Preservation Round-Up: The Bulldozers Have Eyes Edition

Posted on: December 29th, 2011 by David Garber

German artist Timm Schneider is pasting eyeballs on common urban objects. Does it change your perception of their functions? (Photo: Timm Schneider)

Somehow the least preservation-y story of the week is getting the most print space in today's Round-Up - but only because it's whimsical and calls attention to the things around us - old, new, flashy, or purely functional - that we might typically take for granted. I'm pretty sure there's a preservation crossover in that, but I'll let you all articulate that one.

"Schneider’s project is deceptively simple: he makes eyeballs out of styrofoam spheres and sticks them onto inanimate objects, making them look like creatures rather than things. Instead of walking by an object and tuning it out like we do so often, Schneider’s interventions encourage people to slow down, take notice and see their surroundings in an entirely new light – even if it is only for a moment."

And now back to preservation-related news...

Boston's African Meeting House restored - Daily Herald

"Following a painstaking, $9 million restoration, the nation's oldest black church building is set to reopen to the public early this month. Beverly Morgan-Welch, who has spent more than a decade spearheading the project, calls the three-story brick building the nation's most important African American historic landmark."

Planned renovations will make Detroit gems sparkle - The Detroit News

"Architect Daniel Burnham designed some of the world's first skyscrapers and has been credited with inventing urban planning. Now, a Burnham revival is taking place in downtown Detroit. Burnham, who died in 1912, built four downtown Detroit buildings, and three remain; the other called the Majestic was demolished in 1962. Two of his surviving Detroit buildings gained new owners this year, and both plan major upgrades."

Let's build a city we can love - Winnipeg Free Press

"The great cities of the future will be the ones that successfully reintroduce the human spirit into their urban environment. Cities that invest in creative architecture, public art, green space and the urban streetscape while promoting vibrancy through density and mixed-use development will be the ones that rekindle an urban love affair with its people. The modern transient economy will no longer settle for inhumane solutions to urban design."

Today in Pictures - Boilermaker Shops - The DC Mud

Check out this slideshow of the Boilermaker Shops, a c. 1919 industrial building in DC's Navy Yard neighborhood that is being painstakingly restored for new retail and office use. Funny (and awesome) to think that a building that was built for such utilitarian use is now so treasured.

A House on the Bayou - Garden & Gun

"Serenity, built during the first decades of the 1800s, is a classic French Creole manor house. Modest in scale, it has a broad, gabled roofline that stretches down to shade deep front and rear galleries. Perched above a brick-walled ground floor are the premier étage and a large attic. Their timber-frame walls are infilled with bousillage, a plasterlike mixture of mud, Spanish moss, and animal hair."

David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He may or may not now start pasting foam eyeballs on everyday objects around DC.

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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