Author Archive

Preservation Round-Up: The Lighthouses Need Some Love Edition

Posted on: February 4th, 2011 by Jason Clement

 

Ain't she grand? (Photo: Mark Dodge)

Do you heart lighthouses? 

Hailing from the shore of a bayou (Louisiana representin') rather than an ocean, I'll be honest and say that I don't have too much experience with them. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not utterly mesmerized by the slow-slow-slow-fast, slow-slow-slow-fast spin of their light in the night sky. Or spooked (yet fascinated) by the ghost stories that so many of them lay claim to. Or enamored by how their exquisite architecture manages to communicate both hope and loneliness. 

And I'm sure that I'm not the only one, which was why I was more than a little surprised to see this headline this morning: Lights Out for Lighthouses? 

First, the article points out something we all know as preservationists: These days, there always seems to be another notch in the belt when it comes to tightening money for saving historic places. However, another point about how technology (specifically the onslaught of cheap yet reliable GPS tools) has essentially relegated our country's estimated 10,000 to 12,000 lighthouses to mere sentimental value really made me take pause. 

Jeremy D'Entremont, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, elaborates: 

These are worrying times for lighthouses. Everyone loves them, but as far as the government is concerned, they're not exactly a spending priority. This leaves little or nothing for upkeep of the buildings themselves. [Without local and/or financial support] many lighthouses are just left to rot. 

There is, however, some good news. Many lighthouses (read: the people who love them) have started thinking outside the box. In fact, the next time you visit your favorite one, you might find that it is now a bed and breakfast, or a gift shop, or a museum, or a...columbarium. 

And with that mental image, let's rocket through some other preservation news before we all get our weekend on. 

Our first stop is the Big Apple, where the New York Public Library has done a fabulous job of documenting a recent face-lift. Swoon! From there, let's breeze on over (har har har) to the Windy City, where six of the city's mayoral candidates have opened up about their stance on historic preservation -- and their favorite buildings. Meanwhile, the good folks in Baltimore are celebrating 200 years of iron work, Dallas is making better blocks (hooray for DIY urbanism), Oklahoma highlights its ruins, Portland might lose some mid-mod treasures, and one Ohio historic district is ordering lots of flowers. Oh, and someone found James Madison's chess set. Score! 

And on a slightly more philosophical level, our Spanish counterparts are calling for active preservation, while others wonder if we could change preservation with sheer kindness. And a quick heads up about terminology: We're calling them intelligent cities these days. 

Now for a quick video about a great project in Los Angeles. I don't know about you, but seeing kid-produced videos on neighborhoods and historic preservation would certainly improve my commute. 

 

And finally, a few parting shots from Villa Finale, a National Trust Historic Site deep in the heart of Texas that got ever-so-slightly winterized this morning. 

 

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. He wants to be a kid again so he can make videos for buses. 

The Preservation Round-Up is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and notes from around the country. Got any tips? Shoot us a link on Twitter or Facebook.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Save America's Treasures Grant Announcement: Your Front Row Seat

Posted on: February 2nd, 2011 by Jason Clement

 

Yesterday was an interesting day for historic preservation.

From a podium in the Emancipation Room at President Lincoln's Cottage, it was announced that 60 organizations from across the country would receive over $14 million in grant funding from Save America's Treasures -- a federal program that has saved places and artifacts as integral to the American story as the Star-Spangled Banner, yet which faces a future that can only be described as uncertain.

As you know, Save America's Treasures was pummeled in last year's budget proposal. And by pummeled, I mean slated for outright eliminated. While money was eventually found to fund the program through March of this year, the drafts of the FY 2012 budget that are now back-and-forthing their way through Washington show rather ominously that the fight to save our funding isn't over.

Now, I attended yesterday's announcement as the eyes and ears of PreservationNation.org, which basically means I was saddled with approximately 75 pounds of computers, cameras, and cords, all with an end goal of shoehorning the event into cyberspace. And while I should have been 100% focused on furiously transcribing each and every sound bite, certain questions kept popping in and out of my mind: Will I be doing this next year? Will the program whose logo is emblazoned on the front of that podium even exist? If not, will we be able to estimate what our country has lost in terms of understanding and appreciating its past?

