Traditional Building, April 2012

“Abundantly supplied with references and bibliographic sources, the book is a convenient resource for any design, planning, preservation, or policy professional involved in conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, or preservation—which at some point can mean any of us.”— Stanley Stark, FAIA, Oculus, Winter 2011

“Much to consider here, and the authors, experts in their disciplines and capable writers of clear, solid prose, guide us unfailingly through the issues and the regions.”— BOOKSHELF MUSEUM, The Magazine of the American Association of Museums. Nov-Dec 2011

“This is a great textbook for students of international architectural conservation, as it boldly seeks to describe the historical and theoretical roots of heritage conservation, the current organizational structure and key elements of practice on a continental, regional and then national basis, starting with Europe (from Ireland to Azerbaijan and including Iceland and Greenland) and ending across the Atlantic (from Canada to Chile including the Caribbean). Endnotes abound… Sidebar essays enliven the pages with informative vignettes and WMF case studies from a wide range of specialist authors.”— John A. Fidler, Journal of Architectural Conservation, November 2011

“The presentation of some countries may seem modest, but in this book we have our first effort at a genuinely objective assessment and coherent international perception of the accomplishments of individual nations.”— Marek Baranski, Conservation News – Journal of the Association of Monument Conservators, (Warsaw) Nr29/2011 165-66

“After having analyzed the varied situations and with knowledge of the different conservation methods undertaken regionally, Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas shows merit in its highlighting specific laws and regulations and restoration projects in the context of their particular cultural values; values that, Roberto Pane agrees, are testimony to the legacy of the past, which continues to live in the present though is not always discernable.  Each country thus has its work to do to promote its cultural heritage without renouncing its continuing, evolving cultural identity. This is the ultimate aim of heritage conservation.  This book counsels us to reflect on these themes without necessarily making a career of it.”— Olimpia Niglio, Professor Universidad Ibague, Colombia, Hevelius webzine, June 2011

Reviews of Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation

“In his admirable and much-needed general introduction to the subject, Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation, John H. Stubbs sets forth a smoothly organized, well-paced survey of landmarks preservation through the ages and highlights several turning points in changing attitudes toward historic architecture since ancient times. Time Honored also offers a concise (and cautionary) summary of preservation methods in the premodern period, extensive bibliographic references, and useful listings of preservation groups. The absence heretofore of a comparably thoroughgoing but accessible resource on a topic of such urgent public concern was a glaring lapse that makes this deeply researched, lucidly written, and helpfully annotated book an invaluable addition to the literature.”— Martin Filler, New York Review of Books, November 2012

“Stubbs (Columbia) has produced a wide-ranging, well-researched, and thoughtful book that assumes the substantial task of addressing architectural conservation on a global scale. Time Honored is organized thematically into four parts covering the changing philosophical issues fueling the desire to preserve; threats to historic buildings and the process of conservation; a brief chronological survey of efforts to conserve the built environment; and a brief survey of contemporary architectural practice. The first three parts focus on the practice of architectural conservation in Western Europe and North America, while the final section surveys the application of this practice throughout the world. A series of appendixes provide useful information about nomenclature, organizations, and charters, as well as a recommended bibliography. This book is a useful, much-needed survey of architectural conservation in a global context, and should become a welcome addition to the reference collections of students and professionals in historic preservation and architectural conservation. Time Honored is the sort of book that a student reads first out of necessity, and then returns to many times in the course of professional practice for an infusion of the valuable perspective this book thoughtfully offers. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”— CHOICE Reviews, American Library Association, January 2010. Selected as an ALA CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2010.

