Author Archive

Preservation Round-Up: Denver's Disappearing Dome Edition

Posted on: August 15th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 


The view towards Denver's capitol building. (Photo: Flickr user Jim Nix)

Having spent some quality time in Denver last month, I had the chance to enjoy views of Denver's golden capitol building from all sides. Second only to the mountains that surround it, the building's shimmering dome is a real jewel in the middle of the city. Starting in January, the dome and central rotunda will be hidden behind a gauze of scaffolding to facilitate a major restoration. Watch this video for more information on the restoration and the current "age and elements"-related damage to the structure:

Speaking of restoration... the city of San Francisco finally allowed a homeowner to keep a vintage "Drink Coca-Cola" sign of the side of their house, despite complaints by some that it violates advertising laws. Old House Web blogged about the matter, asking if there's a vintage value to old painted advertisements.

John Wayne had a boat. And that boat has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Docked in Newport Harbor, California, the vessel was first used as a minesweeper during World War II.

Not so great news: the University of Minnesota is in the process of demolishing Westbrook Hall, which was built in 1898 for the university's medical school.

When I think of my favorite classrooms, they aren’t the ones with fancy rolling chairs and individual plug-ins at each seat or pure concrete with no windows (though these classrooms have their place in the history of education as well). My favorite classrooms are the wood-floored, radiator heated, walls peeling different colors of paint from years gone by. They are the ones with character, and losing that, is losing the feeling that there is a history at the school I put so much faith in.

Great news: Historic Boston and Roslindale Village Main Streets have teamed up to propose a new use for the southwest Boston neighborhood's old park-facing substation: as a function hall and events space. What a fantastic building!

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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: Virginia Country Glamour Edition

Posted on: August 12th, 2011 by David Garber

 

Today's highlighted Historic Properties for Sale all hail from that oh-so-wonderfully-American and oh-so-expensively-close-to-Washington-DC land called the Northern Virginia countryside.

Canterbury - Warrenton, Virginia
(Get ready for some serious glam country, folks.)

Called “One of the most beautiful homes in America" by the American and French Society of Architects after its completion in 1939, this majestic Georgian Revival home sits on 373 acres behind a mile-long private driveway.

Canterbury was modernized and restored to its original elegance in 2007. Pricetag: $14,500,000

Orange Hill - Marshall, Virginia

Built in 1801, this Georgian manor home sits on 200 acres in the prestigious Orange County Hunt.

As you can see, the home boasts gorgeous views of the countryside, and has that very Virginian foxhunts-and-boxwoods feel about it. Into horses? There's a 13-stall stable right on the property. Pricetag: $7,500,000

Pelham - Middleburg, Virginia

Pelham was built in 1878 and features whimsical design features of the Victorian age. As you can see, the home features a gracious front porch and cascading lawns that open up toward an expansive view of the Blue Ridge foothills.

The property contains a historic 6-stall barn with a wood paneled lounge area, exposed beams, heart of pine floors, built in shelves, half bath, kitchenette, and a cedar-lined storage room. Pricetag: $4,250,000

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He'd look into buying these houses, but then, he doesn't *quite* have the down-payment saved up.

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: Leggo My LEGO Edition

Posted on: August 11th, 2011 by David Garber 3 Comments

 

The LEGO Robie House. (Photo: LEGO System A/S)

As a kid, I had friends in different toy categories. There were the friends who had gray plastic swords and shields, helmets and daggers. There were the Playmobile friends. There were the friends with the mounds of Happy Meal toys that could be played with in pillow forts and outdoor under-shrub worlds. There were the Nintendo (plus accessories... cough :: Nintendo Power Glove :: cough) friends. And then there were the LEGO friends. Most people my age had at least a few LEGOs, but there were one or two families with plastic tubs just filled with them - and we would create our own space-meets-pirate universes for hours on end.

This was, of course, before LEGO started making Frank Lloyd Wright sets. According to Time Out Chicago, the latest, a micro-sized Robie House, will be available for purchase (for a piggy-bank-busting $199) starting August 27.

