Preservation Round-Up: Sam Adams & MTV Edition

Posted on: July 18th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

Louisville's Fort Nelson Building is becoming a bourbon distillery. (Photo: Flickr user scraped knees)

Today I'm going light on intro and heavy on the links. With no shortage of content, I've assembled an all-regions-but-the-Eastern-Seaboard (no complaints now, y'all usually get all the love) round-up of preservation and place stories from across the country. Read on!

Sam Adams - no no, Boston friends, not that one. I'm talking about the mayor of Portland, Oregon - who says he'll help neighboring Oregon City save the historic home where the coin toss took place to name the city after Portland, Maine, rather than after Boston, Massachusetts.

Love old warehousey-type buildings? Then you'll dig the old Portland Greyhound bus garage. Portland Preservation writes: "Clearly the building has seen better days, and recognizing that not everything can be saved, we thought it might be interesting to shed a little light on the history of this building before it’s gone for good."

I almost just asked if there were any "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" fans out there then realized that you all don't really need pop culture bait. You're unabashedly here for the houses. Regardless, Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in Los Angeles - as seen in "Buffy," "Blade Runner," "Twin Peaks," and other jewels of the silver and small screen - sold for $4.5 million to a buyer who plans a complete restoration. The home is one of only four "textile block" houses designed by the renowned architect.

Once the center of the Des Moines, Iowa financial district, the vacant art deco Des Moines Building is being renovated as apartments with ground floor retail. I'd call that a win for the city.

Not that MTV even plays music videos anymore... but Chicago's WBEZ public radio station noticed a couple videos that use the city as a backdrop.

Yay for Louisville! A new bourbon distillery is moving into a decades-vacant historic building downtown!

Boo for Louisville! Remember that developer who wanted to tear down Whiskey Row? Well, now he wants to raze a few buildings for a surface parking lot. Seriously?

Speaking of tear-downs (must we?), New Orleans is back at it's goal of razing 10,000 homes in the next three years. It's a complex process, for sure, but also good to remember that tearing down a house isn't exactly a fix-all remedy for neighborhood resurrection.

"While the facade easements tax incentive — like any other — can be abused, the actions of a few overreaching taxpayers and questionable promoters shouldn’t be used to condemn an important preservation tool." Good words from our very own Paul W. Edmondson, who speaks to the importance of conservation easements in his Washington Post editorial.

Now back to Washington state, where I'll leave you with this fantastic video PSA by the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. Happy Monday!

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He really does hope you click through and watch the music videos from Chicago as well.

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.

General, News Round-Ups