Pretty deep for an event that kicked off with cookies and cider.

Regardless, I invite you all to experience the afternoon as seen (and heard) through my lens. And more importantly, I urge everyone to spend some time with the full list of Save America's Treasures newest grantees.

I guarantee you: If you're not already a believer, you will be.

(Note: This was originally planned as a live blog -- as in happening at the same time of the event. However, President Lincoln's Cottage's wireless connection simply wasn't feeling it. So, in an effort to recreate the experience, behold my time-marked summary.)

[ 1:15 p.m. ] I've arrived on the grounds of President Lincoln's Cottage, which unlike most of the meticulously shoveled and/or salted areas of Washington, remains beautifully blanketed in white. It was the doggiest of summer's dog days the last time I was here. I have to say that the mere sight of the fluffy stuff gives me a whole new perspective on this amazing site, which by the way was one of Save America's Treasure first success stories. Though Honest Abe primary used the cottage for stay-cationing purposes, here's what he would have seen had he made the journey from the White House in the dead of winter.

[ 1:36 p.m. ] Note: While stunning, the snow is in fact cold. I'm inside now with two people who know Save America's Treasures and its 1,100+ success stories backwards and forwards -- Bobbie Greene and Fiona Lawless of Save America's Treasures at the National Trust. We've got a few minutes before the event starts, so we've powered up the flip cam for a (semi) live shot. Give us a listen as Bobbie walks through the significance of hosting today's event at President Lincoln's Cottage, and Fiona recalls just a few of the projects through which Save America's Treasures has helped preserve places important to the African American experience (happy first day of Black History Month, by the way).

[ 1:55 p.m. ] An exclusive tour of the cottage with today's speakers just entered the Emancipation Room, where I am rather ungracefully crawling around on the floor trying to get everything plugged in and turned one. Classic! Anyway, the guide is giving the backstory to National Trust President Stephanie Meeks, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, and Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She ends by directing everyone's eyes to the pièce de résistance -- a replica (the White House has the original) of the desk where President Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation.

[ 2:03 p.m. ] Tap, tap tap. Is this thing on?

[ 2:04 p.m. ] And we're off. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what live blogging looks like. Onward!

[ 2:15 p.m. ] The first name on the program is the National Trust's own Stephanie Meeks. After a warm welcome (this is a National Trust site, you know), Stephanie is walking us through a Save America's Treasures success story that is particularly gratifying as we kick off Black History Month -- the restoration of Greensboro, South Carolina's Woolworth's Lunch Counter. This is, of course, the location of the first sit-in where four brave African American students refused to be treated differently -- an event that took place 60 years ago today. And the milestones don't stop there; one year ago today, the International Civil Rights Museum -- with a shining-like-new Woolworth's Lunch Counter -- opened its doors after a Save America's Treasures granted jump started the project, eventually leveraging $23 million in funds from public and private partners. Ample applause ensues.

[ 2:21 p.m. ] Oh look at that: Stephanie's full remarks are already online. Hooray for the Interwebs!

[ 2:26 p.m. ] Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, is on deck now. She just shared an amazing quote that all of us should memorize immediately: "There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories." Way to say it, Ursula K. LeGuin.

[ 2:31 p.m. ] Rachel is now sharing with the audience (which is eating it up) some of her favorite projects selected to receive funding in this round of Save America's Treasures grants. One that rises to the top is the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Collection, which will preserve what came of the iconic First Lady's preferred method of self-expression - scrap booking. Apparently, these pages contain Jackie's thoughts -- and even some doodles -- on important presidential events and her foreign travels. I don't know about you, but this alone puts the "treasures" in Save America's Treasures. Major history geek moment!

[ 2:33 p.m. ] History Geek Moment II: Rachel shares that another newly-funded project will restore Thomas Edison's second-ever voice recording, which is in such disrepair that nobody even knows what it says. Oh the anticipation!

