Author Archive

The Places that Shaped Woodrow Wilson: A Conversation with Biographer A. Scott Berg

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by David Robert Weible

 

"Wilson," a biography by author A. Scott Berg. Credit: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Wilson, a biography of the 28th president of the United States by author A. Scott Berg

A. Scott Berg is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner who has made a career out of chronicling the lives of famous Americans like Charles Lindbergh and Katharine Hepburn. His latest, and possibly most ambitious biography, Wilson -- released on September 10 ($40, G.P. Putnam’s Sons) -- brings a personalized view of the nation’s 28th president, a man history often depicts as grim, cold, and aloof.

“In fact, Woodrow Wilson was an extremely passionate, highly emotional man of great intellect,” says Berg. “That being said, I think his story is the most dramatic story ever to unfold in the White House.”

I spoke with Berg to get an insider’s view of the book and an understanding of some of the places that helped to shape not only Berg’s view of Wilson, but Wilson’s view of the world.... Read More →

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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Endangered Species: Chicago's Animal Court Playground Looks to Rebound

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by David Robert Weible 4 Comments

 

The concrete sculptures were designed for children to climb and play on. The largest of the Animal Court sculptures consists of a bison, and what appears to be a mountain lion and her cub. Credit: National Public Housing Museum, Chicago, IL.
The concrete sculptures were designed for children to climb and play on. The largest of the Animal Court sculptures consists of a bison, and what appears to be a mountain lion and her cub.

For decades, the concrete statues of the Animal Court Playground on Chicago’s near west side stood as icons of the local landscape. And though they were removed in the early 2000s as part of a massive development overhaul by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), a new project is hoping to bring them back home.... Read More →

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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

A Preservation Home Run: Chicago's Wrigley Field

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 4 Comments

 

Historic Wrigley Field. Astute Cubs fans can gauge the point in the Major League season by the growth of ivy on the field’s outfield walls. Credit: wallyg, Flickr.
Historic Wrigley Field. Astute Cubs fans can gauge the point in the Major League season by the growth of ivy on the field’s outfield walls.

Wrigley Field was originally built as Weeghman Park in 1914 for the Chicago Federals baseball team. In 1916, the Cubs moved in, and in 1926, it was renamed Wrigley Field after William Wrigley Jr., who bought out the shares of the team’s other owners before the 1920 season.

Since then, the ballpark -- now the second-oldest venue in the Majors after Boston’s Fenway Park -- has seen its share of history. Babe Ruth’s called shot in the 1936 World Series and Ernie Banks’ 500th career home run in 1970 both happened here. The stadium is also home to the Curse of the Billy Goat (it’s best just to Google it) and the Steve Bartman incident during the 2003 National League Championship Series. (One thing Wrigley Field has never seen is a World Series championship).

But beginning in 2009, preservationists and baseball fans alike began to worry if some of the ballpark’s historic fabric -- and perhaps some of the history that went along with it -- might be lost.
... Read More →

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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

Joan's father and mother pose on the historic home's steps in 2013. Credit: Joan Menzer
Joan's father and mother pose on the steps of the historic house where he spent his youth.

When National Trust employee Joan Menzer was in elementary school in the 1970s just outside of Washington, D.C., her father would occasionally drive the family past the Craftsman bungalow he had spent the first few years of his life in near the Palisades neighborhood of the city. And though the house -- which her great-grandfather, a streetcar driver, had built in 1927 -- had remained within her extended family into the 1980s, Menzer had never stepped foot inside.

Then, this past April, curiosity got the best of her. After talking it over with a few friends who own historic properties in the area, Menzer decided to write the owner a letter, offering up history of the house. The owner responded with an invitation to visit, and Menzer took her parents -- who had since moved away from the area but were back visiting -- to see it.... Read More →

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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Local Preservationists Dive Into Saving Decorah, Iowa's 1937 Bathhouse

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 1 Comment

 

130708_blog_photo_bathhouse2
This 1930s bathhouse and outdoor pool in Decorah, Iowa was saved from a more "modern" replacement.

In 2009, when locals began to consider demolishing the Art Moderne, Edward Novak-designed bathhouse at the Municipal Swimming Pool in Decorah, Iowa in favor of erecting a structure over the existing outdoor pool, Kyrl Henderson decided to do something about it.... Read More →

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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.