Author Archive

[10 on Tuesday] How to Preserve Historic Cemeteries and Burial Grounds

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern

 

We recently shared how to research the history of historic cemeteries and burial grounds; now it’s time to start saving them. Here are 10 critical steps for preserving historic burial grounds:

1. Determine -- and coordinate with -- the congregation, owners, or governing agency responsible for the land. Cemeteries or burial grounds may be associated with a religious organization, located on private property (which the descendants of those buried there might still own), or under the control of a state or local government. In any event, it’s critical to get the owners on board early for the site’s restoration.... 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.

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.

Oregon’s Civic Stadium: "We Don't Want to Hear Strike Three"

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 2 Comments

 

The last Eugene Emeralds opening day at Civic Stadium, in 2009. Photo courtesy Tom Clifton, Flickr.
The last Eugene Emeralds opening day at Civic Stadium in 2009.

It's one of only a dozen wooden ballparks still standing in the United States, and one of only five remaining built by the Works Progress Administration.

In its last season in use, it was the 9th oldest minor league ballpark in the country, and 3rd oldest west of the Rockies.

Eugene, Oregon's Civic Stadium has historic chops galore -- and yet, it sits unoccupied, slowly deteriorating. It is not, however, unloved or forgotten. The work of the Friends of Civic Stadium (FOCS) sees to that. The avid group of local preservationists have been working tirelessly to convince the stadium's owners, Eugene's School District 4J, to find a solution that will provide the historic stadium a new lease on life.... 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.

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.

Twitter Chat Reminder: Getting Kids Interested in Preservation

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by Sarah Heffern

 

Instilling a love of architecture from a young age: My nephews built the Fallingwater LEGO set at the ages of seven and four. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Heffern)
Instilling a love of architecture from a young age: My nephews built the Fallingwater LEGO set in 2011, at the ages of 7 and 4.

On our way to a baseball game a few weeks ago, I had an awkward moment with my 9-year-old nephew as we passed a building slated for demolition near the ballpark.

“Auntie Sarah,” he said, “I want to be here when they blow up that building. I think watching a building blow up would be so cool!”

My preservationist heart skipped a beat. How could the boy I’d been indoctrinating with architecture-themed LEGOs since he was 6 think blowing up a building was cool?... 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.

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.

[10 on Tuesday] How to Preserve Places of Worship, Part One

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

A few blocks from my home in Washington, D.C., a non-denominational Christian church is housed in what once was an Irish-Catholic church (as the Celtic cross adorning the steeple makes clear). It always reminds me of the fluid and adaptable nature of our communities, and how a single building can be a part of many histories.

Preservationists, of course, have a role in maintaining that continuity, but because of the spiritual and emotional significance of religious spaces, it’s important to approach them sensitively. In particular, conflict can arise if there’s a feeling that preservationists are prioritizing the building over the religious group’s spiritual needs.

Today’s toolkit offers 10 questions to ask to make sure you’re keeping the congregation’s needs at the forefront of the preservation process. Next week, we’ll delve deeper into the nitty-gritty of the rehabilitation and/or re-use of religious buildings.... 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.

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.

 

In popular culture, cemeteries have something of a bad reputation, considered by many to be sad or creepy on their best day, and downright haunted on their worst. But this is by no means a complete or accurate view; they also can be beautiful, peaceful, historic, and educational.

Overall, cemeteries need to be well-researched and preserved so they can tell us more about how people in the past viewed death and burial. This toolkit is designed to help you start researching cemeteries; you can find more information on how to save them in our publication Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds.

Please note: In this post we’ve focused on 17th - 19th century burial grounds -- essentially non-modern churchyards, cemeteries, and family plots. A future toolkit will take on prehistoric and Native American sacred and burial sites.

1. Be sensitive. If there is a golden rule to the preservation of cemeteries and burial grounds, it is to be aware that our diverse country is home to a wide variety of burial customs. Take into account cultural sensitivities when working above-ground, and employ only professional, trained archaeologists for below-ground research.

... 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.

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.