Our travel feature in the Fall issue of Preservation magazine puts the spotlight on Hot Springs, Ark., an unexpected gem in the Ouachita Mountains where thermal waters played a huge role in the city's past -- and are now influencing its future.... Read More →
With more than a year's worth of toolkits under our belts, we thought it was time to bring back some of the old favorites in case you missed them, lost them, or just wanted to refresh your memory.
This week's edition focuses on all the tips and techniques for getting started in preservation -- from basic definitions to recommended reading to getting your family and community excited about saving places. Let's jump in!... Read More →
We at the National Trust have been hard at work in Los Angeles this past month, and we wanted to share with you some great success stories from our recent projects.
You may be familiar with Terminal Island, one of our National Treasures in the Port of Los Angeles. This once-vibrant Japanese-American fishing village was a major World War I and II shipbuilding center, as well as the birthplace of the worldwide tuna canning industry. The island also played a key role in a tragic chapter of American history: In 1942, an entire Japanese-American community there was seen as a national security threat, and its residents were forcibly removed and imprisoned at the internment camp Manzanar.
Despite the site’s deep historic significance, however, the Port of Los Angeles has neglected historic buildings there, and in 2011 introduced a plan to demolish more structures rather than adapt and reuse them. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy joined forces on an advocacy campaign to save the island’s history -- an effort that paid off when the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted the forward-thinking Los Angeles Port Master Plan Update this past August.
The approved plan -- the first comprehensive update of the Port’s development policies and procedures in more than three decades -- offers a path for the preservation and re-use of historic buildings on Terminal Island. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy worked to ensure that the final plan would serve as a replicable model for other industrial ports throughout the country.
Preservation-focused components of the plan include:
- Identifying Fish Harbor’s Japanese-American Commercial Village as a historic resource
- Removing road realignments originally intended to bisect historic buildings
- Making mixed-use land use designations that provide greater flexibility in adaptively reusing historic buildings
In addition to the National Trust’s work at Terminal Island, the organization’s Preservation Green Lab is partnering with the Urban Land Institute to advance the reuse of historic and older buildings in the City of Los Angeles. Using downtown Los Angeles as a testing ground, the initiative is identifying the most common barriers to building reuse and developing strategies to make it easier to creatively reuse buildings. Their work will help inform policies and incentives for building reuse in other cities. A report to announce the findings of the LA pilot will be available mid-October, 2013.
On the heels of these successes, the National Trust opened a field office in downtown Los Angeles on September 1 to further its efforts to preserve historic places in Southern California and the Southwest. Chris Morris, formerly with the National Trust’s Chicago field office, is leading the new LA office and is joined by Jeana Wiser of the Preservation Green Lab. We’re excited to continue our work there and keep the good news coming!
Have a question about our work in this region? Know a cool place you want us to know about, too? Email editorial@savingplaces.
Written by Kitty Henderson, Executive Director of the Historic Bridge Foundation
Historic bridges give us physical examples of the progress and the development of engineering, architecture, art and technology. And unlike written texts or photographs, historic bridges are living history -- direct, tangible links to different periods in time.
Saving significant and illustrative samples of historic bridges allow us to look back in time, appreciate where we have come from, and plan where we want to go. Here are 10 tips for protecting and preserving historic bridges in your community.... Read More →
"It's not just about who we were then. It's about who we are now."
So says Great Divide Pictures of its upcoming documentary series Civil War: The Untold Story. Slated to air in early 2014, the series looks at the Civil War through the lens of the Western Campaign, and also dives into the homefront, politics, slavery, and the relatively unknown roles African-Americans played in the conflicts.
This last point particularly interested us at PreservationNation, where we've covered the role of contraband -- or self-emancipated enslaved people -- on YouTube, on this blog, and through our work at National Treasure Ft. Monroe. We caught up with Chris Wheeler, the series' producer-director, to ask him what he learned about this forgotten piece of history while filming.... Read More →