Author Archive

 

In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written in 1961, Jane Jacobs observed, “Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.”

Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring How the Character of Buildings and Blocks Influences Urban Vitality, a new report from Preservation Green Lab, validates Jacobs' long-respected, but largely untested hypothesis -- that neighborhoods containing a mix of older, smaller buildings of different ages support greater levels of positive economic and social activity than areas dominated by newer, larger buildings.

The three study cities -- San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. -- all have extensive older building stock and strong real estate markets. In this toolkit, we share the highlights from the research as well as the steps your community can take to realize similar benefits. (See the full report and methodology here.)... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

[Preservation Tips & Tools] How to Save Ugly Buildings

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Julia Rocchi 10 Comments

 

“It’s always easier to save a place that people consider beautiful than a place -- no matter how historically significant -- that people think is ugly.”

So writes Tom Mayes, our National Trust colleague who spent his time as a Rome Prize recipient examining why old places matter. And as any preservationist can tell you, he’s right: Styles with architectural features that challenge viewers, sites with stories that outweigh their architectural merit, and spaces with layers of grime that obscure their charms often require that, before we can get down to the hard work of saving a place, we first have to prove to a skeptical public why it should be saved.

How, then, do you persuade people to fall in love with a place that doesn’t fit the traditional mold of “beautiful?” This toolkit starts the conversation about ways to inspire love, passion, or at least understanding for the homelier places in our midst.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

New name, new format ... but same helpful content! Our 10 on Tuesday series has undergone a facelift, making it easier to read and cooler to peruse. Now called Preservation Tips & Tools, this ongoing segment will continue to share the info you need to save places in your community. Enjoy -- and share!

Adapted from the article “Nine Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings” by Jack Neely

What is historic, and worth saving, varies with the beholder, but some definition is urgent.  Simply put, “historic” means “old and worth the trouble.” It applies to a building that’s part of a community’s tangible past. And to a degree that may surprise cynics, old buildings can offer opportunities for a community’s future.

This article examines both the cultural and practical values of old buildings and looks at why preserving them is beneficial not only for a community’s culture, but also for its local economy.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

Heart Bombs 2014: Five Events that Showed Historic Places the Love

Posted on: February 20th, 2014 by Julia Rocchi 1 Comment

 

Heart-bombing the Sattler Theatre in Buffalo. Credit: Buffalo's Young Preservationists
Heart bombing the Sattler Theatre in Buffalo

Heart bombing: an idea born of love, affection, and untold amounts of construction paper. It’s a bright, beautiful way to spotlight historic buildings, and this February, groups around the country wore their feelings on their sleeves for the places that matter to them.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

The National Register Rap: Meet the Minds Behind the Music

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by Julia Rocchi 2 Comments

 

Sam Crystal, Katie DeCecco, Nate Dawes, and Carol Vinatieri. Credit: Grumpy Group
Sam Crystal, Katie DeCecco, Nate Dawes, and Carol Vinatieri: the group behind the "National Register Rap"

When the National Register Rap dropped in early December 2013, it went "preservation viral" -- as in, everyone who's ever navigated the National Register (NR) process immediately recognized and shared the funny (and useful) video.

We caught up with the masterminds behind the rap -- Nate Dawes, Katie DeCecco, Carol Vinatieri, and Sam Crystal, all historic preservation students at the University of Mary Washington -- to learn how they put it together, what they'd like people to discover about the National Register, and what their personal plaques would say.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.