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.
Time Tells digs into old movie theaters and why we find them so fascinating: "Presentism biases our perspective in many areas, and economics is no exception. There has been a lot of discussion about the failure of the house museum model in recent decades, how the economics have changed. Similarly, in the world of theaters, movie economics changed in the 1970s and 1980s so that only multiplex theaters can survive economically. Thus, we see old house museums and old theaters as beautiful, wondrous reminders of a time when society in some respects was richer." More, with pictures, can be found here.
Did you read our post about New Orleans' Mid-City Historic District? Here's more from the Washington Post on the city's post-Katrina redevelopment and how it's swayed more toward urban renewal: "Mayor Mitch Landrieu has repeatedly defended the development as a "transformative project," said spokesman Ryan Berni. Berni also noted that, at the urging of preservationists, $3.2 million is being spent moving historic homes, rather than demolishing them. Still, there were alternatives to the "urban renewal by removal," said Sandra Stokes of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, a group that sought to get Charity Hospital reopened and save the neighborhood. She said a recent tour of the neighborhood's "vastness of the space" left her feeling awful." Additional reporting on New Orleans' future can be found here, from Global National.
The Huffington Post's "Life After Sprawl: Why the Green Revolution Must Start in Suburbia" argues just that--it's a big New Urbanist plea to retrofit sprawling suburbs to become more efficient: "And just how do we go about redesigning the world of strip malls, big box stores and housing developments with cheesy, British sounding names? Again, the answer is simple. Move things closer together! Closeness is the driving principal behind the school of land-use planning and design known as New Urbanism. New Urbanist designers seek to move home, work, shopping and play closer together, preferably within walking distance or accessible by efficient public transportation. All of a sudden homes are smaller, but much better located and cars have to be used less if at all. Suburban sprawl is soon replaced by compact, desirable living areas. Not only do New Urban spaces require less energy to run and travel around and reduce the amount of land lost to large, flat, ugly development (think car dealerships), but the people living in these areas are able to form a sense of place and community." Nothing you haven't heard before, but a good reminder nonetheless (read more here).
More holiday house stories! Lincoln Cottage: A good home for fuzzy friends. Daily Candy's shopping gurus pick out "Modern Views," about Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and on which we collaborated, as a "best art book for high-brow gifting." Synagogues are in jeopardy. Many preservationists would agree that it's high time planning made its way into popular discourse, so let's celebrate none other than a play called "In the Footprint" about--yep--planning!
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.
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