Author Archive

Go Green with the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Posted on: February 23rd, 2009 by Sarah Heffern

 

The newest issue of Preservation magazine is our second annual "green" issue -- and it's chock-full of hints and tips that help save energy, save money and preserve homes. If you're a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it should be in your mailbox any day now. (What? You're not a member? C'mon... join now!) We've supplemented it online with a host of great online extras, including the welcome video below from Editor-in-Chief James Schwartz.

While the historic preservation community has known for years that the greenest building is the one that already exists, not everyone is aware of that -- so we're making the connection even more clear with our new, green website. By which we mean that it is literally green in color... after all, we like a pun as much as the next bunch of folks.

So, swing by the magazine's page and take a look at all the great features in the March/April issue.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Columnist Takes on Illinois Appellate Court Decision

Posted on: February 5th, 2009 by Sarah Heffern

 

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin has taken on the Illinois Appellate Court ruling that threatens the thousands of buildings now protected by Chicago’s landmarks law – and could set a dangerous precedent for landmarks laws nationwide.

The ruling… takes direct aim at the seven standards by which Chicago decides whether a building or district can be safeguarded from demolition or defacement—association with a significant historic event, evidence of important architecture and so on. A site must satisfy at least two of the seven standards to become a landmark.

While these criteria are expressed in common, easily understood language, that is not sufficient for the judges, who seem to yearn for hairsplitting, legalistic exactitude. "We believe," they write, "that the terms 'value,' 'important,' 'significant,' and 'unique' are vague, ambiguous, and overly broad."

Kamin takes the judges to task, asking if they reviewed any similar laws, featuring the same sort of terminology, in other cities, including New York, Boston, and Houston.

Take a moment to click through and read the full article. It’s a great take, and breaks down what could be a complex legal argument into an easily-understandable story.

Also... stop by our website to read Preservation magazine's Story of the Day on the issue by Margaret Foster.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Video: Saving Architectural Onomatopoeia

Posted on: January 28th, 2009 by Sarah Heffern 4 Comments

 

It's a gray, icy day here in Washington, DC, so I thought it was a good time to share a video of a cheery, bright preservation success story -- a former gas station in North Carolina that is now the home of the northwest regional office of our statewide partner, Preservation North Carolina. This may not sound all that exciting, but it's a gas station that's the building equivalent of onomatopoeia -- a Shell station shaped like a shell. (My officemate, who has been in the preservation game a few years longer than I have, says this is called a "duck" in the architectural world. Is that true?)

Learn more about our Statewide & Local Partners program.

Learn more about preserving Modernism + the Recent Past.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Preserving History, Even as it's Being Made

Posted on: January 21st, 2009 by Sarah Heffern

 

I've loved history all my life, and have always had an understanding that it's something that happens every day -- that today's now is the future's "back then." I never quite got it when my classmates would complain about all the memorizing dates and names; to me it was all just stories about people and what happened in their lives. Don't get me wrong -- I certainly learned about all of the major events, but they didn't necessarily grab me in the same way as the day-to-day did.

Every now and again, though, History-with-a-capital-H overtakes smaller moments, both in books and in life -- and yesterday was just such a day. I don't need the historian's backward view to know that, as I stood on the National Mall, I was a tiny piece of a huge, breathtaking moment, and every person there knew the same thing. The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States was history being made, in front of a crowd of millions.

Help us take a moment now to preserve that piece of history, by sharing your story or pictures from the day. Did you have a chance to be part of the action here in DC? Or did you gather with friends and family to watch the ceremony and parade on television? We'd like to hear from you. Visit our Inauguration page or click here to add pictures or tell your story.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

SurveyLA Looks to the Past to Preserve Los Angeles' Future

Posted on: January 9th, 2009 by Sarah Heffern

 

The Los Angeles Conservancy, one of our local partners in Southern California, has undertaken is working with the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources on an epic endeavor, a project known as SurveyLA, which will look at all of the historic resources in the city. This effort, the largest such initiative in the nation, is:

an unprecedented, five-year citywide initiative to identify significant historic resources throughout Los Angeles - including ornate historic theaters, Modernist commercial buildings, exuberant Art Deco structures, Craftsman bungalow neighborhoods, and places that shaped our city's social history and its diverse communities. SurveyLA will engage Angelenos in identifying historic places that are worthy of recognition and protection.

As part of the project, the Conservancy has prepared three videos to explain the project and some of the prominient site being surveyed.  Architects, historians and preservation experts -- including the National Trust for Historic Preservation's own Anthea Hartig, director of our Western Office -- share stories about the cultural legacy of the architecture of Los Angeles.

Updated to reflect that the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources is the lead on SurveyLA, not the Los Angeles Conservancy.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.