Author Archive

 

By Sophia Dembling

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Esther Gordy Edwards established the Motown Museum in 1985.

Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, has called his big sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, “bossy” and he knew in 1958 that borrowing money from the family savings club she had established wouldn’t be easy.

“She had power and influence,” Gordy wrote in his autobiography, To Be Loved. “She was a strong businesswoman, and very careful with money. The family depended on Esther to keep these things together.”

Gordy got the fight and the words he’d expected to hear from his sister -- If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich? And, she continued, “You’re 29 years old and what have you done so far in your life?” In the end, though, Edwards approved an $800 loan -- provided Gordy sign a contract with future royalties as security.

The rest, of course, is music history -- still preserved in Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit. The museum founded by Edwards in the modest house where some of the greatest hits of the 1960s were recorded by some of the era’s most iconic acts: the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a who’s-who of others.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

Saving Savannah: The Preservation Legacy of Anna Colquitt Hunter

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Guest Writer

 

By Sophia Dembling

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The proposed demolition of the Isaiah Davenport House was the catalyst that spurred Anna Colquitt Hunter to fight to preserve Savannah's historic relics.

Savannah is so closely identified with its gracious architecture and elegant squares, it's hard to believe that at one time, all that was at risk. If it weren't for the energy and savvy of Anna Colquitt Hunter, who set preservation in motion in Savannah, the city today might have a lot less charm and a lot more parking lots.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

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Next City Vanguard conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a #ThisPlaceMatters-themed photo walk in Reno, hosted by the National Trust.

Successful tactical urbanism projects around the U.S. -- from parklets to pop-up shops -- show that sometimes all it takes to bring a community together is a simple, accessible project. That’s why this month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is once again encouraging people in neighborhoods around the country to celebrate their connections to place through the organization’s “This Place Matters” campaign. (May is Preservation Month.)

“‘This Place Matters’ started in 2008 as a way for people to shine a spotlight on the historic places that played a role in their lives. Basically, it’s like crowdsourcing people’s personal connections to the built environment,” says Jason Clement, director of community outreach at the National Trust. “And the best part -- there are zero rules. These can be places that are large or small, nationally significant or personally priceless, historic or maybe just old. They just have to mean something to you.”... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

By Erin Carlson Mast, Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage

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Milton Shinberg speaking at the Lincoln Ideas Forum on April 10, 2015.

In an essay about Abraham Lincoln’s daily, 3-mile commute from the Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home to the White House, poet Walt Whitman observed, “I see very plainly Abraham Lincoln’s dark brown face, with the deep-cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression.”

Whitman concluded that, “None of the artists or pictures has caught the deep, though subtle and indirect, expression of this man's face. There is something else there.”

There is still something else there -- the spirit of Lincoln’s ideas lives on. This April marks the 150th anniversary of his untimely death, and historic sites, museums, and affinity groups across the nation are commemorating Lincoln through a multitude of exhibits and events.

At President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C., we created an array of programs examining the enduring legacy of Lincoln’s life and ideas, including an exhibit, a live retracing of Lincoln’s horseback commute, a memorial tribute inspired by 19th-century mourning practices, and the first annual Lincoln Ideas Forum.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

By Tyler Anthony Smith

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The "Two Sisters" houses were home to African-American ship caulkers between 1842-1854.

Have you ever noticed two small, 218-year-old, wood-sided houses on South Wolfe Street in Baltimore’s Fell’s Point? The Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point owns these buildings, often referred to as the “Two Sisters,” which likely date to 1797 -- the same year that the U.S. Frigate Constellation was built in a Fell’s Point ship yard.

Originally part of a building with four identical units, the remaining "Two Sisters" each stand just twelve feet wide and fifteen feet deep, with a single room on the first floor and a half story garret above. The buildings housed many working Baltimore residents, including African-American ship caulkers Richard Jones, Henry Scott, and John Whittington from 1842 to 1854. As ship caulkers they are associated with a unique Baltimore story.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

Written by Sophia Dembling

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Kate Clifford Larson is the author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.

Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D., was intrigued by Harriet Tubman when her daughter studied the famous abolitionist in elementary school. But when she looked for a biography of Tubman written for adults, the most recent one Larson could find was from the 1940s.

Thus began her career as a Tubman scholar.

Larson's book Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero came out in 2003, and she has since become a go-to scholar, consulting with Eastern seaboard states developing Harriet Tubman sites and, recently, with HBO about a miniseries co-produced with and starring Viola Davis.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.