Author Archive

 

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Porter Johnson purchased and began restoring the 1850 plantation house in his hometown of Tallulah, Louisiana after returning from Iraq in the summer of 2011.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Porter Johnson purchased and began restoring the 1850 plantation house in his hometown of Tallulah, Louisiana, after returning from Iraq in the summer of 2011.

In the winter issue of Preservation magazine, we highlight the story of Lt. Col. (Ret.) Porter Johnson, who was bitten by the preservation bug while serving in Baghdad from 2010-2011. After returning home, Johnson set to work restoring an 1850 plantation house in his hometown of Tallulah, Louisiana.

Johnson was one of the best and most enthusiastic interviews I had all year, and I wish I could have made more of his story fit on the page. Luckily for me -- and for you -- I get the chance to publish more of his unique story below.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

St. John and St. Thomas: A Supplemental Virgin Islands Travel Guide

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by David Weible

 

View of St. Thomas from Blackbeard's Castle
View of St. Thomas from Blackbeard's Castle

When I woke up in my apartment in Northwest D.C. this morning, I could practically see my breath. And as I sit here writing this, my back is turned to the outlines of downtown Washington adrift in a blotted mist of freezing rain. I’m sure many of you can relate.

But somewhere there were American citizens that woke up to a perfect 74-degree, sunlit day. They were surrounded by palm trees, warm waters, and plenty of rum. That place is St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The island’s human history -- spanning thousands of years and seven different colonial claims -- was explored by writer Scott Elder in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation. And though there are enough attractions on St. Croix to last longer than your average vacation, the U.S. Virgin Islands also include St. John and St. Thomas.

Below is a guide to a few of their most interesting historical spots, if you’re ever inclined to leave a dark, cold place behind.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

The Best of Preservation Magazine’s Transitions Department: 2014

Posted on: December 31st, 2014 by David Weible

 

The beauty of the Treadwell Pump House rivaled that of any other Transitions submission in 2014.
The beauty of the Treadwell Pump House in Juneau, Alaska, rivaled that of any other Transitions submission in 2014.

2014 is sadly -- or mercifully, depending on how you view it -- over. New opportunities, new adventures, and new stories are on the doorstep.

But before we get too excited for our leap into 2015, and the stories that will shape our year in preservation, it doesn’t hurt to take a look back at 2014.

Below, I’ve included some of my favorite pieces from Preservation magazine’s 2014 Transitions department, which catalogues places lost, saved, threatened, or restored from around the country. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

[Historic Bars] San Diego’s Bali Hai

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by David Weible

 

Aloha, historic bar lovers! It's time to escape chilly winter temps and enjoy warmer climes inside historic tiki bars, those Polynesian-inspired spots known for their island flair and exotic cocktails. Last up: Bali Hai in San Diego.

San Diego’s Bali Hai celebrated 60 years this past October. It is located on San Diego’s Shelter Island.
San Diego’s Bali Hai celebrated 60 years this past October. It is located on San Diego’s Shelter Island.

With a location on the tip of Shelter Island and sweeping views of San Diego’s downtown, the Bali Hai would give any tiki bar a run for its money as far as location goes.

It’s been here since 1952, when it opened as Christian’s Hut. The name was repurposed from the staff watering hole below Clark Gable’s apartment during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty.

The name didn’t stick, but many of the movie set artifacts did, including “the Goof” -- a tiki that’s still perched atop the restaurant’s roof.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

There’s no better spot to peep Warby Parker’s newest spectacle collection or score those budget-breaking, limited edition Jimmy Choos than in a trendy pop-up shop. The concept is simple: Insert yourself into a temporary space that puts new eyes on your brand and new minds on your mission, and see what you can accomplish.

So if a pop-up can sell merchandise, why can’t it sell an idea or a campaign?

That’s exactly what the National Trust’s project team thought when they created a preservation-themed pop-up shop in Cincinnati’s Fountain Square this past fall. The goal was to promote the Yes on 8 campaign, aimed at convincing Hamilton County voters to approve a sales tax issue to save the city’s Union Terminal (one of our National Treasures). The campaign ultimately succeeded -- the measure passed with 61% of the vote.

The experience showed us the value of having a physical presence around an issue -- and also taught us a few tips and techniques for making a pop-up work. Here are seven factors to consider as you plan your own successful preservation pop-up.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre: 125 Years of Entertainment for All

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by David Weible

 

In total, the Auditorium Theatre held more than 4,000 seats. Adler designed the theatre’s acoustics to allow the seats farthest from the stage to hear each performance cleary.
In total, the Auditorium Theatre held more than 4,000 seats. Adler designed the theatre’s acoustics to allow the seats farthest from the stage to hear each performance clearly.

By 8:00 p.m. on May 4, 1886, Chicago’s Haymarket Square was bustling with as many as 3,000 people. They had gathered to support the city’s labor movement and hear its leaders speak.

The day before, policemen had killed union workers outside of the city’s McCormick Reaper Works as a crowd jeered the scabs who replaced them. Two days before that, tens of thousands had walked out on their jobs and paraded down Michigan Avenue, demonstrating for an eight-hour workday.

By 10:30 on the night of the 4th, the speeches in Haymarket were nearing their end. As the crowd thinned, nearly 200 policemen stormed the square. A dynamite bomb was thrown into their lines. The police responded with a confused volley through the spectators and their own ranks. Eight officers and an unknown number of bystanders were killed.

Before its completion in 1890, the Auditorium Theatre hosted the 1888 Republican National Convention. A massive tarp was drawn across the roofless building to accommodate the event.
Before its completion in 1890, the Auditorium Theatre hosted the 1888 Republican National Convention. A massive tarp was drawn across the roofless building to accommodate the event.

Just a small town in 1830, Chicago would grow into America’s second-largest city in 60 years. By 1850, half its residents had been born abroad. Those immigrants lucky enough to find jobs often worked long, dangerous hours in the city’s factories and mills. Many came home to squalid living conditions in the tenements of ethnic enclaves. Strikes and violence were commonplace.

Social and political division permeated the city. Even theater and entertainment were battlegrounds between the city’s capitalist, natural-born elite and its socialist working class. Workingmen’s orchestras, theater groups, and lectures were organized as politically motivated alternatives to their capitalist counterparts.

The brainchild of prominent Chicagoan Ferdinand Peck, the Auditorium Theatre was intended as an entertainment venue not only for the city’s elite, but for its working class masses.
The brainchild of prominent Chicagoan Ferdinand Peck, the Auditorium Theatre was intended as an entertainment venue not only for the city’s elite, but for its working class masses.

But from the smoldering social tension of the time, plans emerged for a building that would be the catalyst for Chicago’s ascension to one of world’s great cities. Just four weeks after the Haymarket Affair, Ferdinand Peck, one of the city’s richest and most prominent figures, announced his plans for Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.