Protecting Suburban America seeks to unravel the cultural logic and dynamics underlying the “preservation” of historic homes and neighborhoods in a selection of suburban southern California cities. Preservation-oriented homeowners typically collaborate with city officials in constructing specific local meanings and appropriate practices to ensure that residential and civic architecture accurately represents their understanding of their city’s history. Restoring residential neighborhoods that have long suffered from disinvestment, or protecting homes threatened with modernizing remodels may be secured through historic preservation legislation, or other regulations enabling municipal authorities to control building design. The central concept organizing preservation communities gives primacy to the “original” material artifacts in constructing a cosmology that articulates meanings, values and a worldview. The changes felt in southern California’s older suburbs parallel those experienced in many communities in the United States that are protected by historic preservation laws and policies.