Preservation Round-Up: Underneath the Overgrowth Edition

Posted on: September 29th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

This might look cool (okay, or just really creepy) but it can be quite bad for the exterior building materials. (Photo: Flickr user flavor32)

You've seen houses like this before. The ones absolutely covered with ivy or other climbing vines - or the houses with neatly cropped, almost topiary-esque, greenery growing on the exterior brick, stone, or stucco. There's usually about one per neighborhood. Problem is, those vines can take quite the toll on old and historic buildings.

See what Old House Web has to say on the subject: "In the thrill of seeing such lovely ivy on my house, I made the classic mistake of not thinking about what was happening underneath it. That would be the tendrils creeping into every crack they could find in the brick, shimmying under the neighboring clapboard, and wrecking havoc underneath the lovely green blanket."

What are your thoughts on replacing superblocks with traditional street grids? Now, what if that means the demolition of a "historic" garden-style development? Activists in LA are decrying plans for a new mixed-use, LEED-certified, walkable development in favor of saving the superblock. Whaddya think? Is it worth it?

Historic Boston Incorporated recently completed renovations at on their new offices inside the old Dudley Square neighborhood firehouse. Check out the amazingly awesome fence they're building for it.

Speaking of awesome things... a young couple in San Antonio has begun renovations on an old house in the Dignowity Hill neighborhood. Why is this news? Because this renovation is the best of old and new, and, well, this whole "fixing up old houses in old neighborhoods" thing is a trend that just keeps giving. And there's a cool slideshow.

Good Buffalo news! "What many thought would surely see the landfill has had nothing short of a rebirth. St. Vincent's Orphanage stands as an incredible example of historic preservation near the brink of loss." Read this great account of how a high school is moving into the old St. Vincent's orphanage.

The Washington City Paper has an interesting piece on the next frontier of historic preservation. "...As time progresses, the definition of what we consider 'historic' also changes. That window is usually understood as about 50 years, which puts us in the early 1960s already." Is DC's Southwest Waterfront, a textbook example of urban renewal, the city's next historic district?

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

Civic, General, Modern Architecture, News Round-Ups

One Response

  1. adrian Scott Fine

    October 2, 2011

    Want to know more about the historic garden apartment community mentioned above, check out http://blog.preservationnation.org/2011/01/12/%E2%80%9Cwe-are-wyvernwood%E2%80%9D-video-celebrates-the-preservation-of-place-and-community/ — and — http://www.laconservancy.org/issues/issues_wyvernwood.php4. We think it is definitely a community worth keeping.