Author Archive

[10 on Tuesday] Build Your National Register Knowledge

Posted on: November 6th, 2012 by Emily Potter

 

 

“The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.” -- National Park Service

The National Register is an important and useful tool in preservation. Inclusion in the Register signifies to the nation that a place is worth preserving. It also often opens up doors to helping the preservation of a site become a reality, though doesn’t guarantee it.

Scroll through the online database and you’ll find thousands of America’s historic places are in the Register. (Want to know the exact number? See below.) Of course, there are many more places not in the Register that are worthy of preserving. But the National Register is one, official way of recognizing that value.

To help you learn a little more about this resource, we’ve collected -- and answered -- 10 frequently asked questions about the National Register of Historic Places. Or, quiz yourself and see how much you already know!... 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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

Preservation Round-Up: Shipping Container Edition

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by Emily Potter

 


A group of offices and homes constructed out of shipping containers.

3 Innovative Shipping Container Homes -- Sustainable Cities Collective

“Some admirable work is taking place in converting shipping containers into attractive residential units. Here are three great examples I first saw on gigmag.”... 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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

Historic Real Estate: Homes with a Water View Edition

Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by Emily Potter 2 Comments

 

I don’t know about you, but posting these properties sure got me daydreaming at my desk this morning. Head into the weekend with some historic home eye candy today.


Front view of the 1889 Victorian house in Marine City.

1889 Victorian custom built by Great Lakes Shipping Captain KeonigMarine City, Michigan

This nearly 6,000 square foot house may be on a fairly small lot, but the view of the international shipping channel from the balcony on the third floor in the master suite makes the property feel endless. The beautiful house has been meticulously renovated and offers a retreat back to the late 19th century, while providing all the modern comforts of home. Price tag: $449,900


Front elevation of Cobb Island Station.

Cobb Island StationOyster, Virginia

The luxuriously restored Cobb Island Station was originally built for the Coast Guard in 1936. Today, the property features a commercial grade kitchen, seven bedrooms and just as many bathrooms, and a separate, additional cottage on the 32 acres, the Keeper’s Cottage. (Looks like a gorgeous setting for a bed and breakfast to me.) Price tag:  $4,850,000


Front view of The Snowden House.

The Snowden HouseHorseshoe Lake, Arkansas

30 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, surround yourself with southern charm at this 1919 Louisiana-style riverfront plantation home. Plus, you can look straight out to Horseshoe Lake from the sunroom, or go fishing from the pier on the property. Price tag: $1,200,000

Historic Property Extra: Looking to buy a bridge? The 1901 Ash Creek Bridge in Siskiyou County, California is for sale! Check out the listing here.

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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

A Special Brew for Chimney Rock

Posted on: October 22nd, 2012 by Emily Potter

 

Chimney Rock is a sacred Native American landscape. It is thousands of years old, and still a cherished landmark today. Very recently it became a National Monument.

And now it is a beer.

Chimney Rock National Monument Ancestral Ale, to be exact. Pagosa Brewing, located in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, released this limited edition brew in honor of the site’s National Monument designation, which was announced in September. The light beer is a unique blend of wheat and barley, as well as local squash, beans, sweet corn, and a whisper of cactus fruit.

Don't sound like the usual ingredients for beer? Maybe not, but squash, beans, corn, and cactus fruit were essential foods for the Chacoan people that once lived around Chimney Rock, and are still grown on local farms today.


Tony Simmons next to the sign at the entrance of Pagosa Brewing in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

While many brewers put their heads together to create the perfect ale to honor the sacred landscape, the man behind it all is Tony Simmons, president and head brewer at Pagosa Brewing.

Simmons is an accomplished brewer -- he has worked in breweries in Colorado, New Mexico, and California, received scholarships to professional brewing schools in the U.S. and Germany, and won many awards for his hand-crafted microbrews.

He ended up in Pagosa after visiting Mesa Verde 16 years ago and discovering the great history of the Chacoan culture; then, in 2006, he started Pagosa Brewing. He’s visited Chimney Rock several times and recognized at once that this amazing cultural resource was not acknowledged nearly well enough.

“When I heard that Chimney Rock might become a National Monument, I thought that deserved a little recognition from a brewer’s perspective,” Simmons said.

Brewing the perfect Ancestral Ale took some time and was definitely a collaborative effort. He recalled, “We came up with the term Ancestral Ale after talking with an archaeologist at the U.S. Forest Service. We discussed our idea at length. And it took awhile to get the flavor profile right.”

But right they got it. After the official announcement was made in Washington, D.C., Pagosa Brewing sent the White House some of the newly created, special edition Chimney Rock National Monument Ancestral Ale. (Simmons also got a call from the Forest Service asking for samples.)

He said he was “pretty blown away by Secretary Salazar’s enthusiasm over the beer” and thought it was “great to see a little bit of Pagosa going out to a big city.”


Simmons (left) and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. (right) celebrating Chimney Rock National Monument Ancestral Ale at the Great American Beer Festival.

The Ancestral Ale was also featured at the Pagosa Brewing tasting booth at the annual Great American Beer Festival, which ran from Oct. 11-13 in Denver. At roughly 50,000 attendees, with more than 2,700 beers being sipped and judged, the festival was a great place to introduce the ale and talk about the significance of National Monument designation for Chimney Rock and the community.

Before heading out for the festival, Simmons told me, “I believe that crafting this beer is a great way of acknowledging the countless hours of the U.S. Forest Service and volunteers. Chimney Rock is really special to our community and significant across cultural lines. We are only as successful as our community, and this is a wonderful thing for our community.