[2:42 p.m. ] National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis takes the stage with a thought-provoking statement: By investing in our historic fabric, we bind our country together. Hear hear!

[ 2:45 p.m. ] Jonathan is now talking about the significance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. To parphrase, we need to make the Civil War relevant to all Americas, even if they are new to this country. We all share the freedoms won from it -- freedoms that were articulated right here in this room in the Emancipation Proclamation. Hello, context.

[ 2:51 p.m. ] Another zinger before we go: President Obama recently challenged us in his State of the Union to win the future. To do that, we must learn from the past. Thank you, Mr. Jarvis.

[ 2:52 p .m. ] And that's a wrap. Everyone immediately rushes the stage. Luckily, I am equally agile. A parting shot.

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. You can see all of his photos from the Save America's Treasures grant announcement 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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Preservation Round-Up: The Speaking Up For Our Treasures Edition

Posted on: January 31st, 2011 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

Join me tomorrow for a live blog of Save America's Treasures' 2011 grant announcement. I’ll be kicking things off at 1:30 p.m. EST from the beautiful President Lincoln's Cottage – a Save America's Treasures success story.

Good afternoon, Nation, and welcome to the Monday edition of the Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and notes from around the country.

To kick us off, a thoughtful reflection on the passage of time: Holy cow, where did January go? Yes, regardless of where you're at with your new year's resolutions (one word: oy), February has for all intents and purposes arrived. "Tis now the season for the Super Bowl (can you smell the seven layer dip?), pink heart-shaped things, and...budgets.

As you recall, last February started with a bit of a heart-stopper for us preservationists: Save America's Treasures (aka the country's only pot of federal funding for saving places that matter) quite surprisingly found its way onto the budgetary chopping block. Luckily, a lot of people realized this simply couldn’t happen and the program, which has saved places and artifacts that are truly irreplaceable (i.e. the Star-Spangled Banner), was eventually funded through March 2011.

While fantastic news at the time, the clock is ticking and a new budget proposal is already working its way through Washington -- a fact that is not lost on the recipients of this important grant money. In a recent letter-writing campaign to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, some of Save America's Treasures’ biggest champions spoke up for a program they think our country can't afford to lose.

For Reverend Arthur Price, Jr., pastor of Birmingham's historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Save America's Treasures has made it possible to tell a story that our country should never forget.

It is because of the Save America's Treasures program that Sixteenth Street Baptist Church can continue to tell the story of the awful day of September 15, 1963, when a bomb exploded during Sunday School and killed four little girls. In Birmingham, we believe that tragedy helped galvanized the Civil Rights movement and help pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. I feel that our story is one of many that deserves to be told, and funding for this program provides the resources to these projects.

And for preservation consultant Steph McDougal, the program offered hope at a time when the glass definitely seemed half empty.

Save America's Treasures is not just a "nice to have" program that saves a few old buildings. At a time when Galveston, Texas had just been devastated by one of the most destructive hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S., the Save America's Treasures-assisted First National Bank Building project was pumping hundreds of thousands of private dollars into the local economy, supporting scores of islanders as the wages of those directly employed by the project were translated into food, clothing, and construction supplies for rebuilding battered homes and businesses. In fact, this project has benefited small businesses and skilled tradespeople almost exclusively. These are jobs and businesses that cannot be exported overseas.

Ask Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount, and she'll point to some pretty impressive numbers (something many Save America's Treasures projects have under their belts).

The Mount’s Save America's Treasures grant jump started a restoration effort that had been languishing for over a decade. By 2002, nearly $12 million in mostly private funding had been raised and expended on the project, an effort that created significant jobs for builders, masons, carpenters, and other craftsmen from across the country. Since the Mount’s opening in 2002, nearly 300,000 visitors have enjoyed the site, and the organization’s annual operating budget has directly contributed more than $18,000,000 to the local economy.

While Eddie Wong, executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, will pull at your heart strings.