“This is a wide-ranging survey of every aspect of heritage protection that all can learn from, with chapters that include Conserving History in Changing Contexts, Why Conserve Building and Sites? And Who Owns the Past? In the late Sir Bernard Feilden’s words, this book ‘offers the first truly comprehensive review and balanced portrayal of today’s field from a professional perspective.”— Henry Cleere, British Archaeology, Sept./Oct. 2009

“As the title suggest, Time Honored offers a global overview of the origins, evolving ethos, and multi-faceted practice of architectural conservation today. It constitutes the introductory volume to a five-part series that profiles architectural conservation in different regions of the world….this is a well-researched and well-presented volume that inaugurates a highly promising series.”— Institute of Historic Building Conservation, July 2009

“…explores the problems, principles and challenges that conservationists are facing today. The book offers a unique, and also a personal, panorama of contemporary architectural conservation practice worldwide. Quite a challenge! Nevertheless, John Stubbs is certainly well placed to undertake the task. The book is well referenced and includes a large number of case studies.”— Jukka Jokilehto, Journal of Architectural Conservation, July 2009

“In this all-encompassing guide to the large and diverse nature of conservation architecture, Stubbs provides a global tour of geographical areas, demarcated by local cultural, historical and religious considerations. A range of restoration projects are documented with a plethora of photographs. The foreword by Bernard Feilden, the late, renowned international expert on heritage conservation and restoration, gives the book a momentous stamp of approval. A hugely useful resource.”— Building Design, May 2009

“The first in a projected series devoted to historic preservation, this impressive volume provides an in-depth, thoughtful overview of the history, theory, and methodology of the field. Well-organized and illustrated, with notes, tables, and bibliography in each chapter.”— Book News, May 2009

“This introductory volume of an ambitious series that will profile architectural conservation practices in different regions around the world lays a broad groundwork for the principles and practices of historic restoration and preservation. Stubbs is well qualified to produce such an important series, and he ably incorporates hundreds of black-and-white photos of structures and sites into a carefully nuanced and holistic text that is appropriate for professional and popular audiences alike. Coverage is truly international, with examples drawn from over 100 countries. Essential for libraries with strong collections in architecture, historic conservation, and global cultures.”— Russell T. Clement, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, IL, Library Journal, 2009

“This book is a valuable introduction to ongoing worldwide efforts to save architectural legacies, and should be a great resource for anyone interested in our built heritage around the world.”— Sheldon Richard Kostelecky, Traditional Homes USA, August 2009

“No comparable work treats the evolution of architectural conservation practice with the even-handedness and aplomb of Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Conservation. Stubbs’s testimony of the “enduring concern” for protecting the monuments of the past across time encourages us to acknowledge our world neighbors and understand today’s conservation accomplishments and challenges in a new, brighter light.”— Duncan Campbell, Ball State University Muncie, Indiana, Journal of the National Council of Preservation Educators PEducation & Research, Volume Two, 2009

“This comprehensive volume represents a major contribution to our knowledge about architectural conservation today. Far more than a manual of conservation, Time Honored offers revealing discussions of how philosophies have evolved, how a concern for protection and conservation has expanded globally and why efforts in this area are needed now more than ever before. Clearly John Stubbs’ years of experience give him a unique geographical perspective and I found the global scope of the book to be very impressive, if not unique. Time Honored makes ideal reading for students and researchers alike working in the fields of architecture, conservation and heritage studies. I have no doubt readers will finish the book with a much better understanding of the moral and social imperatives underpinning conservation in an age increasingly defined by the rapid and profound changes brought about by globalisation.”— Tim Winter, University of Sydney, February 2009

“If, anywhere in the world, you are teaching a course on international heritage conservation, this book should be your core text. If you are a student in historic preservation and have an interest in international issues, buy this book. If you are a professional, a civil servant, an interested amateur, or an advocate for cultural heritage in your own country, but want to understand your efforts in an international context, this book should be your next read. Probably no one in the world has been to as many sites of international cultural importance as has John Stubbs of the World Monuments Fund. The lessons, the principles, and the challenges of saving the world’s heritage are found in these pages.”— Heritage Strategies Blog,, January 2009

“An illustrated guide to conservation architecture, presented by a tour of geographical areas, showing the differences between historic preservation in the west and the rest of the world. Stubbs takes into account local cultural, historical and religious considerations when arguing why architectural conservation is so important in modern life.”— Center for the Recycling and Reuse of Buildings

Complete and additional reviews

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