Author Archive

Preservation Success Honored in Lawrence, Mass.

Posted on: November 19th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Third in our series of videos highlighting the winners of the 2008 National Preservation Awards.

Today, National Trust for Historic Preservation president, Richard Moe, visited the City of Lawrence and presented them with an Honorary National Preservation Honor Award. Lawrence's Washington Mills Building No. 1 received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation during its 2008 National Preservation Conference in Tulsa, OK.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Historic Neighborhood in Buffalo Threatened by Peace Bridge Expansion Plan

Posted on: November 19th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The sign reads: "Welcome to Historic Buffalo: Where your home can be destroyed by the City & Public Bridge Authority for the 'Good of All.' Say no to the plaza expansion."  (Photo: Lauren Tent)

Neighbors gather at a sign protesting the bridge expansion. (Photo: Lauren Tent)

This week, Buffalo’s preservationists got a big boost from a lavish New York Times spread celebrating the city’s architecture. Critic Nicolai Ouroussoff concluded that the city had a rare opportunity to use its historic neighborhoods and restored landmarks as potent tools for Buffalo’s economic recovery.

The Times’ validation is rewarding and useful, but it is also timely. Named both to our 2008 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places, and to the Preservation League of New York State’s Seven to Save list, the residential area adjacent to the Peace Bridge remains under threat of needless, large-scale demolition for a massive transportation and security project.

The Peace Bridge crosses the US-Canada border at the Niagara River, entering Buffalo in the historic Prospect Hill neighborhood situated around Frederick Law Olmsted’s Front and Columbus Parks.

Local leaders’ vision of adding a new signature bridge as a gateway to the city -- and the goals of improving transportation and border security -– could be accomplished in a range of ways, locations, and configurations. Instead, these goals hardened into the Public Bridge Authority’s plan to add a new bridge alongside the old one, and expand the border entry plaza currently at the bridge deep into this neighborhood.

A family enjoys a walk in the neighborhood. (Photo: Lauren Tent)

A family enjoys a walk in the neighborhood. (Photo: Lauren Tent)

In the tree-lined blocks of homes dating largely from 1850 through the mid-20th century, some houses are modest and some are grand. Most are tidy, some are vacant. Overall, the neighborhood is stable and remarkably strong in the face of uncertainty. The Public Bridge Authority itself acquired several significant houses in the area over the years. Unmaintained, they are a demoralizing, inescapable reminder of the residents’ predicament. In a Rust Belt city struggling with real vacancy problems, it would be particularly wasteful to damage this viable neighborhood.

... 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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Give Lincoln a Lincoln

Posted on: November 18th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

First Lady Laura Bush listens to Frank Milligan, executive director of President Lincoln's Cottage, on her 2007 tour of the house.

First Lady Laura Bush listens to Frank Milligan, executive director of President Lincoln's Cottage, on her 2007 tour of the house.

On this chilly November morning, a white yellow sunlight raked the farmland and light industrial parks that skirt Hodgenville, Kentucky, a small town one hour south of Louisville and the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Everyone was abuzz because First Lady Laura Bush was visiting to kick-off the "Give a Lincoln for Lincoln" program, developed by the History Channel to benefit six sites associated with the 16th president. "Give a Lincoln for Lincoln" permits people around the country to donate "Lincolns" (pennies and five dollars bills) to help preserve the sites, which includes President Lincoln's Cottage, the National Trust Historic Site in Washington, D.C.

As state and local officials, preservationists and citizens, and dozens of students from nearby Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, gathered at the birthplace, National Park Service employees with leafblowers battled wind gusts as they tried to clear the parking lot, sidewalks and lawn of leaves. In the visitors center, some students colored "Give a Lincoln for Lincoln" collection boxes, while others heard about the president's life from a Lincoln reenactor. Mrs. Bush and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, arrived at 10:30 in a grey Suburban, and spent the next thirty minutes getting demonstrations on wood splitting, flax spinning, and touring the visitors center. Shortly after 11AM, Mrs. Bush, Secretary Kempthorne, Libby O'Connell, and Park Service officials descended the steep staircase from the Greco-Roman Memorial Building, adjacent to the visitors center, that houses what may be Lincoln's boyhood home, and individually addressed the crowd about Lincoln's importance, the need to preserve sites associates with the former president, and how every "Give a Lincoln for Lincoln" donation will assist in that goal. By 11:45 the event was over -- the First Lady was headed for Fort Knox and her flight back to Washington, and the remaining guests headed for the visitors center to thaw. The atmosphere in the room was celebratory. Now it was time, some said, to get some biscuits and gravy.

-Nord Wennerstrom, Director of Communications, National Trust for Historic Preservation

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Restored Homan Square Chimney to Empower Students

Posted on: November 14th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

In 2007, the Homan Square Power House in Chicago was selected as a grant recipient of the Partners in Preservation program.

Great care was taken to preserve pieces of the historic machinery throughout the building that were so integral to the Power House’s function. For instance, the massive overhead crane will serve as the platform for a large, mobile screen.

Care was taken to preserve pieces of the machinery that were integral to the Power House’s function -- this massive overhead crane will be the platform for a large, mobile screen.

The Power House was constructed in 1905 in the Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago as part of the Sears, Roebuck & Company complex designed by Chicago architectural firm of Nimmons & Fel­lows. It served as the heating and cooling plant for the massive Sears complex until it was decommissioned in 2004.  Now it is part of the $35 million, award-winning Homan Square redevelopment project, undergoing restoration for use as Henry Ford Power House High, which will answer a deep community need for high-quality schools.

The lower levels of the chimney will remain open and surrounded by a new internal staircase that will allow student to see its features up close.

The lower levels of the chimney will remain open and surrounded by a new internal staircase.

One of the most iconic exterior features of the building is the 185 foot tall, 14 foot wide, radial brick chimney, which will be preserved as a neighborhood landmark, but also as an educational tool to facilitate student experimentation with the dynamics of heat, airflow and energy generation. To stabilize the chimney and preserve its structural integrity, a portion of the top was removed and all of the brick masonry is being repointed. Once this step is complete, a chimney liner will be installed and a transparent chimney cap placed on top, to allowing daylight into the heart of the building while also giving students access to the structure of the chimney.

The Power House is expected to be complete in time for Power House High to accept students in the fall of 2009, but they are still seeking additional funds to support the retention and restoration of historic mechanical elements in the building, such as the “Link-Belt” coal bucket system that carried coal to the furnaces in the basement.

– Christina Morris

Christina Morris is a program officer in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Midwest Office.

Learn more about the Partners in Preservation program here.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Veterans Day 2008: They're Also Heroes on the Homefront (Video)

Posted on: November 11th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The second in a series of videos highlighting the winners of the 2008 National Preservation Awards.


 

In towns all over the Sunflower State, the National Guard Armory is a prominent landmark and a symbol of local pride. Because of the Kansas Army National Guard’s commitment to good stewardship over the past decade, these historic structures can continue to play a vital role in community life.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.