Author Archive

PHOTO TOUR: Revitalization Through Adaptive Reuse in Vallejo, Calif.

Posted on: March 18th, 2014 by Meghan Drueding

 

Credit: Leah Nash
Temple Art Lofts in Vallejo, Calif.

In the upcoming Spring issue of Preservation, we explore Vallejo, Calif., through the lens of the Temple Art Lofts, an adaptive reuse building that symbolizes the city’s decline and renewal. Through the 1990s, Vallejo’s economy boomed, thanks to the presence of the U.S. Navy’s Mare Island base. But when the Navy left in 1996, the dollars spent at local businesses dried up, and by 2008 the city had declared bankruptcy.

Now, the skyrocketing price of real estate elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area is causing developers and entrepreneurs to take a second look at Vallejo. Case in point: developer Meea Kang, who boldly converted a pair of derelict historic buildings into the award-winning Temple Art Lofts.

We had so many great photos of the Lofts and the surrounding city that we couldn’t use them all in our print story. So we’ve collected a few of our favorites here. Join us on behind the scenes in the waterfront city of Vallejo.... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

 

In 1958 and 1959, influential Modernist architect Harwell Hamilton Harris designed what many consider to be one of his best buildings, the Cranfill Apartments in Austin, Texas. Before leading the University of Texas at Austin’s architecture school in the early 1950s, he apprenticed with Modernist pioneer Richard Neutra in Los Angeles and admired Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House. Harris made his reputation by using warm, natural materials to make Modernism more approachable, and creating spaces that connect with the outdoors.... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

 

Rosewood Courts’ original site plan, along a terraced hillside in East Austin, included many outdoor spaces for socializing. Credit: Housing Authority of the City of Austin
Rosewood Courts’ original site plan, along a terraced hillside in East Austin, included many outdoor spaces for socializing.

Like many American cities at the time, Austin, Texas, in the 1930s was a racially segregated place -- including with its public housing. During the years leading up to World War II, the city’s housing authority (one of the oldest in the nation) built three low-income housing communities in the East Austin neighborhood, each reserved for a single race until desegregation in the 1960s.

Santa Rita Courts, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated to Hispanic and Latino residents, while Chalmers Courts was for whites only. And Rosewood Courts, a community that may eventually join Santa Rita Courts on the National Register, was built specifically for African-Americans. Rosewood’s complex and layered history, along with its location in rapidly gentrifying East Austin, make its future a subject of intense interest to Austin preservationists.... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

Step by Step: Update on the Philadelphia Uptown Theatre Restoration

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by Meghan Drueding

 

At the time of its opening in 1929, the Uptown’s grand auditorium dazzled moviegoers. Credit: Glazer Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia
At the time of its opening in 1929, the Uptown’s grand auditorium dazzled moviegoers.

Philadelphia's Uptown Theatre (covered in Preservation's Summer 2012 issue) once hosted shows by some of the biggest names in music, such as Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and The Jackson 5. Designed by prominent local architect Louis Magaziner, the 1927 Art Deco building originally served as a glamorous movie venue. During the 1950s and '60s, it evolved into a prestigious tour stop for African-American entertainers.

By the 1990’s, though, the Uptown had fallen on hard times. When community organizer Linda Richardson formed the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation (UEDC) in 1995, the abandoned theater in North Philadelphia suffered from a leaky roof, a vandalized interior, and a shabby exterior. The UEDC began raising funds for its restoration, and was eventually able to purchase the building in 2004.

The organization has completed a series of stabilization and preservation projects, such as the restoration of the terracotta tiles on the facade by local tile artist Karen Singer. (It still needs to raise the money to actually install the tiles.) And the UEDC will soon unveil a $1.3 million renovation of a six-story office tower that is part of the original 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

 

Cover of The Sea Ranch: Fifty Years of Architecture, Landscape, Place, and Community on the Northern California Coast. Credit: Princeton Architectural Press

As the holidays approach, the time-honored art of gift-giving presents plenty of opportunities and challenges. Glossy design books tend to rack up their best sales at this time of year, because most of us know someone who loves to page through photos of beautiful homes. We’ve chosen four recently published favorite architecture books that are sure to excite the place-lovers on your gift list.... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.