Author Archive

 

photo credt: Ezra Stoller

Consultant Backs Demolition of Bell Labs, Replace with Golf Course, Pretty Horses: A consultant's report commissioned by the Holmdel Township Committee called for the complete demolition of the Bell Labs building -- designed by Eero Saarinen -- and a development project that would “enhance the Holmdel Community as a whole and add to the Township’s tax base.” Enhancements would include: private golf course, multi-million dollar homes and an equestrian center among other projects. [PreserveNJ]

Lessons from the Great White North: The Landmark Society of Western New York outlines the similarities and differences between Edmonton and Rochester in regards to geography, layout, terrain, climate and culture. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Canada's Most Sustainable Cities: Speaking of Canada, the third annual list of our northern neighbor's most sustainable cities has been released. [Corporate Knights]

A Tale of Two Houses: In this difficult time for homes and home owners, two historic houses in downtown Greensboro may find new life through a public-private partnership in preservation. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

The Mall is Like, So Dead These Days: Did you know: Only three enclosed shopping malls have been constructed in the U.S. since 2005, none were built last year, and only one is slated for 2009? "A driving force in the decline of the American shopping mall as we know it is a realization that the model is not sustainable, either economically or environmentally." So what to do with so-called "dead malls?" Turn them into mixed-use "lifestyle centers...that are tied into the street grids of surrounding neighborhoods and by connections to public transit and bike and walking paths." [Sustainable Industries]

Learning from Slums:"The world's slums are overcrowded, unhealthy - and increasingly seen as resourceful communities that can offer lessons to modern cities." [Boston.com]

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: Afternoon Architecture Edition

Posted on: March 2nd, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter

 

Preserving the Brutal: "Many of the preservation problems were due to Rudolph's "modernism." Boldly unconventional in concept, plan, materials and execution, the building's untested and experimental components had not only disintegrated beyond repair, but were inferior to subsequent advances in basic building technology. It made no sense, nor was it possible, to seek matching replacements. The structure was essentially stripped to its frame and rebuilt." [The Wall Street Journal]

Architecture During Wartime: American architecture during World War II is often overshadowed by pre-war styles and post-war modernism. Architectural historian Richard Anderson argues that production during the second World War "was a key moment in the process of modernization, and manifold issues are raised by the preparation of war, the total mobilization of territories and cities and their eventual occupation, destruction and reconstruction." [a456]

Looking For a Daily Dose?: Check out "A Daily Dose of Architecture," a blog that features images and thoughts on a wide array of architectural examples. Today's photo shows the construction of Adler and Sullivan's Wainwright building in St. Louis, Missouri. [A Daily Dose]

100 Years of the Futurist Manifesto: Rejecting all things "old," Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto of 1909 laid the groundwork for Benito Mussolini's Fascismo political movement of the 1920's--It also inspired an entire style of art and even architecture. The themes put forth by Marinetti sounds extremely brutal and raw, especially due to our ability to see what terrible consequences resulted from the political implementation of his ideas. The language expressing the love of speed, power, movement, and virility, however, is remarkably vivid. A few examples from the Futurist Manifesto: 2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, daring, and revolt. 4. We declare that the world's wonder has been enriched by a fresh beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car with its trunk adorned by great exhaust pipes like snakes with an explosive breath... References to race cars and speed sound really cool, but I can't say I'd agree with, We want to demolish museums, libraries, fight against moralism, feminism, and all opportunistic and utilitarian cowardices. [anArchitecture ]

Avant-Garden Landscape Architecture: Christian Barnard's landscape architecture blog points out 10 "avant-garden" architects that have made a difference in the field. [ChrstianBarnard]

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: Westside Edition, Preserving New Jersey's Bell Labs

Posted on: February 23rd, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter

 

Mapping L.A.'s Neighborhoods: The Los Angeles Times has started a collaborative mapping project that seeks to give clear boundaries to its city's diverse collection of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in the City of Angels have always had names, but city officials have never been willing to set clear parameters to match. So, why is the Times taking it upon themselves to do the job? "Consistency is one reason. If we report that an event occurred in Van Nuys or Westwood, we want people to know exactly what we mean. Beyond that, defining boundaries will allow us to give our readers a wealth of data, about demographics, money, crime, schools and more that we can break down for specific geographical areas." [Los Angeles Times]

Building a Better Las Vegas: What does the building downturn mean to a city that has been under an almost constant cycle of teardown, buildup, repeat for decades? Vegas can sometimes be viewed as a model for the anti-preservationist, and given its history of development, it's easy to see why. I'm not a total believer in this, however, as many older hotel/casinos are still in operation and together project an interesting piece of Americana. Anyways, Las Vegas Weekly sat down with a few of Sin City's best architects and urban planners to discuss the future of their city's architecture, development, and sustainable designs. [Las Vegas Weekly]

