Author Archive

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.

Baltimore's Bromo Seltzer Tower Rehabbed for Artists

Posted on: February 14th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Bromo Seltzer

Baltimore's striking tribute to Florence, a clock tower known as the Bromo Seltzer Tower, officially opened as artists' studios six weeks ago after a six-year renovation.

The 15-story building was the tallest in Baltimore when it was built in 1911 and was even taller thanks to a 51-foot-tall, spinning Bromo-Seltzer bottle that came down 25 years later.

After a trip to Italy in 1900, architect Joseph Evans Sperry made a replica of the Palazzo Vecchio for the manufacturers of the hangover remedy. It was donated to the city 30 years ago and used as offices. In 2001, the newly formed Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts undertook the renovation.

"The building was in pretty serious disrepair," says Bill Gilmore, executive director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. "The city was obviously interested in saving the building and making it viable again, so we proposed artists' studio 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.

Lost: Chicago's 1959 Lake Meadows Tennis Club

Posted on: February 7th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Lake Meadows Tennis ClubWeeks after a Chicago-based developer announced plans to redevelop its 1950s apartment complex, the company demolished the complex's 1959 tennis club, designed by Gertrude Lempp Kerbis, the first female architect in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Chicago office.

Draper and Kramer began demolishing the Prairie-style Lake Meadows Tennis Club last week.

"There was a private restaurant on the site that was abandoned for 20 years. The structure had deteriorated to the point of being unrepairable and an agreement was reached with the City to demolish the structure," according to an e-mail from Kim Dooley, Draper and Kramer spokeswoman.

Draper and Kramer, which built the Lake Meadows apartments on the razed site of a run-down neighborhood, wants to clear the 100-acre site again over the next decade, tearing down almost all of the 10- and 20-story towers and replacing them with new, higher-density housing.

Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy at Landmarks Illinois, says Draper and Kramer has an outstanding track record. In fact, last fall, Landmarks Illinois presented Draper and Kramer with its annual Real Estate and Building Industries Council award for its restoration of Chicago's Palmolive Building.... 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.