Author Archive

The Devil's Advocate Guide to National Register Listing

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Guest Writer 4 Comments

 

by Aaron M. Dougherty, Will Interpret for Food

Historic Patten House (1898) in Palatine, Ill. Credit: chicagogeek, Flickr.
Historic Patten House (1898) in Palatine, Ill.

If you’re a preservation enthusiast, inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places comes with a lot of perks. (Read a quick primer here.) If you're not, you may think that George Washington’s inconsiderate decision to sleep in the 300-year-old farmhouse you just inherited is going to cause you a lot of headaches.

I’m not here to tell you about all the great things that will happen for you if you get registered. I’m here to play devil’s advocate: to tell you that if don’t want this kind of attention, the worst thing that could happen with federal registration is that you just ... keep on keeping on.

Why should your house be on the National Register? Well, why not?... 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.

How We Came to Play: The History of Playgrounds

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Guest Writer 3 Comments

 

By Kaitlin O’Shea, Preservation in Pink

Giant Stride ca. 1910-1915 as would be seen on a Model Playground. Credit: Library of Congress.
Giant Stride ca. 1910-1915 as would be seen on a Model Playground.

On warm spring evenings, blustery fall afternoons, and sticky summer days, when nostalgia and memories brush past you, where does your mind go? Where did you spend many hours as a school-age child? For most of us it was a playground, whether climbing the playground equipment or running circles on the athletic field, letting our imaginations take us anywhere and everywhere.

Yet this was not always the case. Children of the 19th century didn’t have formal playgrounds. Originating as “sand gardens” in Germany in 1885, the beginnings of playgrounds appeared in the United States in Boston in 1886. And until the turn of the 20th century, playgrounds remained uncommon in public spaces.

But as industrialization and urbanization grew, so did the concern for public welfare. Humanitarians saw playgrounds as the solution to cramped quarters, poor air quality, and social isolation. This new concept could keep children off the dangerous streets and help them develop their physical health, good habits, socialization skills, and the pleasure of being a child.... 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.

How New Mexico Is Saving Its Historic Movie Theaters

Posted on: August 12th, 2013 by Guest Writer 2 Comments

 

Written by Elmo Baca, New Mexico MainStreet Program Associate, Economic Development Department

Luna Theater's winking moon marquee. Credit. New Mexico Economic Development Department
Luna Theater's winking moon marquee

A tiny prairie town of 3,200 on the state line in northeastern New Mexico, Clayton welcomes many Texas snowbirds in the winters en route to the New Mexico and Colorado mountains. Long before, Santa Fe Trail wagon caravans rumbled westward near here, and the vast buffalo plains surrounding Clayton nurtured great herds of cattle.

In town, meanwhile, sits the nearly 100-year-old Luna Theater, which operates today as one of New Mexico’s oldest movie houses, and the state’s best preserved from the silent movie era. The reason for its success: New Mexico’s MainStreet Historic Theater Initiative, the only program of its kind in the nation to actively invest in rural downtown theaters to keep them as economic anchors for their communities.
... 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.

20 Historic Buildings You Didn't Know Were Green

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by Guest Writer

 

Written by Christopher Davis, LEEDAP BD+C, ND, US Green Building Council

1894: Colorado State Capitol, Denver, CO. Credit: Photo Phiend, Flickr
Built in 1894, Colorado State Capitol, Denver, Colo. is now LEED certified.

You can read the full, original post at USGBC.org.

Here at USGBC we may be celebrating our 20th anniversary, but the buildings that have achieved LEED certification embody a history that stretches far deeper into the past than 1993. In fact, we recently certified the oldest LEED buildings both in the United States (Fay House at Harvard University, built in 1807) and in the world (a Venetian Gothic palazzo from 1453!).

These remarkable historic green buildings are not alone. Dozens of historic buildings have become LEED certified, and some of them are already well-known, like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. These projects are incredible examples of how historic preservation and environmental sustainability can work hand in hand, and how saving the past can enrich the future.

Below we present 20 green historic buildings, one constructed in each decade of the last 200 years:... 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.

Prentice Women's Hospital: A Eulogy

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by Guest Writer 4 Comments

 

Written by Anjulie Rao

Anjulie Rao, left. Credit: Mike Hari, fadeoutfoto.com
Anjulie Rao and Prentice Women's Hospital. Headshot photo courtesy of Mike Hari, fadeoutphoto.com

On October 12, 2012, I was thrown out of the Apple store on North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. I may have cried after the employee said, gruffly, he could not help me. Granted, I was overwhelmed by school, tired from the long walk to the store, and was feeling helpless in a city where I was a brand-new citizen.

I left in a hurry, dodging crowds of shoppers and tourists. The noise, the bustle -- it was all too much. The stench of new clothes, the one you wash your brand new jeans twice before wearing to get rid of, filled the air as I walked past the storefronts.

Taking a right, I headed toward the lake down an unknown side street where it felt like the quiet echoed amongst the calamity. This, and the breeze from the lake, drew me in. One block down, it seemed to go silent. Walking past walls of glass, I realized I had entered the Northwestern Hospital corridor. Steel, white concrete, and the glimmering facades enveloped me.

If Chicago was host to the White City of the World's Fair, this street was host to the Glass Village.

And then, she appeared. A monolith of matte concrete, arched and radiating toward the street.... 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.