This is a book about understanding old buildings. In an era in which much of the US landscape has been littered by unimaginative, prefabricated structures, James L. Garvin tells owners and would-be owners of old buildings in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont what they need to know before they begin the restoration process. In wonderfully lucid prose, Garvin describes the production of the materials from which the buildings of northern New England were built, outlines the stylistic evolution of the region’s structures from the early 1700s to World War II, and offers guidelines for dating old buildings. Focusing on domestic architecture, but including examples of public, commercial, religious, and industrial buildings, he offers custodians of buildings an understanding of the technologies embodied in these structures, answers questions about stylistic changes, and allows the architecture of northern New England to be understood for the first time with a technical depth that is already available for buildings in better-studied parts of the US. Written for both homeowners and those responsible for public and museum structures, this volume provides an understanding of the region’s building history even as it specifically answers questions that most often perplex architects and preservationists. By offering all custodians of northern New England buildings a richer understanding of architectural style and structure, the book encourages the use of appropriate methods and materials in building conservation and rehabilitation. Generously illustrated throughout, the book is also an essential resource for anyone who is interested in American and New England architecture and the building trades, and for anyone who has ever wondered about the secrets and stories of old buildings.