Earle Shettleworth Lecture: The National Historic Preservation Act: The First Fifty Years from a Maine Perspective


Location: 104 Bond Hall

The John Burgee Lecture

Lecture Summary  

Enacted nearly fifty years ago, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 resulted in a creative partnership between the National Park Service and the states to conduct a nationwide program of identifying, recording, and preserving America’s built environment. Since the late 1960s the states have located prehistoric and historic sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, restored significant buildings through federal and state grants and tax credits, and protected cultural resources through Section 106 reviews. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are the accepted national guidelines for restoring historic structures. As America’s longest actively serving State Historic Preservation Officer, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and Maine State Historian, will assess the impact of National Historic Preservation Act on Maine and the nation.      




A native of Portland, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., attended Deering High School, Colby College, and Boston University and was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art.  At the age of thirteen, Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961.  A year later he joined the Sills Committee which founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964.  In 1971 he was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976.  Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture, his most recent publication being The Blaine House, which he authored in 2014. Mr. Shettleworth has served as State Historian since 2004.