Architecture

The Devil's Advocate Guide to National Register Listing

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Guest Writer 4 Comments

 

by Aaron M. Dougherty, Will Interpret for Food

Historic Patten House (1898) in Palatine, Ill. Credit: chicagogeek, Flickr.
Historic Patten House (1898) in Palatine, Ill.

If you’re a preservation enthusiast, inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places comes with a lot of perks. (Read a quick primer here.) If you're not, you may think that George Washington’s inconsiderate decision to sleep in the 300-year-old farmhouse you just inherited is going to cause you a lot of headaches.

I’m not here to tell you about all the great things that will happen for you if you get registered. I’m here to play devil’s advocate: to tell you that if don’t want this kind of attention, the worst thing that could happen with federal registration is that you just ... keep on keeping on.

Why should your house be on the National Register? Well, why not?... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

Lustrons: Building an American Dream House

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 29 Comments

 

Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel. Credit: Library of Congress.
Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel sheets. Located in Chesterton, Indiana, this Lustron home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

They were literally building the American dream.

In the late 1940s, soldiers returning from World War II dreamed of the idyllic life: a happy family, a lovely suburban home. But the post-war period instead brought a housing crisis. In response, Lustron promised a dream house -- signed, sealed, delivered.

An innovative solution by Chicago industrialist Carl Strandlund, the Lustron house is made of prefabricated porcelain enameled steel, shipped and put together wherever you wanted -- an IKEA home, if you will. Inside, families could sit around a built-in, glossy-surfaced table, eating home-cooked dinners in cozy domestic bliss.

As Strandlund advertised, “What Lustron offers is a new way of 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

A. Quincy Jones: Modern Architecture's Team Player

Posted on: July 26th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54. A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, Architects. Credit: Jason Schmidt, Courtesy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54.

A. Quincy Jones really liked to collaborate.

That, more than anything, is what I took away from the current exhibit at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum, A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living, part of the current Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and the first major retrospective of the often-overlooked architect’s work who contributed so much to late mid-century modern design.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

Coming to Drayton Hall: Historic Preservation in 3D

Posted on: July 22nd, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

130722_blog_photo_3Dhall3D
Welcome to history's future. Drayton Hall, a National Trust site in Charleston, South Carolina, follows Colonial Williamsburg in going digital.

Unpack your bag, because you won’t need one for this virtual adventure. Introducing the latest in preservation technology: 3D imaging.

Now, you might be thinking, 3D has been around forever. Visualization software is now common for architects and designers. But for preservation and public history, it means something more: the magic of recreating lost space and time.... 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford's "Architecture of Seduction"

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn

 

130711_blog_photo_fireisland5
Modernist architect Horace Gifford designed many houses in New York's Fire Island, a gay summer vacation spot.

New York’s Fire Island, a sliver of land flanking Long Island’s south shore, has long been known to come alive in the summer as a vivacious gay vacation spot. The flip-side of this identity is the island’s reputation for breathtaking natural beauty, and both served as an inspiration to modernist architect Horace Gifford in the 1960s.

Gifford designed and built 63 homes on the island in total, embracing cedar and glass as his materials, as well as high ceilings and lots of natural light. Christopher Rawlins, architect and author of Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, a new book exploring Gifford’s life and work, uses the latter phrase to describe Gifford's Fire Island aesthetic. ... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.