Author Archive

 

Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University. Credit: The Texas Collection, Baylor University
Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University.

For the past 40 years, David and Mary Wolff have spent long weekends leaving their home in Houston, Texas, and driving 83 miles northwest, crossing the Brazos River and watching as hay bales replace skyscrapers, until they pulled into the driveway of their ranch home in Independence, Texas.

An unincorporated village in Texas’ Washington County, Independence was founded in 1835 and 10 years later was the chosen site of Baylor University. Sam Houston once called Independence home, as did a number of European immigrants, and during the 1850s, the village was the wealthiest community in the state.

But after the Civil War, Independence’s economy changed. The railroad bypassed the town, and Baylor relocated to Waco. The farmland remained active, though, and the town carried on.

When the Wolffs bought their Independence ranch in 1973, they didn’t know much about the village, beyond its unparalleled natural beauty.... 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. Quincy Jones: Modern Architecture's Team Player

Posted on: July 26th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54. A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, Architects. Credit: Jason Schmidt, Courtesy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54.

A. Quincy Jones really liked to collaborate.

That, more than anything, is what I took away from the current exhibit at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum, A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living, part of the current Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and the first major retrospective of the often-overlooked architect’s work who contributed so much to late mid-century modern design.... 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.

 

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013. Credit: Steve Devol, Flickr
Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013.

I didn’t grow up in a very sports-minded family, but I still remember the first time I stepped foot inside Dodger Stadium. I was six years old, and my aunt and uncle treated my cousins and me to a night at the ballpark. While I’m certain I paid more attention to my Dodger Dog and the rowdy fans than I did to the architecture (or even the game), I do remember a definite magic to the place.

When I returned to the stadium to catch a game earlier this year, now a full-fledged grown-up, my attention still wasn’t so much on the game as it was the setting. I’m pretty sure there’s no more beautiful place to watch America’s favorite pastime.... 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.

[Slideshow] Exploring Iconic Wilshire Boulevard

Posted on: July 12th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Grand Avenue, one of the anchors of the route, featured a pedestrian zone with food trucks, performances, public programs, and information booths, where participants could pick up handy guidebooks to learn about the architecture as they travel up and down the street.
The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Grand Avenue, one of the anchors of the route, featured a pedestrian zone with food trucks, performances, public programs, and information booths, where participants could pick up handy guidebooks to learn about the architecture as they travel up and down the street.

On June 23, thousands of bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, walkers, and other non-motorists (including more than a few unicyclists) took to the streets and explored iconic Wilshire Boulevard up close, without the usual ambiance of car horns and exhaust fumes.

It was the latest CicLAvia, a recurring event that closes Los Angeles streets to motor vehicles, creating a new way to explore the city, while calling attention to the possibility of a more car-free L.A. In this seventh CicLAvia, a 6.3-mile portion Wilshire Boulevard was closed down for seven hours, from downtown to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

And this time, the street’s Modern architecture was on full display.... 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.

 

130627_blog_photo_shankweilers1
Shankweiler's in Orefield, Pennsylvania is the oldest drive-in theatre in the country.

It was only supposed to be a temporary gig. Paul Geissinger, a recent high school graduate, agreed to run the projection booth at Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre in Orefield, Pa., for just a couple weeks until the theater’s new owner could find a permanent employee.

Forty-two years later, Geissinger is still there -- except now, he owns the place.

“I remember, I told [the owner] no, I’m not interested in working at a drive-in,” says Geissinger, who, at the time, was enrolled in electronics school. “But I said, fine, I’ll give you two weekends while you find someone else. But after two weeks, he couldn’t find anyone, so I gave him three weeks. Then another week. And I’m still there.”

This April, Geissinger opened up the beloved Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre, the oldest drive-in theater in the country, for its 80th season.... 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.