Preservation Loses a Pioneer: Roger Webb
Preservation Massachusetts joins many in mourning the passing of Roger Webb, a pioneer, visionary and trail blazer for preservation in our Commonwealth and beyond. You may or may not have heard of him, but you have certainly seen the results of his innovative work, his leadership and his dedication to history, architecture and the preservation community in Massachusetts.
With urban renewal in full swing in 1960's Boston, Roger established the Architectural Heritage Foundation, to facilitate the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Without him and his leadership, there would be no Quincy Market, nor no Old City Hall, our organization's home for 30 years. We ate many a lunch in it's courtyard and watched as hundreds came along the Freedom Trail to pose with the (now) iconic brass donkey.
Take a moment to try and visualize a Boston without Quincy Market, or Old City Hall? Through his work at AHF, he helped to prove that adaptive reuse was a practical and economical solution to the problem of what to do with deteriorated historic buildings that were both culturally important and unable to support their original purpose. He showed what was possible and inspired others to do the same, in Massachusetts and beyond.
Roger was also involved in the founding of the Architectural Conservation Trust of Massachusetts and Preservation Massachusetts. Our organization would not be what we are today without him. It is a time when words fail but we know he will be missed by many. We continue our work in the same spirit that Roger sparked in the preservation community all those years ago.
We send our deepest sympathies to Roger's Family, the AHF staff and all who knew him.