Author Archive

Preservation Round-Up: Y'all Come Back Now, Y'Hear? Edition

Posted on: August 4th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 


Where's Granny Moses when you need her most? California could use some of that Clampett fortune...

So much of the time spent on historic preservation is advocacy toward new uses for old structures, freshening up forgotten places, and trying to get other people to care about things that they might not realize are important until they're threatened. In semi-seriousness, "y'all come back now y'hear?" is kind of a perfect mantra for historic preservation. It conveys a sense of renewal, it's a call to action, and to be perfectly frank, reaches out to the granny preservationist militia constituency. (We love you grannies!).

Then again, I can't pretend I didn't just happen upon this phrase while reading through Beverly Hillbillies theme song lyrics ("and up from the ground came a bubblin' crude") in an effort to come up with a title that had something to do with Richard Neutra's Bevery Hills Kronish House (see doctored photo above) - whose owners have, according to the LA Times, "agreed to postpone its demolition until at least Oct. 10 to give preservationists a chance to devise a plan to save the residence."

Speaking of things that need saving... the California State Parks system needs an infusion of cash to re-open 70 parks slated for closure. Check out this great interview about the potential closures and what affect it will have on built and natural heritage within the sites.

In "y'all are starting to come back" news, The Washington Post featured an interesting article about the black middle class moving into DC's Historic Anacostia neighborhood. The Washington City Paper featured a similar article earlier this  year, called "Confessions of a Black Gentrifier." Yes, that was the G Word you just saw. Article comments are sure to be hot.

In Houston, Texas, speculation is rising that Trader Joe's could be moving into the old Alabama Theatre. Seems a pretty good use for a building type that's fallen into hard times since the advent of the personal television.

Across the state in San Antonio, an old (c. 1885) water pumping station is being transformed for use by the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and museum project.

Broken Sidewalk's completely arresting map of Louisville, Kentucky's downtown parking lot epidemic shows that there is already way too much surface parking and absolutely no more buildings need to be demolished to add to the scourge.

Last on today's list is this truly awesome set of "Pop Pilgrims" videos on the A.V. Club that explores the real life places seen or referenced in pop culture. Here's the exploration video of the Mansfield, Ohio prison from "Shawshank Redemption":


Cleveland: The Shawshank Redemption prison

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He would gladly tour around the country in a little car to film memorable pop culture locations. Who's sponsoring?

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.

Jubilation for Preservation in the Twin Cities!

Posted on: August 2nd, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 

Written by Crista Gibbons

Supporters braved the rain to celebrate the Partners in Preservation announcement. (Photo: Partners in Preservation)

PiP, PiP, Hooray! PiP, PiP, Hooray! Partners in Preservation is on its way!

Preservationists gathered on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis today to celebrate the announcement that Partners in Preservation is coming to the Twin Cities!

This exciting program, funded by American Express, will bring $1 million in much needed bricks-and-mortar grants for projects at some of region's most significant historic places.   From September 20 through October 12, the public will be invited to vote on Facebook for their favorite historic places from a diverse slate of 25 sites. Everyone is invited to vote, and the winner of the popular vote is guaranteed funding.

Like us on Facebook to join the celebration, learn more about the program, and cast your vote when the 25 sites are revealed next month!

You say “save!” I say “history.” Save! History! Save! History!

Crista Gibbons is the Associate Director of Marketing Programs 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: Woodsy Modernism Edition

Posted on: July 29th, 2011 by David Garber

 

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " Sometimes even fast enough to shatter a curtain wall...

"The place is like a museum. It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything."

If you've seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" you probably remember the scene where Ferris and his buddy Cameron return the rare 1961 Ferrari GT California that they "borrowed" from Cameron's dad. Cameron is freaking out. Ferris, characteristically, is trying to keep things cool. But it's the location that truly makes the scene: the glassy garage of the 1953 modernist Highland Park home designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid. (That, incidentally, was up for sale earlier this year.)

Now before we let this scene take over the entire post (believe me, if I could, I would), the reason I bring this up is because the house and garage fit perfectly into today's Historic Properties for Sale category: woodsy modernism. Fortunately, we've got a couple listings that bring young Mr. Frye's house to mind.

The Round House - Worthington, Ohio

Situated among mature trees in the mid-century neighborhood of Rush Creek Village just outside Columbus, the Round House is a crisp specimen of the style's affinity for natural materials, simple shapes, and a yielding presence on the landscape. I mean, who doesn't want banquette seating lining their curved living room wall? (See more great photos on the listing.)