The past serves as a valuable marker for our nation’s future, especially as we continue to wrestle with knotty issues such as immigration.  The Angel Island Immigration Station and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum offer our nation instructive, sobering lessons as we continue to strive to meet our highest ideals. Save America’s Treasures plays a vital role.

And for Leslie Greene Bowman, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the issue is simple: What would the "Man of the People" do?

When visiting Roman ruins in southern France, Thomas Jefferson decried the removal of an ancient amphitheater so as to re-purpose the beautifully dressed Roman stone for road building. He was shocked that such an act could occur in the “modern” era.  Jefferson understood the critical relevance of history and its monuments to present and future generations. He would not have been able to build Monticello without the tutelage of ancient architecture he received in France. Never has Save America's Treasures funding been more important than now, when cultural and historic sites are bowing under the stress of sustained headwind economies. Once lost, these treasures are not retrievable for our children and theirs. Any more than the amphitheater was in Jefferson’s time.

While Randall Vicente, governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, lays it down in a way that's hard to argue with (and that I want on a t-shirt).

Saving America's Treasures is at the forefront of preserving American identity and, indeed, of defining American identity. There is no ready replacement for its work.

With that, some news: Tomorrow afternoon, 60 agencies and organizations will join the ranks when the 2011 Save America's Treasures grant announcements (totally $14.3 million in funding) are made from the Emancipation Room of President Lincoln's Cottage, a National Trust Historic Site. Join me here for a live blog of the event starting at 1:30 p.m. EST.

I promise to bring you all the action.

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. He will be spending the evening resting his thumbs in anticipation of tomorrow's live blog.

Updated February 1 to correct that SAT is funded through March 2011, not the entirety of 2011, as originally stated.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Preservation Round-Up: The You Say It Best Edition

Posted on: January 28th, 2011 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

Wilderness Battlefield: Saved!

Good afternoon, Nation, and welcome to your better-late-than-never edition of the Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and notes from around the country.

Thanks to this hilarious video, Monday's round-up was all about self-reflection: Are we good communicators? It's an important question to consider since few issues or causes are as local leaning as historic preservation. So, when the rubber hits the road (i.e. the bulldozers are coming), are we good at explaining to folks why saving places matters?

As promised, here's a quick sampling of some of the responses we received via Facebook and Twitter.

First, Patrick Thrush got real about the truth -- and Americans' prime-time guilty pleasures:

Funny, but unfortunately all too true. Far too much boilerplate jargon in things, but if the funder does not see this sort of rubbish in the application things do not get funded. Public input indeed, as the fact is that most of these dog and pony shows merely meet a requirement for an agenda that was decided long before the first meeting was convened. And besides, if it boils down to a choice between such a meeting and staying home for the evening being entertained by American I'dull or Dancing With the Dolts, which is going to win out? Just saying...

Regarding jargon, the good folks over at the Lewes Historical Society agreed:

@HistoricLewes: @PresNation love the clip. its so true its scary. there's a time for jargon and there's a time to sit down and have a real conversation!

If you ask Anne Louro, people get preservation when they realize its all about shared heritage:

Planning is not a sexy subject and the language of urban and land-use planners is not only boring but often confusing, as aptly demonstrated by the self-deprecating planners depicted in the video. That being said, I believe that is not always the case with preservation planning. People may not understand “smart growth” and “comprehensive guide plans”, but they do understand what speaks to their collective memories and their shared heritage. Preservation planners have learned to communicate in a language that everyone understands and in a way in which people value and can identify how their cultural and built surroundings affect them.

Ask Amy Davis, and she'll tell you to brush up on your marketing (we all should!):

@amyarchivist: @PresNation If they aren't, they need to be! We have to do a lot of our own marketing & PR, so we have to be willing to speak up!

And finally, Reuben McKnight takes our question a bit further: Communication skills aside, do preservationists have a good image?

I think preservation at the local level has focused too much on prevention of bad things, and law and order, which was a very rational approach 20 years ago. But now, that negative political stigma hurts preservation efforts; people still use the word "takings" when they hear about historic designation, when the case law on this has been settled for 30+ years, and despite the fact that historic designation often is very similar to (or the same as) as a zoning change. But yet, the image persists that somehow preservation is exceptionally burdensome.