Can America's West Stay Wild?: Policy on vast public lands has favored ranchers. Demographics and economics may alter that equation now. [Christian Science Monitor]

Bell Labs Rehabilitation and Redevelopment Plan: Preservation New Jersey details the development plans put forth regarding the Bell Labs complex in Holmdel, NJ. "Somerset Development has proposed an interesting solution to the challenges of rehabilitating the Bell Labs property. The public has posed multiple important questions, the answers and solutions to which will require careful consideration by Somerset and hopefully, will inspire productive deliberation between all interested parties." [PreservationNJ]

Did Google Earth Find Atlantis?: Did Google seriously find the city of Atlantis? They're in the process of denying it, but rumors running through the interwebs say that Google Earth software has located the mythical city off of the coast of Africa. First they download every piece of info on the web, now they're covering up the discovery of sunken cities? If the Googleplex moves to the swamp that houses the Hall of Doom, I would not be completely surprised.  [cnet]

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.

 

Historic Google Earth: Google's mapping tools are among the coolest and most innovative on the web today. The folks at the Googleplex are at it again, this time updating their Google Earth tool to include historical images, allowing users to view how specific locations have changed over time. [Digital Urban]

Junk Boni: A "junk bonus" of about 2,500 Euro has been established in Germany in an effort to stimulate the nation's auto industry. Trade in your beat up old VW and get some cash that could go towards a more eco-friendly car. Sounds like a great idea, but hold on, does this compare at all to scrapping old "inefficient" buildings in order to build new "green" ones in their place? [anArchitecture]

Preservation Day at the Capitol: Is quickly approaching. Preservation Kentucky outlines the day's schedule. [Preservation Kentucky]

The Lincoln Bicentennial: Celebration continues as Jeffrey Larry, Preservation Manager at President Lincoln's Cottage, will discuss Lincoln’s life while residing at the Cottage and the architectural history of the building. If you're in the Baltimore area, be sure to check it out. [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

Levels of Sustainability: "...There are two sustainabilities and we are only thinking about one of them. We think about the material, but we don’t think about the economy. How do you make a sustainable economy based on sustainabile practices?" Vince Michael from Time Tells examines the affect of sustainable building practices on the economy. [TimeTells]

New Urban Rainforests: Are better than no rainforests at all? "Designed for the heart of Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, TROPICOOL @ KL envisions a series of self-sustaining mushroom skyscrapers that incorporate natural energy sources, rainwater harvesting, and bio-mass support for off-the-grid living in a truly green environment." [Inhabitat]

Artificial Hills of Berlin: In post-WWII Germany, with most of the men still occupied with other commitments, it was the women (nicknamed Trummerfrauen or "rubble women") who set to work cleaning the bombed-out streets. The rubble had to be put somewhere, and waste materials were often transported to outlying areas creating hills known as Schuttberg or Trummerberg. Over time, these hills of debris have been covered with grass and vegetation, rendering them indistinguishable from other, more "natural" landscape formations. [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.

 

Cardiopulmonary Spatialization: Can architecture affect one's medical condition? "The sensorial experience of architecture could play a role in healing" or, as the project's owner explains, "spaces themselves should act as experiential platforms that provide a broader spectrum of environmental qualities, so that we may better understand their effects on our psychology – and ultimately, on our physiology." [BLDGBLOG]

DC and the Height of Power: "As other American fiefdoms fade, Washington looms larger than ever." [Washington Post]

Forney House Falls: A sad day for New Jerseyans who value the landmarks and neighborhoods that give our communities character:  the Forney House, the stately 19th century house and clinic on Milltown’s (Middlesex County) Main Street, was demolished over the weekend, to be replaced with a drive-through facility for Valley National Bank. [PreserveNJ]

We Built This City...: Architect Teddy Cruz tracks a new kind of urban ecology: Across the border from San Diego in Tijuana, a spontaneous urban space is taking shape off the radar of city planners, as an affluent city sheds its aging houses and its pieces are reassembled into creative dwellings for the poor. [The Nation]

Historic Equals Safe: "Transportation researchers Wesley Marshall and Norman Garrick fed the facts from more than 130,000 vehicular crashes into their computers in recent months, hoping for a systematic answer to a life-and-death question: How can America’s streets and roads be made safer?" This study shows that older streets are safer than those in newly developed areas. [New Urban News]

Azerbaijan’s Carbon Neutral Zira Island:
Zira Island is a 1,000,000 sq meter island In the Caspian Sea that will soon be developed into an incredible eco-community and sustainably built resort. [Inhabitat]

And It's Groundhog Day!

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.