Chester H. Liebs

A Lifetime of Preservation Advocacy

From 1971, when he came to Vermont to serve on the staff of what was then called the Vermont Board of historic Sites, and before he joined the UVM faculty in 1975 Liebs has been a passionate advocate for preservation in Vermont.  His work has educated many about the importance of everyday places and he helped save many significant structures and landscapes in the “Green Mountain State.” 

Newspaper clipping from the Brattleboro Reformer published on Thursday, June 21, 1973.

MSS 843 BC, Box 13 Folder 13, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Vermont Preservation Publications

Chester H. Liebs and the UVM Historic Preservation program worked with various cities to publish books and pamphlets of the city's history and architecture to help show others the importance of preservation where they lived.

The result of one of the UVM historic preservation student advocacy projects, Views Through Time offered two self-guided tours through the city of Rutland, Vermont.  The goal of these tours was to help people look around and understand how the places they saw were shaped.

The Burlington Book considers the history of Vermont’s architectural history, but also its future.  Written and edited by UVM historic preservation graduate students, it was published in 1980 by the Historic preservation program at the University of Vermont in the Department of History under the leadership of Chester H. Liebs.

MSS 843 BC, Box 13 Folder 27/18, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Vulnerable Vermont

This project co-sponsored by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, measured the pace and impact of changes made to historic buildings in three northwestern Vermont communities.

MSS 843 BC, Box 13 Folder 31, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Awards and Honors

The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Chester H. Liebs the National Preservation Honor Award in 1996.  Liebs was nominated for the award by his graduate students for his commitment to educating others in the field of historic preservation.

The National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) awarded Chester H. Liebs the James Marston Fitch Award in 2004. The award honors the legacy of James Marston Fitch’s tenure in architectural preservation at Columbia University, the first program of its kind.  Liebs studied under Fitch during his time at Columbia University.

Chester Liebs receiving the National Trust for Historic Preservation National Preservation Honor Award in 1996.

MSS 843 BC, Box 14 Folder 5, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

 

Smithsonian Magazine Feature

Chester H. Liebs was featured in the April 1981 issue of the Smithsonian magazine.  In the article he speaks of the importance of saving everyday buildings because of the information they provide, as well as the importance of “leav[ing] enough information around from every era so that each generation has a long-term backdrop for understanding itself.”     

Wolkomir, Richard. "Old McDonalds have a friend: his name is Liebs." Smithsonian Apr. 1981: 62-69. Print.

MSS 843 BC, Box 14 Folder 4, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Historic Preservation: Forging A Discipline

MSS 843 BC, Box 15 Folder 24, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.