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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.

 

12 Amazing Stadium Designs: Sports stadiums are perfect examples of places that act as containers of memory and culture. Found in practically every major city across the world, few people are without experience when it comes to these giant structures. [Listicles]

Preserving Historic Airports: If you saw Valkyrie, you may recall the scenes where the reserve troops are lined up in a huge, high-walled courtyard. That courtyard is part of Berlin's Tempelhof airport, a nazi-era Flughafen that Sir Norman Foster once called, "the mother of all airports." Tempelhof ceased operations in October and now the decision over what to do with it. Suggestions for the structure include: apartment complexes, athletic facilities, even a fancy new red-light district. [Spiegel Online]

Celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial at Lincoln's Cottage: It's Lincoln Bicentennial time at the President's historic D.C. vacation home and the Cottage's new exhibit, My Abraham Lincoln, is adding to the celebrations. [President Lincoln's Cottage]

Wade in Manhattan: "For her thesis project at Rice, Amanda Chin proposed ten "waterscrapers" that would slice across the urban space of Manhattan, cutting through buildings, through parks, and through the urban grid itself, forming strange aquatic intersections with the city." [BLDGBLOG]

West 59th St Sea Creatures: [Scouting New York]

The Legibility of Destruction: " If a building calls attention to itself when it has ceased to exist, is there a middle ground, an intermediate representational stage that not only forecasts a language of destruction, but that also evokes the purely conceptual urgings that inspired the design of the building in the first place?" [a456]

Happy Birthday Macintosh: Preserving historic computers? That may be a stretch, but Preservodome would be amiss to not mention that it was 25 years ago this week that Apple debuted the Mac. Some people are probably more than excited than others. [ReadWriteWeb]

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.

 

Letter from a Birmingham Jail: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms..." [mlkonline]

Guide to Catching the Inauguration from Anywhere: [LifeHacker]

Accidental Maps: [StrangeMaps]

Town Center's Urban Planning Bumps into Wal-Mart: "Eden Prairie envisions a new "town center'' in its future, and Wal-Mart -- to the company's dismay -- has a store right in the middle of it." [Minn-St Paul Star Tribune]

Superb Idea: Bike Lane that Travels With You: "The system projects a virtual bike lane (using lasers!) on the ground around the cyclists, providing drivers with a recognizable boundary they can easily avoid. The idea is to allow riders to take safety into their own hands, rather than leaving it to the city." [Good]

Pneumatic Post in Paris: "Introduced to combat the shortcomings of the telegraphic network in Paris, the subterranean Poste Pneumatique (Pneumatic Post) moved written telegraph messages from 1866 until 1984. The pneumatic tube network relieved the saturated telegraph network, delivering physical messages across the city and to the suburbs faster and more reliably than the telegraph." [active social plastic]

What Will Save the Suburbs?: "The problem now isn’t really how to better design homes and communities, but rather what are we going to do with all the homes and communities we’re left with." [New York Times]

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.

2009's Dozen Distinctive Destinations

Posted on: January 13th, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter 1 Comment

 

City Hall, Buffalo, NY

It may be a bit early to start thinking about summer travel plans, but if you like to plan ahead or are just looking for a weekend getaway, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has got you covered. With the announcement of this year's Dozen Distinctive Destinations, it's easy to find an interesting and unique location that's not too far from home.

East Coaster? How about checking out the art and architecture of downtown Buffalo, New York? Or maybe the small-town Moravian flavor of Lititz, Pennsylvania would be more to your liking. There's also the quintessential New England waterfront town of Bristol, Rhode Island situated between New York and Boston.

Out West, the list includes ocean-side Santa Barbara, California, Santa Fe, New Mexico's old-world charm and the Comstock Lode-era mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. Planning a visit to Mount Rushmore? How about checking out Hot Springs, South Dakota--the "Cultural Capital of the Black Hills"--while you're there.

Lake Geneva, WI

The upper Midwest is represented this year by two lakeside destinations that are sure to keep you cool in the summer along with providing unique downtown experiences year-round. The "Art Coast of Michigan" can be found in the neighboring resort towns of Saugatuck-Douglas, an area known for its artistic heritage in addition to its waterfront location. Well-preserved architecture abounds in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin--a longtime vacation spot of nearby Chicagoland and Milwaukee. This small town boasts outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, water-skiing, golfing and of course, lying on the beach.

For those in the Southern United States, this year's list includes a vibrant main street located close to several Tennessee Civil War sites, the classic college town of Athens, Georgia and a city in Texas known for "Cowboys and Culture."

So be sure to check out our Distinctive Destinations for 2009. We're sure you'll find something that appeals to any travel plans--both in interest, and proximity.

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.