Preservationist Rock Star


September 27, 2011 at the James J. Hill house in St. Paul for the book launch of Larry Millett’s Once There Were Castles, a chronicle of our grandest architectural aspirations and their loss.

All the front rooms of the house were filled with people. A long line
of people were on the porch, the front stairs, the driveway, some clutching the book, others eagerly waiting and hoping they could get
in to hear Larry’s lecture.
I thought, “He’s a preservationist ROCK STAR!”

Would Millett argue that the “castles” of Minnesota’s 19th century wealthy should have been preserved?

He acknowledges that their demise was inevitable given economic and social changes. He’s an architectural historian, a magician, who recreates these buildings in our mind with all their marvelous and eccentric details. He describes the personalities of the owners and architects of the buildings, and tells us all their triumphs and travails.


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