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.
The Utah Heritage Foundation reports that there's trouble afoot in Provo's historic district:
"Unfortunately, one of the things the trucks are hauling is demolition debris from several older and historic buildings in Provo’s downtown historic district. Yes, it was certainly time for some of these to probably go as they had been underutilized, unsupported by economic development programs for years, and thus neglected. But there was still some charm and character in their scale and features and thus their contribution provided some good nature to being there. Even in the last round of discussions with the Landmarks Commission, there was acknowledgment that in the future the city cannot allow contributing buildings to be altered, thus making them non-contributing buildings while they are listed in the local historic district or they will be de-listed and demolished just like these buildings."
The concern is that, if companies are allowed to expand into newly-constructed properties that don't reflect Provo's character, the historic environment will be eroded. Hopefully, Utah Heritage Foundation will keep us posted.
Delaware Online reports that a jeweler in Wilmington, Delaware is shuttering his store for economic reasons, but isn't leaving the effort to revitalize the city's downtown. "Even as his business departs downtown, Will Minster will spend his days working for downtown's future. He will be director of economic restructuring for the Wilmington Downtown Business Improvement District, also known as Downtown Visions. In that role, he will work on finding ways for downtown businesses to market themselves together, work to recruit new businesses and retain the ones that are currently downtown. 'I'm a bench jeweler. What do bench jewelers do? They fix things, they design, create things from scratch,' Minster said. 'It's taking that mind-set, taking something broken, and fixing it.'" With Minster on board, Wilmington should be sparkling in the long-term.
Going to Colorado? Need a place to stay? The Colorado Springs Gazette has listed several options for all your traveling needs. Included is the Cottage Court, the oldest remaining original motel in the country: "The state’s oldest remaining log hotel is open to the public for just three days in November and December — you can also check out the oldest motel in the US while you’re there — thanks to the Grand Lake Area Historical Society. Grand Lake’s proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, which opened in 1915, means tourism has been its bread and butter for almost a hundred years. Because the railroad never came to the western side of the park, auto travel has driven growth in the area for as long as cars have been around...The Cottage Court, a few blocks away, is recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Colorado Historical Society as the oldest remaining original motel in the U.S. Both are owned by the Grand Lake Area Historical Society (GLAHS), which has taken on the major project of restoring them for public display and education."
If you're making a trip to James Madison's Montpelier, you can take home a piece of...wallpaper (no, it's cooler than it sounds). Read Old House Web's extensive post on America's oldest net zero solar house, which proves that all that new-fangled sustainability stuff fits in just fine with historic district characteristics. The Columbus Dispatch notes that old barns, which could be salvaged or renovated, are disappearing (but points to our Barn Again! program as a good thing).
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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