Author Archive


Saddam's Palaces: BLDGBLOG interviews photographer Richard Mosse regarding the imperial palaces of Iraq's former dictator. Complete with fascinating images. [BLDGBLOG]

David Gissen's: "History as a form of experimentation." [City of Sound]

New York Times

Takin' It To The Streets: Last weekend in NYC, the city closed parts of Broadway to automobile traffic, and opened up pedestrian promenades in Midtown Manhattan.[City of Sound] [New York Times]

Time Tells on K.C.: The National Trust board meeting was recently held in Kansas City, and Vince Michael was there to photograph and reflect. [Time Tells]

Mud Brick City, China to Modernize: "An old way of life is coming to a crashing end in north-western China with two-thirds of Kashgar’s Old City being bulldozed over the past few weeks under a government plan to “modernise” the area. Nine hundred families already have been moved from Kashgar’s Old City, “the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in central Asia..." [Earth Architecture]

Sunlight and The Agents of Deterioration: [Villa Finale]

Manhattan in Miniature: Visualizing the island of Manhattan the way that Henry Hudson, or perhaps it's original inhabitants, would have seen it. [Archidose]

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.

Preservation Roundup: Nature and Public Art, Preservation Qunicy

Posted on: May 18th, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter


Highlighting Nature in the City Via Public Art: San Francisco, Houston, and Indianapolis evoke and even incorporate the nature that surrounds them. [Next American City]

Preservation Week in Quincy, Illinois: Vince Michael from Time Tells on why Quincy is a great city for preservation. [Time Tells]

The Perils of 401 King William, San Antonio: Villa Finale--the newest National Trust Historic Site--continues its tale of t401 King William Street. [Villa Finale]

New Lincoln Pennies: [President Lincoln's Cottage]

The Tide Pool of Saint Malo: Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics features a new proposal for a unique auquatic center. Pruned looks at both this design, and an older tide pool in Brittany, France. [Pruned]

The House of Memory and Automata: Chateau northwest of Paris inhabited by wax figures and animatronic stand ins to act out scenes from fairy tales and to act out the family history of the chateau itself. [BLDGBLOG]

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.


Thirty Minute Tour of Bowling Green Park: "Stand in Bowling Green Park in New York City and look around at the park and the buildings on its perimeter. At one time or another over the centuries here, Native American tribes gathered in council, men and women bought tickets for ocean passage in a couple of the nearby buildings, and John D. Rockefeller oversaw his dominating oil company and his charitable work from an office in another. In the late 19th century thousands marching in support of workers ended their Labor Day parades in Bowling Green, and many grand ticker tape parades have started here. To get a compact experience of history, great architecture, and a peaceful respite, Bowling Green and the area adjacent to it in Lower Manhattan provide as good as any space in New York."  [Mindful Walker]

Reviving the Rust Belt: Smart City Radio's latest podcast episode examines how grass root and civic-level activists are working to reinvigorate "rustbelt" economies. [Smart City Radio]

San Francisco As It Used To Be: [BLDGBLOG]

Uranium Prospecting in the Grand Canyon: Two weeks ago, New Mexico's Mount Taylor was named to our annual 11 Most Endangered list due to the threat of mining within its rich uranium deposit. In related news, the Bureau of Land Management has given the OK for several new uranium exploration permits around Grand Canyon National Park. [Scientific American]

Mapping Rome's Catacombs: An ambitious 3D mapping project, led by a team of 10 Austrian and Italian archaeologists, is underway within Rome's second century AD catacombs. [BBC]

The Lost Continent: Magical Medina: "Medina, New York: a village in rural Orleans County on the Lake Ontario plains, between Rochester and Buffalo, and obscure and even unknown to even many western New Yorkers. This photogenic Erie Canal village hosted the Landmark Society's annual preservation conference on May 2." [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Crack Gardens: "Tectonic fissures, colonized" [Pruned]

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.

Preservation Roundup: Retrofitting NYC, Silo Living, Villa Finale

Posted on: April 27th, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter


Greening the NYC Skyline: "From solar panels to LED Christmas lights, Rockefeller Center is at the forefront of making old buildings new through sustainable technology." On Earth Day, Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for measures such as retrofitting older buildings in order to reduce NYC's carbon footprint by 30 percent over the next twenty years. [Architects Newspaper]

More from Earth Day NYC: Mindful Walker compares Earth Day 1970 to 2009. [Mindful Walker]

Villa Finale, A National Trust Historic Site: Villa Finale, one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's newest historic sites is blogging. [VillaFinale]

Paddington Reservoir Adaptive Reuse: A mid-nineteenth century Sydney reservoir converted into an urban park. "The park sits within the ruins of the western chamber and uses the intact interior of the eastern basin as a large column-filled multipurpose space. Where possible, the ironbark columns and cast iron beams have been kept and maintained with new concrete and steel arches, beams and columns inserted within where necessary. Vaulted aluminium sun shading sits perched above the park, signalling the submerged park to Oxford Street above and providing some contrast to the otherwise robust detailing." [Super Colossal]

1940's Grain Silo Converted to Boutique Texas Inn: 'Cause really, what else would it be converted into? "In 2007, Gruene Homestead Inn purchased the 1940s grain silo and remodeled the interior and exterior.  The result is authentic and incredible.  Can you imagine chilling on that front porch, enjoying a little Texas summer?" [Jetson Green]

Infrastructure Disaster: Myth or Reality?: Is our nation's infrastructure really as "deficient and functionally obsolete" as it has been made out to be? Before you go tearing down that historic bridge, consider the differences between "strcutural deficiencies" and "functional obsolescence." [Slate]

Redbud Midcentury: Some very cool photos of a mid-century home in Tulsa that is for sale. From our friends at ModernTulsa. [ModernTulsa]

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.


