Author Archive

 

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Bodie is preserved in a state of "arrested decay" -- meaning everything stays just as it was when the abandoned town was acquired by the state parks department in 1962.

No one comes to Bodie, California, for the gold anymore.

That kind of traffic peaked in the late-19th century, after a mine cave-in in 1875 revealed vast quantities of gold ore. People from all over the world rushed to the high desert town, hoping to strike it rich. And with nearly 10,000 tons of ore extracted from the mine, it was one of the richest gold strikes in California.

By 1879, there were nearly 10,000 people living in Bodie. More than 2,000 buildings dotted the rolling hills: as many as 70 saloons, a bowling alley, dance halls, gambling halls, general stores, hotels, churches, and about 200 restaurants.

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At its peak circa 1879, Bodie, California, had a population of nearly 10,000 people and more than 2,000 buildings.

But its heyday didn’t last long. By 1881, the mines were depleted, miners left for new areas, mining companies went bankrupt. There was a boost in production again in the 1890s, a few years after a fire ravaged much of the town. But in 1932, another fire burned all but 10 percent of Bodie, and by the 1940s, it was essentially abandoned. In 1962, what remained of Bodie after that 1932 conflagration was declared a State Historic Park and a National Historic Landmark.

Today, decades later, crowds still flock this remote region of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, northeast of Yosemite, to visit Bodie. But it’s not gold they seek -- it’s a genuine ghost town experience.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Historic Bars] San Francisco’s Vesuvio Cafe

Posted on: February 26th, 2015 by Lauren Walser

 

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. Next up: Vesuvio Café in San Francisco.

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Vesuvio Café was founded in 1948.

Writer Henry Miller once wrote to Jack Kerouac, saying that he enjoyed The Dharma Bums and would like to meet the younger author in person. Kerouac agreed, and they arranged to meet one night in 1960 in Big Sur, along California’s central coast.

But the night of the meeting, Kerouac never made it out of San Francisco. Instead, he spent his evening at Vesuvio Café.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

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In this day of green screens, CGI, and other special effects techniques, it’s easy for filmmakers to fake reality. But when it comes to historic places, many of this year’s Oscar contenders opted for the real deal.

Below, we look at five Academy Award-nominated films that shot on-location at historic sites across the country.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

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: Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge in San Luis Obispo.

The Madonna Inn opened in 1958 and features 110 rooms, each with a different theme.
The Madonna Inn opened in 1958 and features 110 rooms, each with a different theme.

If you want to see the world through rose-colored glasses, just grab a drink at the Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge.

Walk across the pink floral carpet and grab a seat on a tufted pink bar stool. Or collapse into a plush pink armchair. Order yourself a signature Pink Cloud cocktail.

With its perfect blend of kitsch and elegance, Silver Bar offers some of the best seats in the house at the whimsical -- and yes, pink -- Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

Mad River Glen’s Single-Chair Lift: Restoring an Icon

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 by Lauren Walser

 

Left: Crews remove the aging towers from their concrete bases. Right: The single-chair lift takes one skier per chair on a 12-minute ride to the top of General Stark Mountain.
Left: Crews remove the aging towers from their concrete bases. Right: The single-chair lift takes one skier per chair on a 12-minute ride to the top of General Stark Mountain.

Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont’s Green Mountain Range isn’t like most ski areas. As you’ll read in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation, it tends to buck the trends: It rarely uses manmade snow, it does minimal grooming of its trails, it forbids snowboarding, and it’s owned by its skiers, who formed the Mad River Glen Cooperative in 1995.

In fact, Mad River Glen today looks much the way it did when it celebrated its grand opening 66 years ago.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

Aloha, historic bar lovers! It's time to escape chilly winter temps and enjoy warmer climes inside historic tiki bars, those Polynesian-inspired spots known for their island flair and exotic cocktails. Next up: La Mariana Sailing Club in Honolulu.

Notoriously tricky to find, La Mariana Sailing Club is located in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon.
Notoriously tricky to find, La Mariana Sailing Club is located in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon.

A Mai Tai should never be consumed in a hurry. That’s a general rule of thumb. But nowhere is that more true than when you’re at La Mariana Tiki Bar and Restaurant in Honolulu.

It’s near impossible to be in a hurry at this 57-year-old watering hole, tucked away in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon. It’s the kind of place where time seems to warp. You’re already operating on island time, and as soon as you walk in the door, you’ll wonder if you walked through a time machine, too.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.