Author Archive

Lincoln's Hometown May Lose Lincoln-Era House

Posted on: March 4th, 2008 by Margaret Foster 1 Comment

 

Maisenbacher HouseA hospital in Abraham Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Ill., plans to expand, and preservationists want to make sure those plans don't include the loss of a Lincoln-era house.

Built in the 1850s, the brick Italianate structure known as the Maisenbacher House was empty when the Springfield Clinic purchased it for $190,000 last September, planning to tear it down for a parking lot.

"All the trees have been cut down around it. It's been boarded up, some shutters have been removed, so it's looking pretty beleaguered," says Dick Hart, a member of a local preservation foundation.... 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.

Lost: Iowa School

Posted on: February 28th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

East Side School, Decorah, IowaThe loss of a majestic 112-year-old school last month has divided a northeastern Iowa town.

"A lot of people are still feeling really hurt here in town," says Jack Hedstrom, chair of the East Side School Development Committee, which fought for years to save the East Side School in Decorah, Iowa. "I wait for the day when people start understanding what they did. I'm sure that day will come."

In a September referendum, 4,000 residents in the town of 8,100 voted on the issue, and 57 percent chose not to lease the Romanesque revival building to Hedstrom's group, which had raised millions for its restoration.

In 2003, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the schools as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic 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.

Group Asks Billionaire To Spare 1920s Inn

Posted on: February 25th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Coast Inn, Laguna BeachSupporters of the oldest gay bar in the country—the oceanfront "Boom Boom Room," which opened in Laguna Beach, Calif., in the 1940s—have hope this month that the building's new owner might want to offload the controversial property rather than razing it for a new hotel.

Steven Udvar-Hazy, who bought the building in 2005 for $12.9 million, took it off the market on Feb. 1. But the "for sale" signs are still posted, and two potential sellers viewed it last week, according to Fred Karger, who is leading a grassroots effort to save the club.

"Some people are discouraged, but a lot of people have new hope that good will will prevail, that he will come around and do the right thing," says Karger, who last month launched "Operation Postcard," a asking Hazy to lower his price of $20 million or donate the building to the city. "I'm not suggesting he'd take a loss, but I'm hoping he'll be more reasonable in light of the history of this bar."... 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.

California Silk Mill in Limbo

Posted on: February 21st, 2008 by Margaret Foster 4 Comments

 

Petaluma Silk MillResidents of Petaluma, Calif., north of San Francisco, are hoping another developer will step forward to renovate its 1892 silk mill after 26 investors backed out of a condo project late last year.

Designed by San Francisco architect Charles Havens and renovated in 1922 by Brainerd Jones, the Georgian revival factory is on the market for $7.5 million. In October, the city stymied investors when it said that the project couldn't proceed until the city adopts a new general plan that addresses water conservation--probably sometime in April, according to the city's mayor, Pam Torliatt.

"It was a timing issue," Torliatt says. "The status of our general plan not only affected this development project; it has affected many development projects. We've been in a de facto building moratorium, and legally we weren't able to do anything."... 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.

Volunteers To Mend Martin Luther King Assassination Site

Posted on: February 19th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Lorraine MotelNext month a group of volunteers will spend 48 hours repairing Memphis’s most infamous motel. The Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, which opened in 1991 on the site of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, will get a coat of paint and other repairs from Hampton Hotel’s Save-A-Landmarks program.

"Some of the exhibits and exteriors need work," says Chris Epting, spokesman for Hampton Hotels, which earlier this month announced its plans send 200 volunteers to the National Civil Rights Museum before April 4. "We thought this would be a good chance, since it's the 40th anniversary, to help out."

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.