Join the Newport Historical Society for a talk with author Dr. Whitney Martinko on Thursday February 25, 2020 at 5pm, on Zoom.

Most histories of historic preservation in the United States start with the preservation of George Washington’s Mount Vernon in 1860. But Americans undertook a wide array of preservation projects before that date—including the residents of Newport. Martinko will discuss how Abraham Touro and Stephen Gould put Newport on the map of these early preservation efforts. Touro and Gould’s efforts to preserve Touro Synagogue and its cemetery in the 1820s were like similar efforts in Philadelphia, Charleston, and Marietta, Ohio. Attendees will learn how antebellum Americans engaged with the past to shape urban development, capitalism, and definitions of the public good, and they will be prompted to consider what these legacies mean for us today.

This talk is drawn from Martinko’s new book, Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States (Penn Press, 2020). A discount code will be sent to registered attendees who wish to order the book to receive 30% off and free shipping from Penn Press.

Dr. Whitney Martinko is an associate professor of History at Villanova University where she teaches classes about the early United States, environmental history and sustainability and material culture. She also directs the graduate program in public history. Martinko earned her AB in History from Harvard College and her MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. She conducted research at the Newport Historical Society when she was the 2015-16 Hench Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA. To learn more about her work, visit

Historic Real Estate, a virtual lecture with Dr. Whitney Martinko will occur on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 5pm. While admission is free, registration is required. Please sign up online or call 401-846-0813 or email to register and receive the Zoom link.

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