Agree? Disagree? Add to the conversation by dropping us a comment below. And with that, let's rocket through this week's preservation highlights.

First and foremost, an awesomely huge success story that I'm still happy dancing about: Walmart has decided to preserve (read: no supercenter!) Virginia's historic Wilderness Battlefield. The surprise announcement dropped early Wednesday morning and instantly made headlines all over the place. Check it out here and here and here and here and here. Beyond Orange County, news of Walmart's withdrawal also got folks thinking about stores planned for their neck of the woods. Quite simply, it was a great day for preservation. Just ask National Trust President Stephanie Meeks.

In other news, Washingtonians remember the Gayety Theater, Cincinnati goes digital, Massachusetts reclaims its core, New Orleans' Lower Mid-City has moved, Miami has a lot of people talking about parking garages, and Marylanders are standing up for their Superblock. Meanwhile, Preservation in Pink ponders the rear of buildings (great topic!) and Time Tells muses on all things modern. And just to circle back on a previous round-up, Portland has decided to demolish a Googie gem.

With that, enjoy your weekend.

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. He is still doing a happy dance re: Wilderness Battlefield.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Preservation Round Up: The Alphabet Soup Edition

Posted on: January 24th, 2011 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

Good afternoon, Nation, and welcome to the Monday edition of the Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and notes from around the country.

Today, we start with a question: Do we, as preservationists, have a communications problem? Random as this may seem, I promise it's not unfounded; check out the (hilarious) clip below that got my wheels turning.

As I was sharing this on Facebook (and perhaps mimicking the "Yes!' gesture a few times), I had a thought: Do I like this video because I see myself -- and the preservationists I surround myself with -- in it? We are, after all, a jargon-loving people. Take, for example, our unique blend of alphabet soup. We have CLGs, CDEs, THPOs, HDCs, COAs, HBCUs, MOAs, NHLs, EAs, SHPOs, and RODs to name a few. Factor in words we made up (i.e. McMansion) and words people think we've made up (i.e. viewshed), and what you've got is a pretty complicated vocabulary for a very simple idea -- saving places that matter.

While the work of preservation often takes place on our desks, over our phones, and in our e-mail exchanges, there are times -- lots of them, actually -- when our issues reach fever pitch among people who don't know the difference between NEPA, 106, NHPA, 4(f), and ARPA. When that times comes, are we good at dejargonizing ourselves? And beyond that (read: when the bulldozers aren't coming), are we as effective as we should be at communicating the very basics of why preservation matters?

So, as I (someone whose job it is to be a storyteller for preservation) work my way through an existential crisis over this, please share your thoughts -- and maybe even some self-deprecating examples. I'll aggregate some of the comments shared here and on our social networks (bring it on, tweeters) in Thursday's post.

And while that, let's (quickly) dish some preservation.

First and foremost, the years-long battle to protect Virginia's bucolic Wilderness Battlefield from becoming a Walmart superstore kicks into high gear this week with a Tuesday (as in tomorrow) court date. Stay tuned here for daily debriefs from Orange County, and if you haven't already, please take action. We can't let this happen.

In other news, Drayton Hall is going public, historic Augusta gets some love, New Orleans continues to struggle with blight, and ground may soon be broken at Easton's Shovel Shop (a 2009 11 Most Endangered listing). In Michigan, one of our colleagues sets the record straight on HDCs (the soup returns!), while in blustery Buffalo, things are looking up for the shuttered Statler Building.

And speaking of our host city for the 2011 National Preservation Conference, check out these fantastic shots of Shea's Buffalo Theater taken last week by the National Trust's resident shutterbug, Mr. Pepper Watkins.

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. He is ready to go the Buffalo right now.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Preservation Round-Up: Going Solar Edition

Posted on: January 20th, 2011 by Jason Clement 2 Comments

 

Are we ready to go solar? (Note: This is not New Orleans. Rather, it is a representative solar photo.)

