Author Archive

Arson Destroys Massachusetts House

Posted on: February 4th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

New Bedford, Mass.Abandoned for more than a decade, plans for renovation of a Queen Anne-style house built in the mid-1880s in New Bedford, Mass., were finally in place when it succumbed to a fire last month. It was used as a dormitory for the Swain School of Design and later by the University of Massachusetts. After falling into disrepair for 10 years, the city acquired it, and in keeping with its interest in preservation, the property was to be turned over to the Waterfront Historic Area League.

"It was a poster child for vacant and abandoned properties in New Bedford," says Lisa Sughrue, the league's executive director. "Its restoration," she adds, "would have been a catalyst for change and progress in that 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.

NYC To Clone Historic Trees

Posted on: January 31st, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

Central ParkOn a clear September day in 1776, smoke rose from lower Manhattan as the British advanced into the city. From his headquarters on the Morris-Jumel estate, Gen. George Washington may have paused in the shade of a young elm tree to take in the scene.

Today, that tree still stands in what is now Washington Heights, though at about 110 feet tall and almost six feet in diameter, it is doubtful that Washington would recognize it. Affectionately known by locals as "the dinosaur," this living witness to those events 230 years ago it is now one of 25 trees in New York City that will be preserved—through cloning.

As part of Mayor Bloomberg's campaign to plant one million trees in the city in the next decade, Connecticut-based Bartlett Tree Experts is donating 250 trees to the city, all genetic copies of historic trees found in the city's five boroughs. Cuttings from the trees were taken earlier this month and sent to an Oregon nursery, where they will be grafted onto roots to create "clones" that will be planted throughout the city. ... 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.

Historic Denny's in Seattle?

Posted on: January 30th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

SeattleIt may look like a boarded-up fast-food restaurant, but fans of a Denny's restaurant in northwest Seattle want to make it a landmark.

Complete with a swooping roof, large glass windows, and a futuristic flair, this particular Denny's is characterized as Googie, a bold, post-World War II architectural style that first became popular in Los Angeles. Architect Clarence Mayhew designed the building in 1964 as a Manning's Cafeteria restaurant, which went out of business and became a Denny's in 1983. Although the structure is now boarded up, it remains one of Seattle's few remaining examples of Googie architecture.

Benaroya Companies, a real-estate development company that bought the structure in 2006 from the Seattle Monorail Project is currently in close negotiations with Rhapsody Partners, a Kirkland-based development firm that wants to construct a condominium tower on the site.

However, Rhapsody's condo plans have been temporarily sidetracked. Earlier this month, Benaroya nominated the Denny's for landmark status.... 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.

University of Minnesota Wants to Lease, Move 1887 Building

Posted on: January 28th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

Music Education Building, U of MOne of the five buildings that comprised the University of Minnesota's original campus in Minneapolis is up for lease, and the school is struggling to find the right tenant.

"We've been struggling to find a use for the building because it's a little small for the university's typical volume of operations," says James Litsheim, senior architect of capital planning for the university. "However, someone else could easily use it for office space, a coffee shop—just about any kind of use you can think of for a smaller space."... 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.

Post Office May Sell Historic Washington Branch

Posted on: January 24th, 2008 by Preservation magazine 1 Comment

 

Port Townsend, Wash.The appearance of the Port Townsend, Wash., Post Office has changed very little since it opened in 1893. While standing in line today, locals still enjoy the unevenly worn marble floors, carved sandstone exterior and an unobstructed view of Port Townsend Bay.

Now the U.S. Postal Service wants to sell the building, a popular gathering place, and buy or build a new facility.

The oldest federally constructed post office in Washington state, and the only example of Richardson Romanesque design in a federal building in Washington, it was constructed as the "Customs House" and intended to monitor shipping traffic. Today, the U.S. Customs Service still maintains an office there, even though the ports of Seattle and Tacoma have long since eclipsed Port Townsend, population 8,500.

The post office has undergone several modifications in its 115 years, but it has never been made accessible to people with disabilities. ... 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.

11 Most Endangered Update: H. H. Richardson House Has a New Owner

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

H.H. Richardson HouseMore New Orleans than New England, a 204-year-old house with a two-story veranda stands out in suburban Boston. The house at 25 Cottage Street in Brookline, Mass., is not one that a casual observer might link with the work of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), one of America's most important 19th-century architects. It was in this Federal-style house that Richardson spent the most productive years of his career, from 1874 to his death in 1886, designing masterpieces such as Boston's Trinity Church, which he could see from the house.

After being on the market for seven years, the house found a new owner last month. "I don't like to think what damage the house would incur if it were left unprotected another year," says Allan Galper, chair of the three-year-old Committee to Save the H.H. Richardson House. "We're glad a buyer has been found."

On Dec. 5, the H. H. Richardson Trust bought the property for $2.2 million. "It is an honor to have this opportunity to restore a precious piece of American history," said Michael Minkoff, a spokesman for that trust and owner of Washington, D.C.-based National Development Corp., in a statement. Minkoff has restored historic buildings in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., according to the Jan. 10 statement.... 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.