William J. Murtagh dies — leader in historic preservation

William J. Murtagh, the first designated “keeper” of the National Register of Historic Places and a paladin among preservationists, died Oct. 28 in a retirement community in Sarasota, Fla. He was 95.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his nephew, Dean Murtagh.
Hoping to reverse what he called “the visual trashing of America” inflicted by urban renewal bulldozers and interstate highway billboards, Murtagh galvanized architects, historians, preservationists, archaeologists, local civic leaders and an informed public to consider places worth saving. He was driven, he said, by a concern “for what we might call the cultural ecology of the country.”
For more than five decades, Murtagh predominated in the field of preservation.
Source: Local News