Author Archive

Melissa Jest Reveals Preservation’s Best-Kept Secret to Saving Places

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Brent Leggs, Author, Preserving African American Historic Places, and Field Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House. Credit: Melissa Jest
Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House

Sitting in the beautiful and historic St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., sipping on a gimlet, preservation advocate Melissa Jest admires the space:“This place is a wonderful example of preservation in action.”

As we began to sip our drinks and discover the layers of history around us, Jest said:  “The tools used to save St. Regis shouldn’t be kept a secret. What if local developers [from diverse communities] had the tools to bring life to vacant and fragile historic resources?”

To Jest, preservation has the potential to go to scale and increase its impact. She says cities with years of disinvestment can recover when preservation tools are used by developers at every level. As we continued to chat about preservation’s potential, I posed four questions that begin to reveal her thoughts for sustaining community character.... 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.

Opening Up the Conversation About Saving Latino History

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Tanya Bowers, Director of Diversity, and Adriana Gallegos

Little Mexico. Credit: Sol Villasana
Historical photo of Little Mexico in Dallas, Texas

Late last year, the midcentury historic Univision building in San Antonio was demolished, serving as a wake-up call to many in the Latino community. When we posted our PreservationNation story about the demolition, it received some feedback from people on Twitter:

  • “Terrible loss… could’ve made a nice museum that showcases the contributions of Latinos in broadcasting.”
  • “Texas textbooks > Revisionist history deny Latinos place in American history.”
  • “It’s important to have Latino representation. Thank you for writing this piece.”

It was evident we needed to open the conversation as to why the Univision building and other Latino sites are not being saved or getting the attention they deserve. [Case in point: A 2008 study of National Register of Historic Places listings by associated cultural group found that only .11% (95 out of 83,775) were Hispanic.] And perhaps the way in is through the example of the trailblazers who for years have given Latino history a voice.... 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.

Introducing Pullman Historic District, Now a National Treasure

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

By Jennifer Sandy, Senior Field Officer

140106_blog_photo_pullman-block
Visitors enjoy walking around the community at the annual Pullman House Tour, held every year since 1974.

Walking down the leafy streets of the Pullman Historic District in Chicago today, it’s easy to imagine that this community must have seemed like a dream to the many factory workers for whom it was built. Tidy brick row houses line the sidewalks, ranging from modest worker cottages to more ornate mansions, while grand buildings like the Hotel Florence and the Greenstone Church provide a sense of community. Pullman was even voted as “The World’s Most Perfect Town” in its late-nineteenth-century heyday.

But the true story of Pullman is much more complicated -- and much more interesting -- than just its creation as America’s first model industrial town. The community has seen its share of challenges, but Pullman’s residents and supporters have always remained dedicated to protecting and promoting this special place. Now the community is united behind the goal of national recognition for Pullman’s contributions to our country’s history. Today, the National Trust joins the coalition advocating for Pullman to become a National Historical Park by including the community on our list of National Treasures -- an honor it truly deserves.... 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.

The Image of Urban Vitality: Is It Really Just Skyscrapers?

Posted on: January 9th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments

 

By Mike Powe and Jeana Wiser, Preservation Green Lab

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn. Credit: SmartSign.com
View of Manhattan from Brooklyn.

When you picture the heart of a thriving city, what image comes to mind? You might picture a New York avenue, lined with spectacular, towering skyscrapers. The image of a successful city seems inextricably tied to images of buildings stretching into the air.

It turns out, however, that the skyscraper may not deserve such a tight link to our idea of urban vitality. A better image? Look to the neighborhoods just beyond the shadows of downtown’s corporate and condo towers, in the modest (yet bustling!) blocks of older, smaller buildings.... 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.

Nineteenth-Century Church Receives Enlightened Renovation as Indiana Landmarks Center

Posted on: January 4th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

By Katherine Schminky, Public Affairs Intern

Methodist Church, now Indiana Landmarks. Credit: Susan Fleck
The Central Avenue Methodist Church in Indianapolis is now the new Indiana Landmarks Center.

“Inspirational” is how Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks, describes the organization’s new headquarters. And that's exactly the look the organization was going for when it chose the Central Avenue Methodist Church to be the new Indiana Landmarks Center.

“When people walk in, they say ‘wow,’” said Davis. “We want people to be inspired by preservation and this place gives us that.”

At the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony on Nov. 1, 2013, Indiana Landmarks received one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s honor awards recognizing its restoration of the Central Avenue Methodist Church in Indianapolis. The once dilapidated and crumbling site now functions as Indiana Landmark’s headquarters and a thriving center that hosts an array of events.... 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.