Staying on the kid-friendly / preservation-inspiring track, young people in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania had a chance to try their hand at bricklaying, shingle-making, and other traditional crafts during the Community Days portion of this year's International Preservation Trades Network conference.

Student at the University of Georgia are joining together to try to save the Rutherford Hall dorm. "Built in 1939, it was one of the first dormitories for women on the University of Georgia campus. It has 159 beds, and still houses students, but the building is in need of extensive remodeling and could be demolished."

The Providence Preservation Society reported on their Facebook page about the demolition of a "historic" downtown parking garage. Thoughts?

As a "round-up within a round-up," here's MAin2's list of recent Seattle preservation news stories. (Sneak peek: new websites, film festivals, architectural ruins, and more!)

The LA Times wonders if the upcoming John-Cusack-As-Edgar-Allan-Poe movie "The Raven" could help save Baltimore's Poe house. "The historic house is a museum open to the public that lost the $85,000 in support it gets from the city of Baltimore for the second year running, and may be forced to close."

David Garber is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is important to note that although he had friends in each of those categories, he was the "books and black and white movies that his friends fell asleep watching" kid. Thanks Mom and Dad.

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: The Great Outdoors Edition

Posted on: August 8th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 


DC has gone from zero to 450 sidewalk cafes in 50 years. (Photo: Flickr user davereid2)

Need some fresh air? In today's Preservation Round-Up I've scrounged together links from across the country that have to do with the great outdoors. But are they preservation-related? Oh yes, these stories of cafes, worms, fences, ships, and drive-ins all speak to the care taken to preserve historical context on the streets and in the towns and cities we all love.

Washington, DC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first sidewalk cafe. Detractors (there are some still out there) once worried that the cafes would be "a potential source of disorder" and would "provide a favorable setting for ladies of easy virtue as they ply their trade up and down the street.” Bah.

Slither slither. In which San Antonio's Villa Finale's restoration blog gives worm composting tips. Part of me thinks this is the restoration team's favorite part of the project. Hey, no complaints here.

Thinking about replacing that old chain link fence? In a "never thought this would happen" move, Alexandria, Virginia is seeking to preserve the oft-maligned fencing material that "played an important role in the development of mid-century vernacular housing."

Archaeologists working at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan unearthed another section of the 200-year-old merchant ship that was discovered buried 30 feet below street level last summer. The ship was used as landfill when Lower Manhattan was extended westward in the late 18th century.

Pining for those good ol' days of malt shops and drive-in movies? Well, St. Albans, Vermont has at least the drive-in thing going for it. See Preservation in Pink's blog post about this relic and its possibly-original on-site playground.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As is always the case when he mentions food on the blog, he's currently pining for a malted milkshake (did they have soy options back then?) but thinks he might need to satisfy the craving with something a bit more 21st century.

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: Dr. Generous Henderson Edition

Posted on: August 5th, 2011 by David Garber

 

Built in 1899 along Kansas City's then-prestigious Paseo boulevard, The Dr. Generous Henderson House is the last remaining Second Italian Renaissance Revival structure in the city, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The home was built for a Dr. Generous Henderson whose Kansas City medical practice existed for forty-five years.

According to the National Register nomination for the house,

Dr. Henderson was born in New London, Indiana. He graduated from the Chicago Medical College and the medical department of the University of Michigan. Around 1880, after practicing in Chicago for twelve years, he moved to Kansas City.and began a medical practice that would continue for forty-five years. Advertisements he placed in the local newspapers encouraged consultation by letter, stressed his numerous cures for "sexual debility and private diseases", offered picture books describing diseases, and mentioned the free museum in his office.


(Photo: National Register of Historic Places)

The home boasts 5,515 square feet and is zoned for both residential and commercial use, and comes with a carriage house out back (fully accessible via an underground tunnel from the basement). Any takers?

If this house isn't exactly what you're looking for, check out our many other listings on the Historic Properties for Sale website.

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.