Author Archive

 

I’m happy to report that, on January 29th, President Bush signed into law a temporary reprieve for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which federal officials want to replace with a replica because of repairable cosmetic imperfections.

Thanks to the advocacy of 4,000 National Trust for Historic Preservation members and friends who asked Congress and the Army to repair rather than replace the authentic Tomb, Senators Daniel Akaka and Jim Webb successfully amended the Defense Authorization Bill to include a measure that will delay hasty action, mandate a new meaningful study, and require a report to Congress.

The historic monument is not safe, but now preservationists have a real opportunity to reverse the Army’s decision.

The Defense Authorization Bill requires the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to report to Congress within 180 days to:

  1. Describe the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs’ current plan to replace and dispose of the 1932 Tomb Monument;
  2. Assess the feasibility and advisability of repairing the Tomb Monument;
  3. Describe the current efforts (if any) to maintain and preserve the Tomb Monument;
  4. Explain why no attempt has been made since 1989 to repair the Tomb Monument;
  5. Provide a comprehensive comparison (for the first time) of the cost of replacing versus the cost of repairing the Tomb Monument; and,
  6. Assess the structural integrity of the Tomb Monument.

Since April 2007, when we learned of the plan to replace the monument, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s president Richard Moe has lobbied key members of Congress as well as the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs.

We’re also very pleased that the Arlington County government, Arlington Heritage Alliance, APVA – Preservation Virginia, American Institute for Conservation, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources each support repairing the cracks in the 1932 marble monument – rather than replacing the authentic monument.

-- Rob 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.

Farnsworth House Featured in Kenny Chesney Music Video

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Country music star Kenny Chesney features Farnsworth House, a National Trust Historic Site in Illinois, in his video, “Don’t Blink.” Although not identified, it represents the home of a family whose fast living jeopardizes the enjoyment of everyday life (the oft-repeated lyrics “One hundred years goes faster than you think” and “Life goes faster than you think” suggests a potential historic preservation message). Over the past four months, this music video has been viewed nearly one million times, giving tremendous (but anonymous) exposure to a National Trust Historic Site.

-- Max van Balgooy

Max van Balgooy is the director of interpretation and education for National Trust Historic Sites.

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.

Celebrating Place and Heritage

Posted on: November 26th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

On Saturday, November 17th, Candice Coyan from American Express and I (along with our family members) represented Partners in Preservation (PiP) at the Pui Tak Center's community celebration. After Chinese harp music performed by students, the program began with a short video they had prepared to tell the story of how they won the popular vote and got the big award, mainly as a THANK YOU to the room full of people who had voted regularly and supported their efforts. The video was prepare by one of their students who also teaches computer skills.

Three speakers were invited to tell why they voted in support of PuiTak and why they believed the building should be preserved. Each of these were people who had "grown up" in the building attending classes or participating in social events with their parents. The first was Helen Lee, the head of the Chinese chamber of commerce and a first-generation Chinese American. The second was a gentleman who was a third-generation immigrant family member who had studied Chinese at Pui Tak every day after American school. The third was a first-generation college student who spoke in Chinese; she had taken ESL classes in the building after immigrating as a teenager with her family. Each speech was translated in segments by the outreach minister of the Chinese Christian Union Church which now owns the building. It was very moving.

... 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.

Sharing the Vision: Best Practices to Preserve Our Future

Posted on: November 20th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

(Editor's Note: the Cleveland Restoration Society is a member of the State and Local Partners program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.)

Northeast Ohio is rich in historic assets. Like many American cities that thrived during the industrial revolution, Cleveland and its surrounding region built a remarkable architectural landscape on the foundation of businesses and factories that at one time drove the regional economy. This architectural and cultural heritage now needs our help, and the time is right for change. According to the Brookings Institution, despite the hardships that have plagued them, “the moment - demographic, economic, environmental, social - is ripe for revival” in our older, industrial cities. The Cleveland Restoration Society agrees.

Today, Tuesday, November 20, 2007, the Society held its 35th Annual Community Luncheon to share its vision of a vibrant Northeast Ohio and to start the process of envisioning the ways in which historic preservation can make this a reality. A panel of experts in real estate, tax credits, and architecture shared their best practices, experiences and recommendations for strengthening our commercial districts and neighborhoods emphasizing the use of historic preservation to create a sustainable region and a brighter future.

We’ve heard from the experts - now it’s your turn. How can we recreate the vibrant urban centers that once thrived in older industrial cities?

-- Erin Dorsey, Cleveland Restoration Society

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.

Press Coverage Raises Awareness of Threat to Tomb

Posted on: November 16th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Here at the National Trust, we are very pleased that the Army's plan to discard the Tomb Monument has received considerable recent attention from the media.

National Public Radio covered the threatened Tomb on November 11, interviewing Bob Loftur-Thun, a former Sentinel guard at the Tomb who strongly supports restoration rather than replacement.

The New York Times published an article and on-line video on the Tomb on November 12. The Times article was picked up as the cover story on AOL's webpage on November 12. More than 100,000 votes were cast in AOL's on-line poll, with 86 percent favoring repair of the original monument.

Earlier, the Army's replacement plan was covered by the Washington Post and the Washington Times.

-- Robert Nieweg

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.