Good afternoon, Nation, and welcome to the Thursday edition of our Preservation Round-Up, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s twice-weekly digest of preservation news and notes from around the country.

Today we kick things off in the Crescent City, where in addition to eating king cake and fais do-do-ing (it's basically Mardi Gras, right?), New Orleanians are debating a topic that is bubbling up in preservation circles around the country -- solar panels.

Really, it should come as no surprise that this has become a hot-topic issue that, for lack of a better metaphor, is only getting hotter; the call to cut Mother Nature some slack by downsizing our carbon footprint is everywhere. Factor in a host of local and federal incentives that make going off the grid actually attainable, and even more pieces fall snugly into the puzzle.

So what happens when the building in question is a 19th-century home in one of the country's oldest historic neighborhoods? Ask Glade Bilby, who was recently denied permission to install photovoltaic panels on a part of his roof that slopes away from the street. The project was supposed to be another in a string of green improvements Bilby has made to his property. Instead, it resulted in an split verdict (5-3 for you numbers people) among preservation commission members that illustrates what so many preservationists are grappling with -- increasing energy efficiency versus protecting aesthetics and historic integrity.

On the issue, the National Trust's recently-released guidelines have this to say:

The primary objective of preservation ordinances is to preserve historic properties, so a preservation board should encourage project outcomes that meet solar access requirements while maintaining the integrity of historic resources. Consideration should always be given to solutions that protect historic features, materials, and spatial relationships with the visibility of all solar energy installations -- including solar panels -- minimized to the greatest extent possible.

"The greatest extent possible:" Sounds pretty easy, right? Not if you ask preservationists in Portland, Ore., where city officials have struggled to define when and to what degree reviews should be required for residents of conservation and historic districts seeking to install solar panels. One missive exploring the issue puts a pretty fine point on things:

Property owners in conservation and historic districts enjoy a high degree of livability and increased property values by agreeing to be mutually bound by these reciprocal design limitations. Photovoltaic solar arrays are highly reflective, sit above the roof line and are so much larger than other types of utility installations that they could easily undermine district quality as a whole. Property owners should be protected rather than forced to accept solar arrays that visually compromise the district.

We're obviously not going to solve this debate right here, right now (especially since it is 5:00 pm where this post is being penned). However, as one preservation planner adds in the New Orleans piece, the technology behind solar energy is improving rapidly -- and perhaps becoming more old-building friendly. In addition to the panels we all know, solar enthusiasts are now experimenting with shingles and adhesive strips that can also get the job done. Here's his zinger:

You can put solar panels now in places where five years ago they just wouldn't work, because if there was just a little bit of shade the whole thing would turn off. And that's helped a lot. It's aided in the ability to be flexible on both sides.

We think that sounds promising, but what about you? Are you a yes, a no, or a somewhere in between when it comes to solar technology on historic homes and structures?

With that, let's motor through some other preservation headlines that nabbed our attention this week. First we start with a mixed bag of news for two past 11 Most Endangered listings. In Palo Alto, demolition of Hangar 1 is proceeding, while funding to preserve bits and pieces of the treasure and its artifacts evaporates. On the other hand, things are looking up at Miami's Marine Stadium, where Friends of Miami Marine Stadium have raised $3 million out of the estimated $8.5 million required for a stunning restoration. (Those renderings make me giddy with excitement.)

In other news, millennials say "No maam!" to McMansions; Seattle reflects on the value of its industrial buildings (I think they rule, too); New Yorkers continue to show some love for their state parks; and St. Louis laments the loss of its Western Union Building. Meanwhile, the Farnsworth House is getting a super-sustainable neighbor (good job, Hokies!), a New York town tries to answer a really huge question, Abilene tries to save a historic school, historic Milwaukee opens its doors, and Preservation in Pink professes a love of winter.

And before we go, a look at how some buildings -- including historic ones -- "tweet" (or something).

Jason Lloyd Clement is an online content provider for PreservationNation.org. He is currently trying to figure out what his historic home would tweet had it the opportunity.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.