Desert Preservation and Vonnegutian Landscape Construction: An architectural Association student in London has proposed the construction of a 6,000 km long sandstone wall to help curtail future spread of the Sahara. The project won first prize at the Holcim Foundation's Awards for Sustainable Construction, due to the proposed use of an "microorganism readily available in marshes and wetlands, that solidifies loose sand into sandstone." [BLDGBLOG]

What Made the Windy City Work?: The city plan of Chicago proposed by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett is one hundred years old. Urbanophile takes a look at what made the Burnham Plan and the integrated series of projects it called for a success. [Urbanophile]

Montpelier Asks: What is Provenance?: "You may have heard the term if you have visited a museum, watched “Antiques Roadshow” or “History Detectives”, or collect antiques. A good definition for “provenance” is, “a history of who owned an object”. As you can imagine, at Montpelier, we are very interested in objects that were previously owned by James and Dolley Madison; one way to describe these pieces is to say that they had “Madison provenance”." [Montpelier Restoration and Curatorial Blog]

Realize Hudson Rise: Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Kirsten Dunst and other NYC celebs are organizing a grassroots campaign to protect a lower Manhattan neighborhood and its parks. [RealizeHudsonRise]

RIY to Replace DIY: The "Reuse it Yourself" movement is here to revolutionize the "Do it Yourself" method when it comes to construction and the use of building materials. [WorldChanging]

Development at Nationals Park: The Nat's record isn't the only thing slumping these days in the SE corner of the city. If you took in a game at National's Park this week, (and based on what the stands looked like on television, you didn't) you probably saw that for the second straight year, the much-hyped advertisements for development within the area hide nothing but construction holes and stalled progress. "Baseball stadium backers promised a lively entertainment district when the D.C. government poured nearly $700 million into building Nationals Park: a hub of bustling shops, restaurants, hotels, condos and office tower to draw patrons year-round." It doesn't appear that will be happening any time soon. [Washington Post]

UNC-Greensboro's Quad Development: "...Advocates for historic buildings would hope that a design solution involving an architectural recreation not be followed. If the Quad is destroyed for new housing, they reason, the campus would be better served to include buildings of this era instead of those that reflect architectural tastes of the early twentieth century." [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

Linking Place and Space...from space: Pentagram Architects "was asked to mark the points of arrival in Newark and to address the history and culture of the city in the urban landscape." And how to do this? With Google Earth, of course. [Pentagram Blog]

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.


"The Onion" Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society building. [LA Times

LA Historic Building Survey: "In a city long derided for haphazard planning, a lack of appreciation for its own history and occasional dead-of-night demolitions, the survey aims to understand what remains on the ground, what has been lost and what might be worth saving from the wrecking ball." [LATimes]

Mass. Towns May Cut Property Tax Surcharge and Preservation Funds: "Under the Community Preservation Act, a surcharge of up to 3 percent is added to annual real estate tax bills. Participating towns then get a match from the state for the contributions.But some residents in the three towns are saying this money should remain in the pockets of taxpayers during tough financial times, or should be used to bolster community infrastructure." [Boston Globe]

The Street of the Future is a Livable Street: GOOD magazine provides visual examples to what makes an effective pedestrian street. Cool interactive photo provided. [GOOD]

101 Uses for a Deserted Malls: A panel of experts discusses new ideas for malls that have been hit hard due to the slumping retail industry. [New York Times]


Costan Rican Airplane Hotel Takes Flight: The Costa Verde Resort now features a hotel suite constructed in an around a 1965 Boeing 727. [Inhabitat] And for the backpacker or traveller on a budget, don't forget about the Jumbo Hostel in Stockholm.

The Preservation of Darkness: France is looking to establish an "anti-light-pollution reserve" surrounding a historic observatory in the Pyrenees. "The goal is to establish a zone with a radius of six to nine miles around the 130-year-old Pic du Midi mountain observatory so that views of the cosmos are not spoiled by intrusive light on the ground." [Discovery News]

A Weekly Dose of Architecture: Design for the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, a renovation of a 1910 Chinatown building originally used as a home for Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants. [archidose]

The Putting Lot: "The Putting Lot examines the relevance of empty space in the city. Located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this miniature golf course occupies what was once a vacant lot. Unused, underutilized, and otherwise empty spaces are abundant in the industrial area around The Putting Lot." Sounds like it might be tough to make a shot with the pressure of an urban landscaping looming over you...maybe Kenny Perry should get some practice in here. [ThePuttingLot]

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.