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California May Close 48 State Parks

Posted on: March 7th, 2008 by Preservation magazine 14 Comments

 

Monte de Oro State Park, Steve SierenFrom the Redwoods to the beaches, parts of California soon may be inaccessible to visitors.

Under the cloud of the Golden State's current fiscal crisis, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently asked each department and agency in the state to reduce its budget by up to 10 percent. The Department of Parks and Recreation came up with a proposal that sent a shock wave through the state: Close 48 state parks and reduce lifeguards at some beaches to cut $8.8 million from the 2008-2009 state budget.

Grassroots campaigns in dozens of shocked communities, including the town of Benicia near San Francisco, are calling for alternatives to closing prized resources like Benicia State Recreation Area and Benicia Capitol Historic Park. ... 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.

President Bush Announces Poster Program for Schools

Posted on: February 26th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

Bush at Picturing America event, 2/27/08For students across the country, American history will soon get a whole lot easier to envision. That's because the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) has launched its new "Picturing America" program, which will provide large, high-quality reproductions of 40 different works of art by American artists—including paintings, photographs, and architecture—to any school or library across the country that applies.

President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, who is a former teacher, and NEH Chairman Bruce Cole announced the campaign at the White House today. "At their best, arts and humanities express the ideals that define our nation," said President Bush. "We are defined not by bloodline, race, or creed, but by character and convictions."... 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.

New Orleans Projects Paint the Town Green

Posted on: February 22nd, 2008 by Preservation magazine 1 Comment

 

ICINolaNew Orleans has never been known for its strong environmental conscience. Until five years ago, the city measured the success of each Mardi Gras by the number of tons of trash generated, and for many, recycling meant reusing the plastic cups caught at parades. In some neighborhoods, curbside recycling programs struggled due to lack of participation. Today, two and a half years after Katrina, residents and social and environmental activists are sweeping away old notions, but some say too much is being lost in the process.

Seeds of Change—and Dissent

Actor Brad Pitt and his Make It Right project have snagged media attention recently, debuting plans to replace 150 Lower Ninth Ward houses with sustainable, eco-friendly dwellings. The project has generated a positive buzz, in part because the targeted area is a Katrina-created wasteland with little, if any, remaining historic character. Other projects around the city are sowing seeds of green hope in some cases, but red-faced anger in others.

In Bywater, a 200-year-old, National Register and local historic district with very little Katrina flooding, a mixed-use loft project is digging a deep rift. New Orleanian Cam Mangham and her partner, Shea Embry, are developing ICInola, which Mangham says will be the city's first LEED-certified, mixed-use development. Plans for the development, anticipated to open in spring 2009, involve partially deconstructing, renovating, and rebuilding a historic manufacturing plant and recycling much of its materials. The plant and a second, new building will be developed with eco-friendly features like roof gardens and solar panels. Two more structures will come later; a total of 105 lofts and 50,000 square feet of commercial space on 2.76 acres.

Neighbors opposed to the project have formed the Bywater Civic Association to fight it. "The project is completely out of scale and context, and the design is too modern for such a historic neighborhood," says BCA organizing committee member Blake Vonderhaar. Vonderhaar says that hundreds of people have committed to boycott any store that leases space there. "They keep saying we can't have replica buildings because they don't want to turn New Orleans into Disneyland. But there has to be a reasonable solution that is appropriate to an historic neighborhood," Vonderhaar says.... 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.

Detroit's Tiger Stadium May Be Partially Demolished this Spring

Posted on: February 15th, 2008 by Preservation magazine 2 Comments

 

Tiger StadiumIn the cult baseball movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner is called upon to be a preservationist of a different sort. To rekindle the love of baseball, he's inspired to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field: "If you build it, they will come," a voice tells him. In the case of Detroit's Tiger Stadium, however, the baseball field already exists. This former major-league ballpark is 112 years old. The challenge, instead, involves sowing the seeds that will continually bring people to come see it. After all, the last major league ballgame was played here in 1999—and plans for its partial demolition have been slated for spring.

If making the claim that America's love affair with baseball is largely wrapped up in the places where it is played sounds like sensationalist dribble, ask any fan who grew up going to a local ballpark. They'll likely tell you of familiar smells: roasted peanuts, hot dogs, popcorn, freshly cut grass. They'll mention the vantage point from which clouds of orange dust can be seen when a player slides into home plate. They'll talk of the stacks of lights that illuminate an outdoor theater where outfielders dive for fly balls and fans from upper decks swear they saw the play better than the umpire. "Playing fields like Tiger Stadium are considered hallowed ground," says Francis Grunow, executive director of locally-based Preservation Wayne.... 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.

Queens Church To Fall

Posted on: February 12th, 2008 by Preservation magazine 1 Comment

 

St. Saviour’s ChurchRolling hills and foliage don't exactly come to mind when one thinks of New York City, but green spaces do exist in the Big Apple. Case in point: St. Saviour's Church in Maspeth, Queens. Some call the two-acre area on which the church is located "a bit of country in the city." However, St. Saviour's is now under the threat of demolition by developers Maspeth Development LLC.Built in 1847 by architect Richard Upjohn, St. Saviour's Church is a wooden structure that some call "Carpenter Gothic." ... 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.