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Preservation Round-Up: See You Around Edition

Posted on: December 23rd, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

Now with the American Express touch (photo by Flickr user moritz schmaltz).

Good afternoon, Nation! Here’s your Thursday Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country. With the approaching holidays, things are slow in the preservation world, but we've still managed to pull together a few links that might strike your fancy.

Restoration efforts on Ellis Island have been the jurisdiction of Save Ellis Island Inc., a non-profit organization that has been working to save 30 buildings that remain on the island. But, the organization got a big boost from American Express (via the National Trust): A $100,000 donation. From New Jersey News: "The grant will be spent on hiring staff and expanding the nonprofit's board of trustees, which is raising the estimated $400 million for the project. 'American Express realized that we needed to build our board of trustees to recognize the scope of the project and hire more people,' said Dorothy Hartman, vice president of programs and planning for Save Ellis Island, in a statement Thursday. Since forming in 1999, the organization has restored the Ferry Building, as well as the Laundry and Hospital Outbuilding. The group has also stabilized other structures to prevent further decay." That's a nice Christmas present, huh? Here's more from Jersey City Independent.

What is a pomegranate doing in the drawing room of James Madison's Montpelier? Here's some photos and a video of the Utah Ice & Storage Warehouse in Salt Lake City. If you want to be an urban planner, US News and World Report thinks it's a good career choice (though there is much dissent in the comments).

And, a personal note: Today is my last day as the National Trust's Online Advocacy intern and thus, this is my last Preservation Round-Up. I've had great fun reading your stories, learning about preservation efforts across the country, and even establishing relationships as I wrote these posts. I'll miss my position and duties at the Trust dearly, and I'll be sure to check in on the blogs and organizations we featured here. But, never fear, the Round-Up will go on!

With that, enjoy your Thursday--and have a happy holiday! 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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Greek Revival Edition

Posted on: December 23rd, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday.* It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent.  This week, check out these Greek Revival properties. With columns galore, they'd look fantastic draped in garland for the holidays...

This is the backyard of Temple Hills, a four-story planter's townhouse in Columbus, Mississippi. Built around 1837, this Mississippi Landmark property is on the National Register and the Historic American Buildings Survey. It's restored, furnished, boasts terraced grounds with two period outbuildings, and fourteen Doric columns.

If you would like to make those fourteen Doric columns your own, you'll have to contact the agent. See the full listing here.

Falling Spring, in Sheperdstown, West Virginia, "is steeped in history and presents a rare opportunity to acquire a significant piece of history." The property includes the original smoke house, carriage house, guest house, and springs that lend the estate, built in 1830, its name. Preside over Falling Spring's 10.9 acres for $850,000.

See the full listing, and an extensive history, here.

* Yes, we know it's Thursday. An Internet outage yesterday at the National Trust headquarters prevented getting this posted on its normal day.

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Decay & Neglect Edition

Posted on: December 20th, 2010 by Alex Baca 1 Comment

 

No trespassing in West Baltimore (image via Dr John 2005 on Flickr).

Good afternoon, Nation! Here’s your Monday Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country.

From Old House Web comes useful, but not necessarily uplifting, updates on the economy and preservation: "Early this week, Conrad wrote about Honolulu’s old house owners losing their tax breaks (31 states currently offer state tax breaks for old/historic homes). Local tax districts, such as in Austin, Texas, are reconsidering the property tax breaks it’s been giving old house owners because of budget short-falls. As money becomes tighter and people become increasing more desperate to buy and sell properties, more historic districts’ preservation efforts are also coming under fire." Read more here.

If you find yourself in Charleroi, Belgium, you can take a tour of some of the city's not-so-picturesque features: "Nicolas Buissart leads an "Urban Safari" that includes climbing a slag heap, exploring never-used metro stations, walking down streets reputed to be the ugliest in this country, and visiting the house where the painter Magritte's mother lived—before she drowned herself in the canal. If this sounds like fun, hop into his van, which has no seats. The first stop is a "ghost" metro station. Back in the 1960s, the city planned a 30-mile transit network with eight lines. In 1985, it ran out of money, leaving half-built lines and unused stations." Since Buissart is clearly generating revenue and exposing people to Charleroi, which might otherwise go ignored, might I cheekily suggest young American entrepreneurs pursue similar business opportunities? I'm thinking that something similar could accompany rightsizing efforts. More at the Wall Street Journal.

As Baltimore examines redevelopment plans for its West Side, Baltimore Heritage takes a look at the area's history: "From the late 1700s through the 1940s, the West Side grew as a vital center of transportation, commerce, and cultural life. This growth first began with Lexington Market in 1782–a place that inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson to declare Baltimore the “Gastronomical Center of the Universe”– and continued in the early 20th century with the construction of dozens of premiere department stores and movie theaters that many Baltimoreans still remember fondly. Unfortunately, in the late 20th century retail shopping and investment drifted out to Baltimore’s suburbs, many of these businesses closed, and their buildings began to decay from neglect." More here.

