Author Archive

[Preservation Glossary] Today’s Word: Chamfer

Posted on: April 17th, 2015 by Julia Rocchi 3 Comments

 

150415_blog-photo_lambs-tongue
Example of a lamb's tongue chamfer carved in wood.

Are you a preservation word nerd? Do you seek out wild, obscure, fun-to-say-aloud terms and phrases, the kind that only place-lovers would thrill to? If so, you're in luck -- we're starting a new segment on PreservationNation called Preservation Glossary, designed to define a bite-sized word for you each week to satisfy your craving for preservation vocabulary. ... 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 director of 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.

 

150304_blog-photo_eric-nathan

Sometimes, the experiences that move us most are also the ones that go beyond words -- and that's where composer Eric Nathan finds his richest inspiration. Take, for example, his time spent in the Eternal City as a 2013 Rome Prize Fellow, where Nathan met our National Trust colleague Tom Mayes (a fellow Fellow) and became intrigued by Mayes' exploration of why old places matter.

The result of their conversations? Nathan's composition "Why Old Places Matter," a 12-minute piece for oboe, horn, and piano that was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players. In this piece, he evokes place, continuity, and memory -- all without words.

We caught up with Nathan to learn more about his creative process, his time in Rome, and his own relationship to old places.... 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 director of 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 2015: Love Letters to Historic Places, Part 1

Posted on: February 27th, 2015 by Julia Rocchi 7 Comments

 

150227_blog_photo_heartbomb1_philadelphia
Awbury Arboretum in Philadelphia signed, sealed, and delivered its heart bombs.

Posters. Ribbons. Markers. Stickers. Crayons. Balloons. Props. Digital art. No matter the medium, one message came through loud and clear this past month: America loves its historic places!

After we put out the call for heart bombs earlier this February (and shared what our historic sites did for Valentine's Day), submissions poured in from around the country, professing deep admiration and affection for every type of place imaginable, from lofty mansions to forgotten bungalows. No building was too humble, no state too crumbling, for devoted citizens to support. As photo after photo showed smiling faces and decorated spots, Heart Bombs 2015 confirmed what we at the National Trust have long known -- that love is the most powerful weapon for saving places.

Now we'd like to share some of these heartwarming heart bombs with all of you. Check out these love letters from coast to coast, and stay tuned for Part 2 next week!... 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 director of 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.

[Interview] Luftwerk Takes You Inside “INsite” at Farnsworth House

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Julia Rocchi

 

150223_blog-photo_INsite-mel-and-phil

You might have heard it said that the past illuminates the present. But what if we in the present illuminated the past -- literally and wonderfully?

That's what INsite, last year's light and sound installation at National Trust Historic Site Farnsworth House, achieved in spectacular measure with a hypnotic video composition set to original music that played on and throughout the classic Mies van der Rohe-designed space. (Check out the video after the jump.) Created by artist collaborative Luftwerk, the piece played with the site's transparency and minimalism to create a new experience for visitors.

INsite ended four months ago, but its beauty has stayed with us. So we caught up with artist Petra Bachmaier -- who, with Luftwerk partner, Sean Gallero, created the multi-sensory experience -- to learn more about their work and the creative vision behind it.... 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 director of 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.

 

Showing the Colorado County Courthouse in Texas some love, February 2013.
Showing the Colorado County Courthouse in Texas some love, February 2013.

"Preservation" can sometimes come across as a complicated or academic process, but the truth is much simpler. At its heart, preservation is about love -- love for buildings, love for places, love for history, love for community, and love for the people who rally together to protect all these important things.

So this February, during a month that is all about love, we're inviting you to join our national heart bomb. What's a heart bomb, you ask? It's the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion -- preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow.

The beauty of heart bombing is its simplicity. Here are the basic steps (but feel free to improvise!):

  • Read these two blog posts to learn where heart bombing comes from and see how other communities have spread the love.
  • Buy your basic, elementary school art supplies.
  • Gather a group of people who are passionate about saving a place.
  • Make big Valentines for the place you love.
  • Use glitter. Lots of it.
  • Take your Valentines and either affix them to the place, or stand in front of it holding your declarations of love.
  • Take pictures. Lots of them. Especially of your smiling faces in front of the bedazzled location.
  • Share all those pictures (and tweets and Facebook posts and pins ...) with the hashtag #iheartpreservation.
  • Send your very best pictures to editorial@savingplaces.org by Friday, February 20. (Feel free to keep heartbombing until the end of the month, though!) Please include a one-paragraph blurb about why you love this place and why more people should fall in love with it too.

Our team will compile your heart bombs into one, big, wonderful Valentine to places and the people who adore them. So snag some glitter, pick your place, and shout your love from the rooftops -- both literal and virtual!

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 director of 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.

 

Spotlight on National Treasures: Villa Lewaro

141023_blog-photo_villa-lewaro_kathy-dixon
Kathy Dixon, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects

As Walker descendant A’Lelia Bundles eloquently put it, “Villa Lewaro is one of the few remaining tangible symbols of the astonishing progress made by the first generation after Emancipation.” So we’d be remiss in a week of celebrating Madam C.J. Walker if we didn’t dig into the physical embodiment of her success -- her home, the historic Villa Lewaro.

To learn more about the estate, we turned to Kathy Dixon, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects as well as a licensed architect with more than 20 years of experience, for her thoughts on Lewaro’s significance. After all, Walker herself wanted the estate “left to some cause that will be beneficial to the race -- a sort of monument.” So we asked Ms. Dixon: Does this vision ring true today? Here’s what she had to 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 director of 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.