Preservation Round-Up: Double-Time Edition

Posted on: October 7th, 2010 by Alex Baca 2 Comments

Upgrade! From www.lowellplan.org

Good morning, Nation! This blogger has decided she really, really, really likes scouring the Internet for round-up-worthy content--so much so that there will now be two per week! Expect to see the Preservation Round-Up, your digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country, on Mondays and Thursdays from here on out. Well, except for next week, because Monday is a holiday and the office is closed.

The Guardian (UK) reports that New York is changing its street signs from ALL CAPITAL LETTERS to a capitalized first letter (of each word) only. By most accounts, the new method is safer, and nicer! "Officials argue that the changes will save lives and the city's transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, also suggested that the new signs might reflect a kinder, gentler New York. 'On the Internet, writing in all caps means you are shouting,' she said. 'Our new signs can quiet down, as well.'" The city even developed a new font, called Clearview, for the endeavor. Let's hope the signs live up to their typeface's name.

Speaking of typeface, the lettering of Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL were stolen. Time Tells says that the theft occurred "amidst an Oak-Park frenzy of copper and bronze theft, apparently by salvage thieves seeking the resale value of the metal." While this is certainly a shame, there are some nice pictures up in the aforementioned post, as well as some additional information on the Unity Temple. Here's more from St. Louis Today.

We talked about Preservation Journey talking about Muppets talking about preservation on Monday, and the former has followed up! Adventures in Preservation has unearthed a Muppets wiki, and a Sesame Street episode that features a certain architect named I.M. Pig. Cute!

Lowell, MA has a new master plan, courtesy of urban planner Jeffrey Speck. From the Lowell Sun: "Speck's drama unfolded from the simple and inexpensive ways to transform the city -- painting bicycle paths onto the city's widest streets -- to the sublime -- a $100 million waterfront project that would be the envy of any similar-sized city in America." Sound good? The plan looks pretty good, too. Check out the website for it here.

Do you want to learn how to be an urban planner? How about understanding the connection between Chicago's 1909 plan and planning today? Do you not feel like reading anything about any of the above? It's Thursday. We understand. Fortunately, you're in luck! Democrablog has assembled "50 excellent YouTube videos about urban planning" for your viewing pleasure. They're helpfully divided into sections: general urban planning, architecture, transportation, and sustainability.

And, last but certainly not least, here's a heartwarming account about what makes Seattle great, on Main2. Their intern, Brandon Spencer-Hartle, says this: "New construction and increased density has great potential to enhance the character and vitality of Seattle’s older neighborhoods, honoring and building upon the existing stock of buildings. If done wrong, however, new buildings can disrupt and diminish the very cultural and aesthetic fabric which spurred the development in the first place. Unfortunately, Seattle’s neighborhoods have seen the loss of countless existing green buildings under the charlatan disguise of density and sustainability. Official historic designation is about honoring significance, yet preservation is an ethic and a value that goes far beyond individual landmark properties. If Seattle’s neighborhoods are to remain themselves in the decades ahead, increased density and new construction must honor the preservation ethic to enhance, rather than replace, the places that make Seattle 'SEATTLE.'" Though Spencer-Hartle is waxing poetic on the Emerald City, his words have an undeniably broader application for many of our neighborhoods.

With that, enjoy your Thursday! Got any tips, news, or otherwise preservation-related fluff? We’d love to include it in the next round. Send us your links on Twitter and Facebook, and maybe you’ll see it here next week!

Alex Baca, a senior at the University of Maryland, is an intern in the Online Communications department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and also at the Washington City Paper.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

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2 Responses

  1. Brian Wolf

    October 7, 2010

    The Clearview font is a nationwide mandate, with a rather interesting background. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/magazine/12fonts-t.html

  2. Jamie Donahoe

    October 7, 2010

    Thanks, Alex, for mentioning my Muppet-related posts. Glad to see you will be blogging more frequently – I enjoy reading your posts.