Author Archive

 

By Walter Gallas, Executive Director at Louisiana Landmarks Society and former director of the National Trust's New Orleans Field Office

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Walter Gallas in Holy Cross post-Katrina.

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina. I was living in Washington, D.C., and working at National Trust headquarters when the storm hit on August 29, 2005, and I watched the initial blows of this powerful storm in horror. Little did I know that I would soon be back in New Orleans, having left just one year before.

Just a few weeks after the storm, the National Trust's Richard Moe, Peter Brink, and John Hildreth made a reconnaissance trip to New Orleans, gaining access to the city through then-Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (today's mayor of New Orleans). Seeing the conditions firsthand, Moe made the decision to do whatever the National Trust could to help.... 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 Amy Elliott Bragg

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Beulah Groehn Croxford (left), a native of Detroit, was a catalyst for the campaign to create a historic designation ordinance in Detroit. When she returned to Detroit years later, Croxford bought the house at 627 Canfield St. (right).

"There's a newness in Detroit," said Mayor Jerome Cavanagh in the introduction to a 1965 film, "Detroit: City on the Move." Made to promote the city’s bid to host the 1968 Olympics, the film shows off Detroit as gleaming, modernist, and promising. The camera takes in the city's newness in generous sweeps: the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Cobo Hall, Ford Auditorium, Lafayette Park. “New buildings put solid roots in the ground and stretch toward the sky," the narrator intones. "New office buildings alter the landscape, each in turn becoming a bright landmark of progress."

That same year, an antiques collector and retired executive secretary named Beulah Groehn drove into the city from Franklin to shop at an estate sale. The house, at 627 Canfield, was a beautiful but decrepit Victorian in the gritty Cass Corridor. The neighborhood was built for well-heeled Detroiters of the late 19th century, but over the course of 90-some years, the mansions of Canfield Street had become boarding houses, bohemian crash-pads, and drug dens.

There was no newness on West Canfield. But Beulah Groehn had discovered something she loved. Instead of buying antiques at that estate sale, she bought the house.... 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 Anya Grahn

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Single-wall structures can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest, West, and the South. Some communities, such as Park City, Utah, have found ingenious ways to restore these structures.

Chances are that if you live in a community that sprung up because of sawmills, railroads, oilfields, or even mining, your historic structure may be comprised of single-wall, plank wall, or box house construction.

Rapid population growth during times of economic boom required the immediate construction of buildings, and single-wall construction or “wood tents” allowed communities to meet mounting demands. These rudimentary wood structures were meant to provide temporary shelter; however, many have been successfully preserved and continue to be used today.... 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 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.