By Caitlin C. Fitzsimons
Sara C. Bronin and Ryan Rowberry’s Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell (West Academic Publishing 2014) is a comprehensive resource for law students, attorneys, historic preservation law enthusiasts, and many more. Part of West Academic Publishing’s extensive “Nutshell Series” (or “Nutshells,” as law students affectionately call them), the study guide serves as an excellent companion to any law school course in historic preservation law as well as a summer legal internship in historic preservation law.
Like its fellow Nutshells, Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell outlines the major case law and statutes in the historic preservation law field and presents the material in a clear and concise discussion that facilitates the connections law students make in reading their casebooks. Bronin and Rowberry walk their reader through the intricacies of the three foundational, federal laws governing historic preservation in the United States, namely the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The authors also contemplate local regulation of historic preservation at the state, county, and town levels via historic preservation ordinances, which vary widely across the country. After surveying historic preservation law statutes and supplementing their discussion with relevant case law, Bronin and Rowberry move to federal constitutional constraints on historic preservation law, including the police power, due process, takings, religious liberty, and free speech. The second half of the Nutshell explores subtopics in historic preservation law including architectural protections for antiquities and abandoned shipwrecks, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits. The authors conclude their study guide with a consideration of international preservation, highlighting the 1954 Hague Convention and 1970 and 1972 UNESCO Conventions.... Read More →