Over the last five decades, Richard H. Jenrette (MBA 1957), cofounder of the investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, acquired and restored a dozen historic properties in North and South Carolina, Manhattan, upstate New York, and the island of St. Croix. Jenrette’s hands-on involvement in each project—documented in his 2000 book Adventures with Old Houses—included detailed research about the properties’ original designs, history, landscaping, owners, and furnishings, as well as collaborations with talented restoration artisans who shared his passion for painstaking authenticity.
Jenrette’s many preservation awards also include the Garden Club of America’s Historic Preservation Medal. Announcing the prize in May 2017, president Ann Copenhaver praised his efforts to preserve “the exterior historic context” of his projects as well as the “extraordinary recreation of their historic interiors.” In 1993, Jenrette created the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT), a nonprofit that protects examples of 19th century American architecture, landscapes, trails, and decorative arts. Of the 12 historic properties Jenrette had bought and preserved over the years, he kept six, all of which are already owned or will eventually be owned by the CAHPT and open to the public.
The houses Jenrette worked to preserve for future generations to visit are “part of our heritage,” he said. “Each one could be a time capsule or case history chronicling the ups and downs of the American economy, in war and in peace.”
Richard Jenrette pased away in April 2018.
(Published May 2017)
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