18 Twin Pond Lane - Lincoln, Massachusetts

If the above photo doesn't prove the whole woodsy modernism thing, the description of this 1962 home seals it: "The house is a modest wood-framed contemporary; secluded in a wooded neighborhood with proximity to walking trails and permanently protected conservation land." Appears to be a fixer-upper, but who isn't up for a little (or a lot of) DIY?

Where do woodsy modern houses fit on your own list of most-desired house styles? Is Ferris Bueller right about them feeling cold and museum-like?

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You know, although the style probably wouldn't top his list of all-time most wanted homes (there's a creepiness factor to them), he certainly wouldn't turn one down.

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: Ready for a Cool Down Edition

Posted on: July 25th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 

This wasn't always the aesthetic. (Photo: Flickr user bondidwhat)

I suppose it's hard to expect anything different in late July. The slow broil as you walk outside for lunch. The exhaustion. The last minute "make that iced" to the barista. It's hot out there. In today's Preservation Round-Up, take a peek at how people coped before AC was around and what we could probably be doing better now.

The Tenement Museum blog has a great post up about public bath houses in New York City's tenement districts. Built for sanitation, as a way to cool down, and to give tenement-dwellers a taste of middle-to-upper-class life, the bath houses have now been mostly converted for different use. Is this the next generation?

Speaking of cooling down: the Time Tells blog delves into the phenomenon of installing air conditiong in buildings that weren't originally designed for it. Waddya think - are these units messing with historic character or do you even see them anymore?

"...it breaks my heart to see so many possibilities for a great historical property fall victim to neglect or new development. It is always refreshing to see the opposite happen. It is especially refreshing to see it happen to an entire town." Sometimes (always?) it's just nice to see places that really take preservation of aesthetic and historical assets seriously. Old House Web takes a tour of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and is very impressed.

Here's an affirming preservation story from New Jersey. The town of Phillipsburg has come together to support the restoration of what is believed to be the home of John Tabor Kempe, the attorney general of New York during the Revolutionary War. A fund, set up in honor of the man whose dream it was to see the house restored,  has been set up that is being used to support an intern from Rutgers University’s Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies program.

People love New Orleans for a thousand different reasons, but the city's eclectic, colorful, and character-filled neighborhoods top the list. Nola.com put together a great profile of the Tremé neighborhood's house styles.Now that you know a little more about the neighborhood, consider buying and renovating this beaut.

The Friends of Minnesota Barns is looking for 2011 Barn of the Year contestants. Have one or know of someone who does? Consider entering for such categories as Most Dramatic Rescue, Best Non-Agricultural Adaptive Re-use, and Most Traditional Restoration.

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: Ski Vacation, Please Edition

Posted on: July 22nd, 2011 by David Garber

 

In this ultra heatwave (we're at a 119 degree heat index here in DC) a post dedicated to "houses near skiing" was all I could do to survive. *gasps for air* Not a skier? Never fear, all these houses work just as well for those that enjoy glorious vistas, good country and small town livin'.

Asa Burton Farmhouse - Thetford, Vermont

Behind this Cape Cod exterior sits one of the most charming and authentic 18th-century houses in Vermont, originally built by one of Thetford’s first ministers.  A former dairy farm, it sits on 12 acres, with two barns and a two-story workshop, and an attached two-car garage perfect for storing your snowplow. Ahh, the practical side of ski-home homeownership. Hey, on a day like today, bring it on.

The Wells House - Newbury, Vermont

Built in 1830, this beautiful cape sits on an almost 2-acre lot in the heart of the Newbury Village Historic District. Fun fact: during the mid 1800s the Wells House served as a boarding house for the first Methodist theological school in America, out of which Boston University and Vermont College were later formed.

Greystone Lodge - Mount Jackson, Virginia

Nestled on over 22 acres overlooking Bryce Ski Resort, Greystone Lodge is a Manor-style Cape Cod built in or around 1929 and used as a hunting lodge. Loose rumors have it that ranking government officials, including the likes of Roosevelt and Churchill, met here during World War II.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Seeing as people pay good money for hot yoga, he is considering organizing a flash session on the sidewalks of DC later this afternoon. BYOM (bring your own mat).

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.