Author Archive

 

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Post-earthquake, the first floor of the 1886 winery building leans about four feet to the west.

At 3:20 a.m. on August 24, 2014, the ground in Napa, California started shaking, heralding a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. It was the region's largest seismic activity since 1989's Loma Prieta quake, and although it only lasted about 10 to 20 seconds, varying by location, that was more than enough time for the temblor to tear buildings apart, spark fires, and send hundreds to area hospitals with injuries. It also caused millions of dollars worth of damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure, and especially the region's famous wineries.

One of the hardest hit wineries was Trefethen Family Vineyards, an operation known throughout the valley for its unique wooden production building dating from 1886. I spoke with Hailey Trefethen, a third-generation vintner who works with her family’s winemaking and viticulture operations, about the damage sustained to Trefethen’s iconic National Register-listed building and the rehabilitation efforts than are underway.

Now propped up on steel buttresses, the building is estimated to take about one to two years to restore, and the total cost of the overhaul is not yet known. The Trefethen family, however, hasn’t let the damage to its beloved building crush its spirits.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Historic Bars] New York City’s White Horse Tavern

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn

 

In our next round of historic bars, let's sidestep reality and look at those establishments reflected in some way through the lens of pop culture. Last one up: White Horse Tavern in New York City.

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The White Horse Tavern has hosted dozens of literary luminaries over the years.

After Welsh poet Dylan Thomas downed an alleged eighteen shots of the last whiskey of his life at Greenwich Village’s White Horse Tavern on November 3, 1953, legend has it that he immediately stumbled outside and collapsed on the sidewalk. He was taken back to his room at the Chelsea Hotel, and died at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital a few days later of complications from pneumonia and other ailments.

Thomas’s legacy, however, is still alive and well at the last drinking establishment he patronized.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

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Paul Robeson spent the last decade of his life in this West Philadelphia house after retiring from his show business career.

Scholar, athlete, singer, actor, civil rights activist. Paul Robeson, born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1898, was a man who played many roles throughout his long life, gaining fame and recognition for his deep baritone voice and passionate acting in film and on stage. As a young man, he was only the third African-American student ever admitted to Rutgers University, earning a full academic scholarship and All-American recognition for his prowess on the football field. Later, his stage roles included Othello, both on Broadway and in a Royal Shakespeare Company production, and he starred in films like “The Emperor Jones,” “Proud Valley” and “Jericho.”

Robeson's strong support of anti-lynching legislation and stance against McCarthyism, as well as his affiliation with Communism, got him blacklisted in the 1950s. His career stalled after his passport was revoked and he could no longer travel abroad, and he spent the last decade of his life living with his sister and her husband in a modest house in West Philadelphia. He passed away in 1976, at the age of 77.

Thanks to the work of one woman, that house is now a vibrant community arts center. Frances Aulston has been working with the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, which owns and operates the house, since 1984. In recognition of her decades of service to the community and work with the Paul Robeson House, Aulston was recently honored by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. I spoke with her about her passion for Paul Robeson's house and legacy, and the neighborhood that he called home.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

#SaveTacoBell: America’s First Taco Bell Is Threatened

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn

 

Taco Bell was founded by fast food entrepreneur Glen Bell in Downey, California in 1962.
Taco Bell was founded by fast food entrepreneur Glen Bell in Downey, California, in 1962.

It started with some hard-shell tacos and a dream.

Glen Bell, founder of the international fast food chain Taco Bell, opened his very first restaurant of that name in a modest 20-by-20 foot Mission-style building in Downey, California, in 1962. He thought that crunchy taco shells would make the traditional Mexican fare more fast food friendly, and that the American public would eat it up.

He was right. Fifty-three years later, there are roughly 6,000 Taco Bell restaurants in the U.S. The small cinderblock building in Downey where mass-market Mexican food arguably began, though, faces an uncertain future.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Q&A] What Life is Like in Louis Kahn’s Esherick House

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 2 Comments

 

The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.
The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.

In early January, we rounded up the current status of each of the nine private homes designed by renowned Modern architect Louis Kahn, all located in the greater Philadelphia metro area. After seeing our post, the new owners of the Esherick House in Chestnut Hill reached out to us, hoping to share their story.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Historic Bars] The Safe House in Milwaukee

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Katherine Flynn

 

What's more fun than a historic bar? A historic bar with a theme! And that's exactly what we're featuring in our next installment of historic bars -- establishments with kitschy, unusual, and unique calling cards. Next up: Milwaukee's Safe House


Moveable puzzle tiles on a wall in the Safe House’s interior rearrange themselves with the push of a button.

International spies. Secret missions. Espionage. Codes. Martinis that are shaken, not stirred.

If this all sounds like your idea of a fun Saturday night, head for Milwaukee’s Safe House -- but cover your tracks. The concealed bar and restaurant has been fulfilling patrons’ undercover dreams and serving up Wisconsin favorites like batter-dipped cheese curds since 1966, all under the guise of International Exports, Ltd. Ask a local for the password (you’ll need it after 8 p.m.) and go down an alley and through a nondescript door for a clandestine dining experience.

Once you’ve given the correct password and gained entrance through a secret passage, you'll be met in the Interpol Bar by a truly impressive collection of authentic spy memorabilia gathered by owner, David J. Baldwin over the years. A cell door from an actual KGB prison, a booth that hides diners from sight, and the Unique Martini -- a drink which is shaken (not stirred) by traveling 600 feet around the bar through a pneumatic tube -- are just a few of the distinctive features waiting to be discovered.

Visitors can explore the oak-paneled British Intelligence room and a red Hong Kong-themed section, with bamboo-hung booths modeled on fixtures that Baldwin saw at the Hong Kong Hilton Hotel. Framed James Bond posters line the walls, and signs that point toward “Agent Debriefing,” “CIA Cover Phone,” and other mysterious locations appear around every corner.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.