Old-House Journal Magazine is 50 Years Old!

The national magazine that started as a newsletter for Brooklyn brownstoners, in 1973, is about to celebrate a milestone birthday. Over the past 50 years, Old-House Journal has prospered and even spawned such spin-offs as Old-House Interiors, Arts & Crafts Homes, Early Homes, and the Renovation Lookbook.
Old House Journal 50th Anniversary
patricia poore
Old House Journal’s editor-in-chief, Patricia Poore

“We’re small but mighty,” laughs long-time editor and former owner Patricia Poore. “We didn’t get the attention afforded to magazines that have ties to a PBS television show. But the right people have been reading, for sure.” Have you ever heard a casual reference to “remuddling” (that is, unfortunate or comical remodeling)? How about the popular house style the American Foursquare? Both were coined by Old-House Journal in the 1970s and ’80s and, along with many of the publication’s core tenets, have entered the mainstream.

The magazine has always been there for individual homeowners. “It is the long-term, ongoing, privately financed rescue of hundreds of thousands of houses over many decades that preserves buildings, neighborhoods, and towns so that history may be read in three dimensions,” writes editor Patricia Poore in the most recent issue, one dedicated to Preservation Month. (An early subscriber, Poore came on in 1979 during the Brooklyn newsletter days and spent almost two decades as owner.  She continues as editor-in-chief and editorial director for OHJ’s current owner, the Home Group of Active Interest Media.)

Remarkably, the editorial mission has remained constant. Since its first issue, OHJ has covered DIY conservation and repair, articles on materials and techniques to help owners hiring contractors, house styles and design, and period-inspired interiors. (Today’s OHJ has absorbed Old-House Interiors, published from 1995 to 2013, and showcases restored houses along with the nitty-gritty.) “We never run out of subject matter,” says Poore. “We’ve gone from Victorians to bungalows to mid-century ranches, paint-stripping to snaking wires to heirloom planting. If you have an old house, you know it’s endless.”

To celebrate OLD HOUSE JOURNAL’s 50th Anniversary. We’ll be surfacing some of the best content from over the years, featuring new exclusive anniversary content, all while taking a trip down memory lane and having a bit of fun.

  • Anniversary Focused Content on Social Media
  • Fun facts 
  • Audience quizzes 
  • Throwbacks to old issues 
  • Reader giveaways 
  • Digital Gallery of “OHJ Throughout the Years”, Includes logos and covers 
  • Download featuring the most hilarious and egregious remuddles 
  • Celebratory wishes from influencers and partners across social media 
  • Interview about OHJ over the last 50 years with long time editor Patricia Poore and founder Clem Labine 

Tags: OHJ September 2023

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