The Heritage of a Life: Robert Stipe, 1928-2007 Public Deposited

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  • Heath, Milton
    • Affiliation: School of Government
  • Howard, J. Myrick
    • Other Affiliation: Executive Director, Preservation North Carolina
  • Lu, Weiming
    • Other Affiliation: Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation/Favrot Family Fund
  • Stipe, Josie
  • The Carolina Planning Journal, the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning, and the broader planning community join preservationists from Chapel Hill, this state, and indeed around the country in remembering the remarkable life and far-reaching career of Robert Stipe, who died this past September. Stipe was certainly a pioneer in the field of conservation and historic preservation. From his base in Chapel Hill, he worked to legitimize the field and establish procedures and standards for preservation at the local, state, and federal levels. His edited volumes are used as university textbooks, while the ordinances and statutes he authored have enabled towns to preserve their past through historic district zoning. However, Stipe’s professional legacy is impossible to disentangle from the personal one, for he left an impact on the field not just through his writings, but also through his relationships of collaboration and mentoring. Four reflections here testify to Stipe’s commitment to preservation and to people. Myrick Howard provides an overview of Robert Stipe’s career and influence over more than one generation of students who went on to positions of leadership in land use, design, and preservation law. Weiming Lu writes in a more personal vein, as a fellow master’s student with Stipe in Regional Planning at UNC in the 1950s. Milton Heath describes the variety of ways that these friends and colleagues collaborated over the years. Finally, conversations with Stipe’s wife Josie and his son Fred provided the basis for an explanation of his motivations for dedicating his energies to historic preservation long before it was fashionable. The thread running through each piece is the radical idea, born in Robert Stipe as a young man and carried throughout an unexpectedly long life, to use the law to protect and enhance the landscape and design of cities and towns.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Journal Item
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Carolina Planning Journal
Journal volume
  • 33
Journal issue
  • 1
Page start
  • 3
Page end
  • 7
  • English
Digital collection
  • Carolina Planning Journal
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