A tip from Main2: You can now access issues of the Seattle Times from 1896 to 1984 online (1896 to 1899 will be available in January). Frank Gehry does Playboy, insists he isn't a "starchitect." Was Leonardo da Vinci a proponent of sprawl?

With that, enjoy your Monday! 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.

Preservation Round-Up: Vino Edition

Posted on: December 16th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

Calling all wine collectors (image by Flickr User p medved).

Good morning, Nation! Here’s your Thursday Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country. It's a slow news day today, so we apologize in advance for a light round-up.

This really expensive storage unit in Southeast Portland is much, much more than a place you hit up when you're moving. A $3.8 million investment turned the warehouse into a specialty wine storage space: "Rose City Self Storage & Wine Vaults -- a completely indoor operation -- features 849 storage units, including a full basement of wine lockers maintained at the optimum climate. The basement also features a community tasting room. The upper floors are carpeted and feature replicas of Southeast Portland street signs. Open wooden beams give the building a rustic feel, but a state-of-the art security system is in place...The building, 111 S.E. Belmont St., is in the shadow of the Morrison Bridge and in the heart of the Central Eastside Industrial District, an area that McClish feels is ready to take off."

We can now refer to smartly-planned non-urban neighborhoods as "prefurbia" (get it? Preferred suburbia?). Preservation is political. We measured this year in the places that matter to you. Also, our Austin Unscripted project bored into your soul.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Mixed Use Edition

Posted on: December 15th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent.  This week, check out these properties that, located in mixed-use structures, are more than just housing.

This loft apartment was renovated in 2001 and "can boast the only survivor of original Coe Block on Columbia Street" in Bangor, Maine. The expansive, multi-story property sports a ground-floor studio, a second-floor rental office, and the residential loft on the third and fourth floors. All that space--and original woodworking--can be yours for $450,000. See the full listing here.

While this property in Mobile, Alabama isn't strictly mixed use, it's got the potential to serve as office, retail, or residential space--if not all three at once! The Kress Building, circa 1914, is two floors, 8,700 square feet, and lies in a 2-block radius that has seen around $500 million in investment over the past five years. It's also within the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District. Looks like it's the place to be. The Kress Building can be yours for...well, you'll have to contact the agent for that. See the full listing here.

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Ranked and Rated Edition

Posted on: December 13th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

Incidentally, Forbes has ranked Salt Lake City as the number-one best city for jobs (image via Flickr user SFAntti).

Good afternoon, Nation! Here’s your Monday Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country.

All of us in PreservationNation think that the Philip Johnson Glass House is pretty sweet, but GQ (no, really, that GQ) gives its stamp of approval to the New Canaan, Connecticut landmark in a post on the GQ Eye: "The Glass House is the Walden of modern art. One room. Four clear-glass walls, a bed, a desk. Air, light, rocks, soil. But unlike Thoreau's hermitage, Philip Johnson's house, just forty-five miles from Manhattan, has an open-door policy—so long as you book in advance." So, if the Gentleman's Quarterly has deemed Johnson's abode "the world's coolest country home," is there any chance of a preservationist landing a best-dressed list somewhere?

Speaking of lists, city rankings are always fun to read, but are they even worth it? Next American City says: "How, though, does this fascination with rankings affect cities? For places like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the answer is probably: It doesn’t. I lived in Chicago when it first topped Forbes’ “most stressful” list and I recall it causing some consternation on local blogs and news shows. But it quickly faded. Very large cities probably don’t need to worry about businesses and would-be residents judging them based on lists." Read more here.

Salt Lake City's Yalecrest community is dealing with a scenario all too familiar to anyone that has the mere capacity to imagine what it must be like to instate a historic district. From the Salt Lake Tribune: "One group wants historic preservation and the other wants something called an “aesthetically pleasing environment,” whatever that means. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, the two groups engaged in this passionate civil war are from totally different galaxies. And, it should be apparent to city officials that a summer and fall of discontent isn’t bringing them any closer together. In fact, the “nos” are so upset that the city would dare consider making Yalecrest an historic district, having sent the recommendation from the Historic Landmark Commission to the Planning Commission, that they are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at stopping the process, hiring attorneys and running around the neighborhood with petitions scaring residents to death that they will have to spend $12,000 to replace front windows." Read more here.

Fun-looking signs from Freshwater Cleveland (and some thoughts on "how design bolsters neighborhoods"). Historian for Hire continues his research on Montgomery County, Maryland's eruvim. From Main2, what price is Seattle's skyline? The Tenement Museum, now with podcasts. Yay interns!

With that, enjoy your Monday! 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.