Author Archive

Tomb of the Unknowns Update: Sen. Akaka's Official Statement

Posted on: September 23rd, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is grateful to Senator Jim Webb and Senator Daniel K. Akaka for their continued strong support for preservation of the authentic Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

We are pleased to report that on September 16, 2008, Senator Akaka, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued a statement regarding the recent report by the Department of the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs entitled Report on Alternative Measures to Address Cracks in the Monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

In his statement, Senator Akaka observed: “While I understand the concerns about the cracks in the Tomb Monument, I along with many others believe that our national monuments are not diminished by signs of their age. Many of our most treasured American symbols, from the Liberty Bell to the Star-Spangled Banner, are physically worn and weathered. This does not diminish their value or significance. I would argue that the same is true for the Tomb of the Unknowns.”

Although Senator Akaka acknowledged that some may call for replacement of the historic monument in the future, he also stated: “It is our nation's tradition to preserve our historic national symbols. We must protect them from the notion that they can be easily discarded or replaced. … I urge the [Department of the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs], in their respective capacities, to pursue the best means of preserving the Tomb Monument for future generations of veterans and Americans.”

Click here for Senator Akaka’s full statement.

-– Robert Nieweg

Robert Nieweg is the director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Southern Field Office.

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.

Structural Engineers, Architects Needed to Volunteer Post-Ike

Posted on: September 12th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 6 Comments

 

Once again, the Gulf Coast braces for another hurricane.

Early reports from preservationists in Texas indicate that historic structures in Galveston will sustain significant damage from Hurricane Ike. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is in contact with our Partners at the Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) and they have asked us to begin collecting names of structural engineers and architects who are willing to travel to the region as soon as the area is open to non-residents to conduct structural assessments of buildings. If you are an engineer or architect and would be willing to serve on a volunteer team, fill out our short survey.

We are also seeking donations to support our continuing hurricane recovery efforts.

Our thoughts are with our colleagues -- and all the residents of the Gulf Coast as they prepare for Ike.

-- Dolores McDonagh

Dolores McDonagh is vice president of membership at the 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.

Charity Hospital: "New Life for a Cultural Icon"

Posted on: September 12th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 10 Comments

 

RMJM Hillier, an internationally recognized architectural firm, produced a detailed four-minute video, “New Life for a Cultural Icon,” that outlines the history of Charity Hospital, and the feasibility of reusing it to provide high quality, 21st century medical care to residents of New Orleans. The results of RMJM Hillier’s assessment prove that ‘Big Charity’ possesses the infrastructure required to modernize this spectacular 1938 Art Deco Hospital.

This video features a brief history of the hospital, the proposed state-of-the-art improvements for the facility, and a specific vision of how this contemporary hospital would improve the quality of life for people in this unique city.

Richard Moe, President of The National Trust for Historic Preservation said, "this report confirms what we've long believed: Charity Hospital is a viable candidate for rehabilitation and reuse. By rehabbing Charity and preserving the 25 blocks of historic houses around it, New Orleans can get two things it desperately needs: top-quality medical facilities and livable in-town neighborhoods."

Emily Courtney, 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.

Gulf Coast Recovery Slideshow

Posted on: September 5th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Learn about Gulf Coast Recovery efforts on PreservationNation.org

Support our efforts in the Gulf Coast and New Orleans Regions

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.

PBS Special to Commemorate the Seventh Anniversary of 9/11

Posted on: September 5th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

In our work as historic preservationists we strive to protect spaces and places, buildings and landscapes and communities large and small. As humans we hold onto objects from our past—things that may not mean something to anyone else, but are integral to our own personal identities. Whether it is a diary or a model airplane, a newspaper clipping or a photograph, these objects have the power to remind us of days long past and people we have lost.

Many times our work to protect these endangered objects and places provokes discussion such as the ongoing conversation regarding the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery or the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s active involvement with the preservation of the World Trade Center Vesey Street Staircase. Both the Tomb and the Staircase are objects that have a very physical connection to our historical (and recent) past, evoking and enshrining memories that are important on a national scale.

Each of us has an object or a place that will forever remind us of the events of 9/11. In honor of the seventh anniversary of September 11, PBS will be broadcasting a film on Monday, September 8, 2008 entitled Objects and Memory. As Kathleen Hulser of the New-York Historical Society states, this is a film that “reminds us all how precious memories cling tenaciously to ordinary things, offering shared moments across cultural boundaries and historical time.” Having seen the film at a conference earlier this year I found it both moving and relevant to our current and continuing roles as historic preservationists, and wanted to share it with you. For more information visit the film’s official website and check your local listings for the broadcast time in your area.

Of course our work is never complete, and the importance we place on these objects and places and the threat to their roles as keepers of memory is a moving target—which is why every year the National Trust releases a list of their 11 Most Endangered Places. The Vessey Street Staircase was one such entry in 2006, and it has now been moved and protected for eventual inclusion in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Priya Chhaya, Center for Preservation Leadership

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.