Side note: I’ve been to Pagosa Brewing and it’s a great place to relax, especially in the “Beer Garden” outside, and drink in the history (literally, you could say!).


The Beer Garden at Pagosa Brewing.

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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

Preservation Round-Up: Flying Saucer Edition

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by Emily Potter 1 Comment

 


Photo of the 1967 building that was originally a gas station, recently rehabbed to house a Starbucks.

Starbucks in a Flying Saucer: STL Preservationists Embrace Modernism -- Next American City

"Last Friday was the sort of day preservationists in St. Louis, Mo. had only ever dreamed about. As the sun started breaking through the cloud-gray morning sky, a Starbucks coffee shop opened its doors inside a renovated space-age concrete gas station at Grand and Forest Park boulevards, the subject to an intense demolition threat just one year prior."

Preservationists Aim to Protect Corcoran Interior -- CBS Baltimore

"Historic preservationists are nominating the interior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art as an architectural landmark to try to protect the building as the struggling museum considers selling it."

Transbay Transit Center to Present Unique Opportunities for Open Spaces -- The San Francisco Examiner

"Historically, the dimly-lit underpasses of freeway ramps have been havens for homeless encampments, shady drug deals and other types of seedy behavior. With the development of the new Transbay Transit Center requiring several overhead ramps for buses, project backers might have been intimidated by the prospect of those unseemly spaces dotting the landscape of the SoMa District. Instead, they’re viewing such spaces as places for positive possibilities."

American Planning Association's Annual List of "Great Neighborhoods" -- Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"When I travel, I like to visit "neighborhood" or "traditional" commercial districts as part of exploring and learning about cities and places that are new to me. And if you work on urban, neighborhood, and/or commercial district revitalization, it's a good way to learn best practice, get ideas, and have fun."

8 Ways to Build More Sustainable Communities -- Sustainable Cities Collective

"When we introduced the topic of social sustainability for our recent #CityTalk with the Berkeley Group and Social Life, we knew that we had a challenge on our hands trying to define that which “many a thesis has tried and failed to define.” It was clear that we needed to put many more brains together to begin to wrap our minds around ways to build and design socially sustainable communities."

Preservation ABCs: D is for Door -- Preservation in Pink

“Architectural styles are defined by all elements of a building, from siding to windows to shape to massing, ornamentation, details and doors. As much as preservationists discuss the negative effects of window replacements, door replacements are often overlooked, yet just as detrimental.”

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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

[10 on Tuesday] 10 Basic Principles for Rehabbing the Right Way

Posted on: September 25th, 2012 by Emily Potter

 

New feature: The 10 on Tuesday slideshow! Feel free to post it, link it, email it, embed it, and otherwise share it with the world.

A couple weeks ago we defined the preservation term rehabilitate as: “To repair a structure and make it usable again while preserving those portions or features of the property that are historically and culturally significant.”

To successfully rehabilitate a historic building, though, it’s important to know more than just the definition. So this week we’re bringing you 10 basic principles to keep in mind when undertaking a rehabilitation project.

Of course, every project is different and will have different needs and solutions. But this handy reference guide is a great way to get you started.

1. Make every effort to use the building for its original purpose, when possible. But, if you can’t, make sure the new use requires minimal change to the original historic features.

Tip: You might also want to think about ways to recognize, or memorialize, the building’s original function (ex. a special plaque, framed historic photographs, or a small informational sign).

2. Do not destroy distinctive original features. Identify those unique and historic elements that define the building’s character, and make every effort to preserve and protect them. Avoid removing or altering elements that are critical to maintaining the original historic fabric of the building.

3. Recognize all buildings are physical products of their own time and tell a unique story about the people, places, and things surrounding them when they were built. Avoid changes that may create a false sense of historical development.

4. Recognize and respect changes that have taken place over time. Like a patina that is acquired over time, historic properties may change in ways that add to their historic value. Respect and retain those changes to the property that have occurred over time and have gained historic significance in their own right.

5. Treat and preserve distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craft work sensitively. Carefully save and preserve the materials, features, finishes, and examples of craftsmanship that characterize the property.

6. Repair rather than replace worn architectural features, whenever possible. And when replacement is necessary, new materials should match the old in design, composition, and color.

Tip: When constructing a replacement, look for physical evidence in and around the property or research historical documents to find out what the original feature looked like.

7. Clean façades using the gentlest methods possible. Avoid sandblasting and other damaging methods. Be especially cautious when using chemical or physical treatments, and always test the materials first.

8. Protect and preserve archeological resources. Keep surrounding archeological areas intact; however, if an area must be disturbed, take every step necessary to mitigate any harm done.

9. Compatible contemporary alterations are acceptable if they do not destroy significant historical or architectural fabric. When making a significant alteration (like a new addition, exterior alteration, or other new construction), be aware of how it will impact the look and feel of the property.

Tip: Find a way to differentiate the new alteration from the old structure, while using compatible and historically accurate materials as much as possible.

10. Build new additions so they can be removed without impairing the underlying structure. This way, if they are removed in the future, the essential historic structure will remain intact.

This may seem like a long list, and trying to follow them all -- or even just a few -- a little (more than a little?) daunting, but they’re intended to help you rehabilitate a historic property in the most accurate and appropriate way possible.

Plus, there are many professionals available to assist you during every phase of your project, from architects and landscapers to researchers and librarians. You can also check with your local or state preservation office for more help.

Tell us about a rehabilitation project you’ve worked on. What were the toughest things to accomplish? How did you solve problems you came up against?

Bonus: For a more detailed list of recommendations, check out the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.

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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.