Henry J. Browne’s boyhood searches in and around abandoned New England mills and canals sparked his lifelong fascination with ruins, and ultimately he saw them as “lonesome evidence of man’s endeavors.” He studied architecture at the University of Virginia and worked throughout his successful career to save aging buildings and thereby honor the craftsmen who built them.

He appreciated the quiet of isolated site work, enjoyed the challenge of finding technical solutions to the preservation of architectural fabric and integrity, furthered his professional credentials at the International Center for Restoration of Monuments and Sites in Rome.

He played a significant role in the restoration of numerous historic buildings including Pearl Buck’s birthplace in Hillsboro, West Virginia; the Executive (Governor's) Mansion in Richmond, Virginia; “Pine Knot,” Theodore Roosevelt’s Camp in Scottsville, Virginia; and eleven retail and warehouse buildings on Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina.

Ruins in Virginia, Vanishing History reflects a longstanding dream and provides a testament to the skills, needs, challenges and creativity of those who came before us.

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