Preservation Roundup: Preservation and Inclusive Development in Latin America, LEED House of the Future, Urban Adventuring

Posted on: October 6th, 2008 by Matt Ringelstetter

Heritage Preservation, Tourism and Inclusive Development in Panama City's Casco Antiguo: Efforts to revitalize historic districts in order to attract tourism in Latin American cities have often resulted in the displacement of the actual residents through gentrification and commercialization. Many of the people who have called the neighborhoods home for generations are low income families whose lifestyles don't always mesh with an increased accommodation to foreign tourists. Recently however, historic city center rehabilitation is being looked at in a broader view of pursuing "the recovery of the city centers (historical or otherwise) because of their key role as collective symbols or spaces of social interaction, or because of their potential efficiency as dense, well-serviced urban districts." [Land Lines- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy]

Civil War Photography Demonstration at President Lincoln's Cottage: This Saturday check out a free demonstration of wet plate collodion process, the technique used by photographers during the Civil War. Developed in the 1850's the technique produced a negative image, allowing photographers to replicate an unlimited number of prints from one photo--a huge advantage over the contemporary Daguerreotype. The demonstration takes place at 10 am and is free! [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

LEED Platinum Home of the Future Reduces Energy Costs by 80%: Imagine paying only 24 dollars per month in combined electrical and gas bills. This house of the future in the Sacramento-area town of Folsom is constructed "like a big thermos" according to it's designer and is only the second home in California to achieve LEED Platinum distinction. Energy saving resources include:

  • Resource efficient framing with blown-in cellulose insulation and two layers of Icynene foam insulation on the outside of the wall;
  • Spectrally selective glass windows with specially coated glazing to reduce radiant heat gain and loss;
  • A 3.85 kilowatt solar energy system with battery back-up;
  • Solar-assisted hot water and space heating with an advanced boiler;
  • State-of-the-art water cooled evaporative air conditioning;
  • Fluorescent and advanced LED fixtures that last 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than standard lighting;
  • Water efficient landscaping and irrigation with satellite assisted weather station on the irrigation controls;
  • Patios enclosed by recycled glass; and
  • Low VOC paints, cabinets and flooring for better indoor air quality

[Jetson Green]

Urban Adventurers: Who says you need mountains, backwoods trails, or whitewater rapids to find adventure these days? Now city-foots can find adventure too, and they don't even have to leave the metro area. Climbing, crawling and generally just breaking into abandoned buildings is growing in popularity amongst city dwellers looking for some weekend adventure. The British Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents has labeled such activity as "dangerous and irresponsible behaviour," but to urban adventurers, abandoned buildings offer a "fascinating, if dusty, window into a bygone era. The explorers use aliases to protect their identity, adding to the movement's mystique. Many are photography enthusiasts who post artistic pictures of their latest daring exploits online. Others are in it purely for the thrill, clambering to the top of towering cranes or exploring the network of sewers and storm drains beneath." The National Trust for Historic Preservation would like to advise our readers that we in no way condone or promote illegal and dangerous activity--no matter how cool the building may look, or exhilarating said activity may be. [The Independent]

Archaic Bathing Machines: Last week we featured a photo of mobile beach homes from Pruned. Here's another photo of a mobile beach house used by King Alfonso XIII of Spain. [Pruned]

Hitchcock and Architecture: anArchitecture ("An architecture blog dedicated to architecture and architecture thinking, news, links and opinions") points out Alfred Hitchcock's use of space in his films. Included, a ten minute sampler from Vertigo. [anArchitecture]

English Sites Pose Preservation Questions: Max van Balgooy from the National Trust for Historic Preservation discusses questions arising from the many preservation practices in England. [National Trust Historic Sites Weblog]

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