Author Archive

Fall Asleep in Class at Portland, Oregon’s Kennedy School

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

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Kennedy School in northeast Portland, Oregon, was built in 1915.

Go ahead -- drink a beer or take a nap at northeast Portland, Oregon’s Kennedy Elementary School. We promise you won’t get detention.

Since its doors re-opened in 1997, Kennedy School, as it’s now called, has traded in reading, writing, and arithmetic for something a little different, thanks to its new owners, McMenamins. The popular Portland-based chain worked its magic on the long-vacant school, turning it into a combination hotel, restaurant, bar, brewery, theater, music venue, community garden, and community gathering space.... 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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During Prohibition, a grocery store on the upper level was a front for a basement-level speakeasy, called Menotti’s Buffet. Today, you can order cocktails upstairs at Townhouse or in the basement at Del Monte Speakeasy.

As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to get into Menotti’s Buffet during Prohibition -- and I mean that in many senses of the word. First, you had to know that the speakeasy even existed there in the basement of a Venice, California, grocery store. Plus, you also had to know the bartender. And then there was the part about actually getting down to where the alcohol was served. That required going through a trapdoor and into a tiny two-person, rope-operated dumbwaiter.

But in its 100 years, this bar -- the oldest bar in Venice, and one of the oldest in the greater Los Angeles area -- has always kept the party going.... 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.

The True Story Behind Those Giant Concrete Arrows

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by Lauren Walser 7 Comments

 

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Giant concrete arrows were first installed by the Department of Commerce around 1927 to guide commercial pilots. (Photo courtesy Dppowell, Wikimedia Commons)

In the days before high-tech navigation systems, pilots flying across the country had slightly simpler tools to point them in the right direction: a network of beacons and giant concrete arrows.

Some of those arrows still exist today -- huge, mysterious, brush-covered artifacts, generally in remote reaches of the country. To an unsuspecting hiker, it might be a startling discovery. But together, these beacons and arrows tell the story of how the country’s earliest airmail and commercial airline pilots navigated the skies.... 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.

A New “Constellation” Over Bannerman Castle

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by Lauren Walser No Comments

 

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"Constellation" rises over Bannerman Castle.

There's a new set of stars shining over the ruins of Bannerman Castle, a former military surplus warehouse on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River 60 miles north of Manhattan. It's the work of Beacon, New York-based artist Melissa McGill, who grew curious about the island and its mysterious brick and stone structure as she passed them by train.

After researching the island's history, McGill worked with local preservation groups to install 17 poles around the ruins, ranging in height from 40 to 80 feet, each with a solar-powered LED light on top. One by one, the lights turn on at sunset, creating a new constellation above the ruins.

Some lights mark a current architectural feature of the castle; others mark what was once there. Together, they create a set of stars connecting the castle’s past to its present.

Constellation will shine above Bannerman Castle for the next two years. Check out the photo essay below for more about the history of this island and how this public art project is shaping the skies.... 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] Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by Lauren Walser

 

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Flat Tire Lounge is in an old Quonset hut originally used by the railroad. It now features a new 800-square-foot deck.

A pint of beer after a summer afternoon bike ride? Yes, please.

Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa, can deliver just that. This bike-friendly bar opened in 2011 as the vision of a group of local friends.... 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.

 


Singer and songwriter Ben Folds launched the Save Studio A Campaign last year and has joined the National Trust in naming Music Row a National Treasure.

In the upcoming Summer 2015 issue of Preservation, the multi-talented Ben Folds talks with us about his fight to save Nashville’s RCA Studio A, the iconic 1960s recording studio he has leased for more than a decade. After learning last summer that it was being sold to a developer, the singer, songwriter, and producer launched the Save Studio A Campaign. And earlier this year, he joined the National Trust in naming Music Row a National Treasure. Read on for more from our interview.... 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.