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I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a job that -- most days -- I really, truly love. But like all work, some days it's tiring, or frustrating, or otherwise dispiriting. On those days, I head over to the Flickr stream for our This Place Matters campaign to cheer myself up. No, I'm not kidding -- or kissing up. There is something about looking at the variety of images that slide by that just plain makes me happy. From country vistas to thriving downtowns, and buildings in every state of repair (and, sadly, disrepair) the pictures show a deep, heartfelt connection between people and places. The level of effort people have gone to -- gathering huge groups, donning costumes, erecting billboards -- is mind-blowing.

I found out recently, through a web radio interview, that Dolores McDonagh, one of our vice presidents, recovers from a tough day in the same way. In her conversation with Chris Epting, host of The Pop Culture Road Trip, she filled him in on the This Place Matters program (and it's magically restorative powers), the story of one of her places, and some of the work that's currently going on here at the National Trust. If you keep listening after Dolores is finished, you'll hear some more stories on the preservation theme, as well.

Don't believe us that this slideshow can brighten your day? Take a look below... and then consider sharing a photo of your own. It's easy and, if you submit before September 15, you could be eligible to win a new camera.

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

LA's Once-Endangered Ennis House Stabilized, on the Market

Posted on: July 31st, 2009 by Sarah Heffern

 

Yesterday morning as I walked into work, I ran into a colleague and, after exchanging the usual pleasantries, she told me about a great story she'd been listening to on NPR on her way into the office. It was about the Ennis House, an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright creation in Los Angeles that had fallen into such disrepair that it was included on our 11 Most Endangered list in 2005. After several years -- and nearly 6.4 million dollars of stabilization and rehabilitation work by the Ennis House Foundation, with our assistance and that of the LA Conservancy and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy -- the house is now on the market.

NPR correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates shares the story of a house that starred in films, fell on hard times, and is now looking for its Hollywood ending.

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

 

Today's Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has a front page story and an an editorial about the ongoing battle with Wal-Mart over its planned superstore that threatens the Wilderness Battlefield. They take very different tacks, one pointing out the good work that Wal-Mart has done in the past when challenged to find a more sensitive location, and the other imploring the Orange County Board of Supervisors to do the right thing to honor the soldiers who fought and died on the land.

Which Wal-Mart lesson applies to Orange?

In certain instances, Wal-Mart collaborated with preservationists, [Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont] said. The Vermont trust took Wal-Mart officials on a tour of the state to show them what it thought were suitable, compromise locations.

That's how the Rutland site was chosen--with the governor's backing. "That's proven to be a good store for Wal-Mart," Bruhn said.

Orange, arise:

The Union and Confederate armies suffered around 29,000 casualties in the Wilderness--by coincidence, almost exactly the population of today's Orange County. If each American who died, bled, or disappeared in the Wilderness maelstrom audibly called out from the consecrated earth for remembrance, he would find an Orange resident, all his own, to hear his message

...

From Gordonsville and Locust Grove, from the town of Orange to Barboursville, let every county beneficiary of heroes' striving turn out to oppose this location for a shopatropolis. Let county members of the NAACP join with Sons of Confederate Veterans, small businesspersons with school teachers, yellow-dog Democrats with run-mad Republicans, natives with transplants to say, "Somewhere else." Let them leave no doubt, however their representatives vote, what an aroused Orange County thinks about this ill-conceived plan.

The Free Lance-Star is only one voice in a growing chorus asking Wal-Mart to do the right thing -- and you can make your voice heard, too. Email Wal-Mart President and CEO Michael T. Duke and ask him to use an alternate location for their proposed Supercenter that would not threaten our nation's heritage.

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

Take Action to Help Save Detroit's Tiger Stadium

Posted on: June 5th, 2009 by Sarah Heffern 4 Comments

 

June 3, 2009 protest at Tiger Stadium. (Photo by Marvin Shaouni)

June 3, 2009 protest at Tiger Stadium. (Photo by Marvin Shaouni)

UPDATE, MONDAY, JUNE 8

Detroit's WXYZ news station is reporting that the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy's request for an injunction to prevent further demolition of the ballpark has been denied.

We will be issuing an official statement on this loss later today.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE:

An injunction has been granted and the demolition ceased late Friday afternoon, with a hearing to follow on Monday morning. The link in the update below has more information on this developing situation.

Please read to the end of the post for information on how to contact Detroit's Mayor and City Council to ask them to stop this needless demolition.

UPDATE:

Despite the fact that demolition was scheduled to begin as early as Monday, June 8th, we recently learned that the City of Detroit has moved up its schedule and demolition in fact began the afternoon of June 5th at 3:45 pm Eastern Time.

Please express your outrage at this action by contacting Mayor Dave Bing's office at 313-224-3400.

Thank you for your support on this issue.

***

Yesterday, my colleague Royce from the Midwest Office wrote about the plight of Tiger Stadium -- where bulldozers had appeared suddenly in response a vote by the city of Detroit's economic development arm to follow through with complete demolition of the remaining portion of the stadium.

Today, we're asking you to join other preservationists, baseball enthusiasts, and local activists in taking action to save Tiger Stadium.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Write to the City Council

Express your outrage with demolition of Tiger Stadium. Let them know that redevelopment of this iconic historic place could transform it back into a thriving center of community activity.

Call the Mayor's Office

Mayor Dave Bing's office can be reached at 313-224-3400. He needs to know that you support protection of Tiger Stadium, and that it is important to the City of Detroit and people across the nation.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

Painting for Preservation

Posted on: June 2nd, 2009 by Sarah Heffern 3 Comments

 

kitchen-before

I have some time off at the end of the month, so before I fly off on a long weekend for Independence Day, I've decided to paint my kitchen. It's needed it for a long time - since I moved into the apartment, really - but got burned out on painting in the beginning. When you move into an apartment where the entryway and living room are the color of dried French's mustard, clearly all the energy goes into painting that, rather than sprucing up the boring white kitchen.

But the time has come; three years of cooking, combined with a couple of less-than-neat attempts (ultimately successful) to hang Ikea wall racks have left the walls looking less than lovely. Now that the procrastination part of the project is nearly done, it's time to tackle the big question: what color to use? Given that my place isn't huge, whatever I choose for the kitchen has to coordinate nicely with the rest of the apartment.

It turns out, though, that figuring this out is not going to be quite as difficult as I expected. Back when I painted the living room and bedroom, I decided to be a good National Trust for Historic Preservation staffer and buy Valspar paint, which has a line of paint colors based on our historic sites and hotels. (A portion of the proceeds of the paint helps to support our work, too, which made it a particularly appealing choice for me.) Now, Valspar has introduced a tool that allows me to virtually paint a room on their website.

Warning: this can be a little addictive.

I've tried my Lyndhurst Timber entryway wall, which abuts the kitchen, with a bunch of different colors. I really want Oatlands Daisy to work, since sunshiney yellow just says "kitchen" to me, but I don't know... What do you think?

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.