After nearly half a century working to preserve buildings and sites in his native New England, Edward “Ed” Des Jardins MArch ’66 stepped down as Chairman for the Georgetown Historical Commission in 2017. Georgetown Record calls him “History’s savior” for his work in preservation, historical commissioning, and overseeing the restoration of many monuments. After studying with Benjamin Thompson, chairman of the Department of Architecture at the GSD, Des Jardins,  joined Thompson’s Cambridge-based architecture firm. He spent the next 21 years designing and working on numerous projects, including Boston’s Faneuil Hall markets, the South Street Seaport in New York, and Colonial Williamsburg. “And that kind of got me into historical preservation” said Des Jardins, who served as chairman of Georgetown, MA’s Bicentennial Commission in 1976. The recipient of national AIA and other awards, Des Jardins was honored with a Massachusetts Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award from the state in 2014.

Now 81, Des Jardins plans to spend more time with his family, including his kids and grandkids on the West Coast. Read a letter by Des Jardins to “all you folks who appreciate Historic Preservation,” and view a few of his sketches of historic buildings that he has been involved with over the years (below). “Let’s keep our local history alive, for once it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” writes Des Jardins.

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