Author Archive

Good Work, Rewarded

Posted on: October 5th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

I spent part of yesterday evening in St. Paul's beautiful Fitzgerald Theater (where Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" is taped weekly), as the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual Honor Awards.

I was amazed by the breadth of work honored, and found the presentations to be a fantastic way to see the many varied, unexpected ways that historic preservation touches people's lives.

Here are the winners:

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.

Preservation=Revitalization

Posted on: October 4th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

Details on the turret were uncovered during restoration this summer.Historic preservation has a little bit of an image problem. Most everyone knows the stereotype: little old ladies saving the dead white guy's mansion. And from Mount Vernon on down, preservationists have in fact saved more than a few abodes of the rich, famous, Anglo, and deceased.

It is important work, to be sure. Saving, maintaining, and sharing the places involved with major figures and events in American history has a great deal of value. But to think that this is all there is to historic preservation, however, would be to sell it short. Preservation has also become a critically important tool for community development and revitalization.

This type of work was the focus of the tour I took this morning, which was led by the staff of Historic Saint Paul. They showed us several in-process restorations in the Dayton's Bluff and Payne-Phelan areas of east St. Paul, where they are working with lower- and middle-income residents and immigrant communities to use historic preservation as the main tool for revitalizing their neighborhood. Their primary focus is exterior rehabilitation, to improve the streetscape and draw in further investment.
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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.

Wholly Modern

Posted on: October 4th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, MNI've always thought of myself as a modern, forward-thinking woman, except for when it comes to art and architecture, where I have always been something of a 19th-century girl. I used to think that Modernism was a little too sterile and stark for my taste, but over the past few years I have really grown to like it. I can't credit anything for this transformation beyond increased exposure, and the more I learned about mid-century design, the more my perception changed, and now I find it clean and calming--and beautiful. I'll never lose my affection for a fancy cornice, but I now feel similarly fond of simplicity.

I was, therefore, really looking forward to exploring Minneapolis on the tour I took Tuesday. On our way to downtown, we made a side trip to see a neighborhood church--though not a typical one by any stretch of the imagination. Nestled in the Longfellow neighborhood is Christ Church Lutheran, a Modernist masterpiece designed in 1949 by Eliel Saarinen with a 1962 addition by his son Eero. After we spent a few minutes exploring the exterior, built of Minnesota Kasota Stone, Pastor Kristine Carlson welcomed our group in the education wing created by the younger Saarinen and then led us into his father's final commission, the main church building.

Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, MNOne of the first things I noticed was the amazing acoustics of the room; when I wandered to the front of the church to take photos, I could clearly hear Pastor Carlson as she continued speaking to the group. The warm browns and golds of the stone walls and wooden pews glowed in the gentle light shining in through the vertical windows. Even on a morning as cloudy as the one when we were there, it cascades gently through the room, creating a calming, spiritual space. I think one of my fellow tour attendees most accurately summed up the sanctuary when he said that it "conveys the infinite."

More information about the history and design of Christ Church Lutheran can be found here: www.christchurchluth.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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

From Gateway to Greenway

Posted on: October 2nd, 2007 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Marquette Plaza, Minneapolis, MNI spent my day today on a tour called "From Gateway to Greenway: Modernism in Downtown Minneapolis." The weather wasn't ideal for a day outdoors, so I'm soaked from the rain in addition to worn out from walking, but I can say honestly that I think I am a little in love with Minneapolis. I found it to be an incredibly cool city, with a nice mix of historic and modern buildings, lots to do and see, and more green space than any city I have ever visited. It's also very pedestrian-friendly, with paths and footbridges making it easy to get around. (As a person who doesn't own a car, I have a soft spot for cities that like those of us who travel by foot.) Tour leaders Liz Gales and Todd Grover, along with several guest guides, did a fantastic job of sharing both their knowledge of the city's history and architecture and their enthusiasm for the place they call home.

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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.

Public Outcry Slows Tomb Process

Posted on: September 28th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

There is some positive news to report concerning the Trust’s efforts to convince public officials to preserve, not replace, the Tomb of the Unknowns. This week—in response to public uproar—the Senate adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585) that would delay any hasty action regarding the Tomb of the Unknowns. Even though the Senate will not finalize the measure before the Army’s September 30th deadline, the outcry over the Cemetery’s plan and the resulting interest in Congress has forced the Army to delay action.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Akaka (D-HI) and cosponsored by Senator Webb (D-VA), also requires the Secretaries of the Army and Veterans Affairs to determine the feasibility of repairing, rather than replacing, the monument and to report the findings to Congress.

Click here for more information on this issue—and to find out how to lend your support to the cause to save the original, authentic Tomb, one of our most important war memorials and our only national monument to those who fought in World War I.

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.