Preservation Round-Up: "A" Marks the Spot Edition

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by David Garber

'Map' by Aram Bartholl 2006-2011. (Photo: Anne Foures)

Here at the InterNational Trust for Historic Preservation, we appreciate a good place-based story, even if it does bounce our typical boundaries a bit. (Don't worry, most of today's stories are from the USofA.)

I'll get the international one out of the way first: German artist Aram Bartholl has created a play on the Google Maps markers (see above photo) used to identify the center of towns and cities. "By blowing Google’s red markers up to “life-size” and physically planting them in actual places, Bartholl brings attention to the blurring between real and virtual space. His cheeky sculptures ask the question: where is the center of a city?" (Architizer)

How cool is this? The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York is running prohibition-era subway trains again. According to The Wall Street Journal, "HBO is paying the agency more than $150,000, according to an MTA spokesman, to run a Prohibition-era train along the 2/3 line in Manhattan during four September weekends. It’s a promotion for the second season of “Boardwalk Empire", a drama set in 1920s Atlantic City."

The world-famous art deco Waldorf-Astoria hotel is seeking to make changes to its entrance canopy. According to interviews by, "The new design ... is intended to focus attention on the landmarked building’s Indiana Limestone façade instead of the canopy."

And for our last New York story... The Municipal Art Society of New York and the Landmarks Preservation Commission are producing a manual for increasing the efficiency and sustainability of old buildings. "Roughly 55 percent of New York’s building stock is more than 70 years old, and any serious efforts to build a more sustainable city must include solutions for making these older buildings more efficient."

Southern Maryland's Sutterly Plantation (c. 1703) was damaged during last week's hurricane. Despite the chaotic current state of affairs, the historic site's blog was still upbeat. "Although this is devastating, we were so incredibly fortunate,” stated Nancy Easterling, Executive Director. “The 1703 Plantation House is in good shape, despite near misses by several enormous trees. Our newly restored Slave Cabin, while affected, is still intact. Our magnificent gardens are still glorious."

In Durham, North Carolina, the Durham School of the Arts’ Carr Building was completely renovated. The project finished on time and parts of the renovation specifically highlight the contrast of old and new - like retaining portions of old plaster on an exposed brick wall. (The Herald-Sun)

A Revolutionary War-era canon was pulled from the depths of the Detroit River yesterday. In the last three decades, four other canons have been found in the same river. "One theory is that the British were moving some of the cannons down the Detroit River to Ft. Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario, and they went overboard or the boat sunk in 1796, Stone said. They appear to have been made before 1760, but could have gone down anytime up to the War of 1812." (Detroit Free Press)

The Historic Preservation League of Oregon is seeking to create guidelines for new architecture in historic districts. "Peggy Moretti, director of the state-wide preservation advocacy group, said goal of the year-long project is to provide inspiration and guidance for new projects in historic districts. Too often, she said, preservationists are perceived “as purveyors of 'no.'"" (Portland Architecture)

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He can also be found on twitter at @GarberDC.

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