Author Archive

Preservation Round-Up: Green Cities Edition

Posted on: September 27th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

The Luzon Building: Your Halloween costume this year? Image via TheDamnMushroom on Flickr.

Happy Monday, Nation! Here's your weekly Preservation Round-Up, your digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country.

Southwestern Archaeology Today has their newsletter posted—it's an aggregation of some of the finest archaeology-related news stories concerning New Mexico, Arizona, et. al. Of particular interest are "From Tottenville to Pueblo Bonito to New Orleans," on anthropologist George Hubbard Pepper, and "The Civilizations Buried Beneath Us," concerning societies sub-Phoenix.

I know I linked to Time Tells last week, but his post on Chicago's Gold Coast is so fantastic, I couldn't resist. There's pictures! There's lots of fun facts, like "The largest home was and is the mansion of a Catholic archbishop..."! If a trip to Chicago isn't in your plans anytime soon, this post is worth a look.

In case you forgot or are still unconvinced, NHBR.com reminds us that "Historic building reuse is greenest of green." We say that a lot around here in PreservationNation, but it's worth reading someone else's words, too. Speaking of green stuff, Los Angeles is attempting to unify its downtown with a big, big park. Design Under Sky has the story.

Jan Gehl is the name in city planning right now. His book, Cities for People, has made quite a splash. It's the usual Jane Jacobs-ian principles that we all know and love—eyes on the street!—but updated and applied for the 21st century. If you haven't been following along, here's an extensive profile by Capital New York and Gehl's interview with Fast Company.

Main2, historic Seattle's blog about preservation, has a brief post-mortem for the Luzon Building in Tacoma, demolished a year ago yesterday. While it's never a good thing to see a viable historic building taken down, Historic Tacoma included a rather unique request in their invitation to an event commemorating the first anniversary of the building's demise: "Come dressed as your favorite historic Tacoma building, past or present, and join the parade at the site of the Luzon Building. Bring a flashlight for lighting effects and to spotlight the speakers." If you could dress up as your favorite historic building, Nation, what would you be?

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.

The Preservation Round-Up: Seasonal Home Improvement Edition

Posted on: September 20th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

New Orleans' streetcars are part of the oldest continually-operated system in the world! Image via Flickr user wallyg.

Happy Monday, Nation! We're back with the second installment of the new Preservation Round-Up, your weekly digest of preservation news and tidbits from around the country.

With the fall season rapidly approaching, it looks like y'all got busy with some home improvements over the weekend. Time Tells notes that lead paint and asbestos are, in general, not acceptable excuses for the demolition of historic buildings. The Florida Trust created a nice, big list of local businesses--their Directory of Business Members--for hire in relation to preservation. But, if none of the above are working out, Old House Web has an alternative: Simply move your house.

Likewise, in the spirit of the back-to-school season, the Tenement Museum has a very interesting look at...child labor in the early 20th century. A sobering topic indeed, but the Tenement Museum has some nicely-curated images worth checking out.

The Utah Heritage Foundation posted an incredibly detailed comparison of the impact of a historic district designation on two different homes--that aren't even within a historic district! Says Jim Jenkin at UHF,

"These two properties together provide a marvelous example of how historic preservation acts to protect the value of the neighborhood and of individual properties. Houses that are historically appropriate are more marketable and therefore support the value enjoyed by the homeowner and the neighborhood as well."

There's an important point here: The characteristics and desirability of a historic district can spill over its borders, and that's a good thing!

To switch gears: Many urbanists have recently extolled the virtues of new streetcar systems that, for the most part, look pretty similar to old streetcar systems. Portland is a good example; pro-density transit nerds love the clean, quick, and trendy mode of transit. In PreservationNation's home base, Washington, D.C., they are certainly a big deal, and their appeal is manifesting elsewhere. The Tyee, a publication out of British Columbia, has a nice long-form piece on just why a streetcar system is something to be desired. The Transport Politic reports on New York's efforts to study Red Hook's streetcars, and questions whether or not that effort is actually worth it.

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.

[New Series] The Preservation Round-Up

Posted on: September 15th, 2010 by Alex Baca

 

Baltimore's Mount Vernon Place is slated for an upgrade. (Photo: Flickr User Jeff Kubina)

What's up, PreservationNation? Welcome to the first installment of our newest series, the Preservation Round-Up. We plan for this to be a weekly feature showcasing tidbits of preservation news across the country. Let's get it started.

In the East Village, the Uranian Phalanstery – a "utopian and all inclusive" artist's collective – is selling its two buildings to deal with tax liens. The Phalanstery, which serves as a shrine of ephemera to its former members, is moving to Upper Manhattan, but there's been a call to preserve the buildings that they've owned since 1974. The New York Times reports that "a developer has signed an agreement to buy the buildings and has also filed an application with the city to build two new stories totaling several thousand square feet on top of the existing structures. But the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the East Village Community Coalition are asking the city to grant landmark status to the three-story Greek Revival Buildings, which would prevent substantial changes." The buildings, circa 1840, boast original cornices, molded stone sills, windows, and ironwork. The groups have not indicated what a satisfactory use of the buildings might be.

Baltimore Heritage is kicking off a new monthly series discussing the Baltimore Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation's hearing agenda. First at the table is the restoration and revitalization plan for Mount Vernon Place, which proposes a six-point plan – historic fabric, streets, pedestrian access and safety, planting, lighting, utilities and infrastructure, and stewardship – of improvement categories. Stay tuned to Baltimore Heritage for more information. 

When preservation isn't as feasible as we'd like it to be: via Planetizen, Philadelphia's Church of the Assumption is slated for demolition because its owner is unable to make "crucial repairs to the green copper steeples." Apparently, "the 6-5 vote marked the latest defeat in Philadelphia's struggle to retain its stock of spectacular, but underused, 19th-century religious buildings." A moment of silence for this landmark. 

On a lighter note, Preservation in Pink gets personal about her road to preservation, and Dr. Steven Hoffman, coordinator of the Historic Preservation Program at Southeast Missouri State University, gives an interview with the Southeast Missourian. Both are good reads to remind all of us why our field is such a great, engaging, and captivating one. 

With that, enjoy your Wednesday! 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!

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.