Day: March 31, 2016

View of Rome from Villa Aurelia

New thinking about old places

Last week, Cristina Puglisi, Deputy Director for Administration at the American Academy in Rome, took a group of architects, preservationists, and landscape architects at the academy on a tour of Villa Aurelia. Cristina — the key staff liaison for the restoration of this villa — had an audience that wanted to delve deeply into the thinking behind the work and decision-making around the building’s preservation, and we all enjoyed the give-and-take during the 90 minute tour. Cristina is an American-trained preservationist who has worked for years in her native Italy.  Her insights into the different approaches to preservation in the two countries was especially enlightening to me as I think about new paths for preservation in the U.S. in the 21st century. She mentioned many of these in her tour, which led me to a follow-up conversation over lunch earlier this week in which she fleshed out several of her comments. For some background, here’s the history of the villa, from the AAR website: “The Villa Aurelia, originally built for Cardinal Girolamo Farnese around 1650, …