Author Archive

Saving the Home of Oklahoma’s First Congresswoman

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by Guest Writer 2 Comments

 

Written by Kristi Eaton

This shows the home at the time it was purchased in April 2014.
The Alice Robertson home at the time it was purchased in April 2014.

Only two women have represented the state of Oklahoma in Congress over the years: current Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, and more than 80 years before, Alice Robertson. Robertson, who was the first woman elected to Congress after women received the right to vote, was a supporter of Native American rights, soldiers, and the underprivileged.

A pioneering Oklahoman, Robertson’s name isn’t as well known as some of her fellow crusaders. But now a group of preservation enthusiasts and community members are working to preserve and restore the last home Robertson ever lived in, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to raise awareness about who she was and what she did for the people of the state. “Alice Robertson is Muskogee’s most significant individual as far as what she accomplished in her life. But she also has state and national significance as well,” said Jonita Mullins, a local historian, author, and preservationist who is leading the grassroots effort to restore and preserve the 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.

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.

Barbara Baer Capitman: South Beach’s Art Deco Hero

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by Guest Writer 4 Comments

 

Written by Sophia Dembling

Barbara Baer Capitman leads an ultimately unsuccessful protest to protect the Biscaya Hotel, which was demolished in 1987. Credit Barbara Baer Capitman Archives and the Miami Design Preservation League
Barbara Baer Capitman led an ultimately unsuccessful protest to protect the Biscaya Hotel, which was demolished in 1987.

She had a squeaky voice that people mocked. She was shy and soft-spoken. Her obituary in The Los Angeles Times stopped just short of patronizing, calling her an "intrepid little old lady.”

But if not for Barbara Baer Capitman, the magnificent collection of Art Deco buildings of Miami's South Beach -- the nation's first 20th century National Historic District -- would be just a memory, most likely replaced by high-rise hotels and condos.... 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 Raina Regan, Community Preservation Specialist, Indiana Landmarks

Aerial view of the plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Credit: American Museum of Science and Energy
Aerial view of the plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Science, secrecy, and a large sense of scale uniquely identify those sites associated with the Manhattan Project. Of the three primary sites -- Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee -- the latter has always captured my interest because of its moniker “The Secret City.”

The Manhattan Engineer District built an entirely new military reservation on 59,000 acres in an isolated area of rural Tennessee. Construction on the site began in 1942, with the townsite located in the northeast corner of the six-mile-long reservation. Clinton Engineer Works, the Army’s name for the Oak Ridge Manhattan Project site during World War II, hosted the Project’s uranium enrichment plants (K-25 and Y-12) and the pilot plutonium production reactor (X-10).

After reading Denise Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II and supporting the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park, I felt compelled to visit the city which had fascinated me for years. I convinced my sister, a fellow history buff who had also recently read Kiernan’s book, to take an atomic-inspired road trip to eastern Tennessee.... 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 Mark Levitch, Art Historian and Founder, World War I Memorial Inventory Project

Rosedale, KS.  Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch. 1924. John LeRoy Marshall, architect. Credit: Mark Levitch
Architect John LeRoy Marshall designed the Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch (1924) in Rosedale, Kansas.

World War I, which started one hundred years ago this month, is generally considered one of America’s forgotten wars. But the war’s ubiquitous memorials -- perhaps more than for any other U.S. conflict -- beg to differ.... 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.

Estelle Axton: A Woman, A Place, and the Memphis Sound

Posted on: August 13th, 2014 by Guest Writer 2 Comments

 

Siblings Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton defied cultural norms in the Jim Crow era to found Stax Records, one of the most influential soul and R&B labels of the 1960s and '70s. Credit: Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Siblings Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton defied cultural norms in the Jim Crow era to found Stax Records, one of the most influential soul and R&B labels of the 1960s and '70s.

There's no obvious reason why Estelle Axton and her brother Jim Stewart should have been the kind of people who would established Stax Records in the Jim Crow South.

One of the most prominent and influential soul and R&B labels of the 1960s, Stax artists included Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, and Isaac Hayes, backed by the house band, Booker T. and the MGs. The studio was located in the blue-collar African-American neighborhood of South Memphis, was founded by a pair of white siblings, and was a tightknit family of black and white artists working together.

"Jim and Estelle were righteous people who were living during a time and in a place that suggested that they should be anything other than who they were," says Deanie Parker, who joined the Stax family as a teenager and went on to become director of publicity. Parker helped establish the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which opened in 2003 on the site of the original studio.... 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.