Civic

 

Friends of the High Line and the City of New York, co-creators of the now-famous park on a reused elevated railroad through the west side of Manhattan, unveiled their plans for the third phase of the landmark preservation project at a public meeting last night. Check out the slideshow below for images of how the newly-restored and reimagined section will look:

This phase addresses the rail yards portion of the project at the northern terminus of the High Line, where more than 12 million square feet of new office, residential, retail, and cultural uses are planned for the site as part of the Hudson Yards development above the rail yards.

Construction of the High Line will be closely coordinated with the development of Hudson Yards, with the park fully built out on the majority of the eastern section of the historic railway, and an interim walkway built over the western section. ... 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.

Saving Schools in Shrinking Cities

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Brenna Moloney

Figuring out what to do with empty school buildings is a major preservation conundrum in shrinking cities. The issue isn't one of figuring out what to do with one or two obsolete old buildings once the school district decides to build a new high school somewhere else. The issue goes beyond that and can reach almost epidemic levels. This is true of the two cities I work in for the National Trust and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.

In Saginaw, Michigan, there are about 11 vacant public schools and many more vacant private school buildings. In Lansing, Michigan, the school board is currently debating which of the city’s two major high schools, Eastern or Sexton, is to be closed. With crushing budget constraints, a burgeoning private charter school market, and shrinking populations, these cities can no longer afford the level of educational infrastructure that they currently have and are looking to rightsize.


Lansing's Art Moderne-style Sexton High School. (Photo: redmudball on Flickr)

In addition, many of these buildings are architectural gems. Built in the early 1940s, Sexton High School is an Art Moderne building with curved yellow brick walls and stunning craft tile details on the interior. Opened in the city center in 1928, Lansing's Collegiate Gothic-style Eastern High School sports a copper cupola and gutters, carved arch windows and a slate roof. Additionally, they are both irreplaceable neighborhood anchors and once one of them goes, there is no telling what the future of the neighborhood may hold.... 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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Historic Properties for Sale: $1 School Edition

Posted on: January 6th, 2012 by David Garber 3 Comments

 

Old Lincoln School - Rock Island, Illinois

This city-owned landmark was built in 1894 and is for sale to a qualified developer for redevelopment as mixed-use commercial or residential space. It was listed as one of the 10 most endangered properties in Illinois in 2005. Best part? Pricetag: $1.

Parker-Gray School - Alexandria, Virginia

Located just steps from Old Town Alexandria and the Braddock Road metro station, this 1944 structure needs some TLC to bring it back to its former glory.  Originally constructed as a nursery school for African-American children during WWII, the building became the William Thomas American Legion Post #129, which continued to serve the local African-American community through the 20th century. Pricetag: $675,000.

Barnett Hospital and Nursing School - Huntington, West Virginia

The historic Barnett Hospital and Nursing School is a three story frame and brick veneer building is zoned for residential and/or commercial development. Parking is available on site. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 and is eligible for West Virginia and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits. The building is the only known Black Hospital founded, owned, and administer by a single African-American, Dr. C. C. Barnett, still standing. Dr. Barnett was a first cousin of Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History. Pricetag: $500,000.

David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

Renovating Schools: Good for the Pocketbook & Good for the Soul

Posted on: October 25th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments

 


Buffalo's renovation of 48 older schools created local jobs and incorporated 21st century technology into once-vacant historic buildings like the City Honors School.

Written by Renee Kuhlman

Everyone once in a while, I have to visit a historic building and recharge. Sound familiar? There’s just something about being enveloped in a place that’s seen some history that’s good for my soul.

Last Friday, I got to see several renovated schools in Buffalo, New York courtesy of Conrad Wesolek from LPCiminelli Construction Corp. Did I mention that $1.2 billion (yes, billion) has been invested in renovating old and historic schools in Buffalo?

What fascinated me was the fact that the folks involved couldn’t believe that this wasn’t the norm around the country. They saw these renovations as being good for the school district’s bottom-line.

  • We know that renovation creates more jobs than new construction because it’s more labor intensive.
  • We know that renovation puts more money into the local economy because labor and materials are often produced and acquired locally.
  • We know that public investment in infrastructure increases private investment in surrounding properties.

So like the folks in Buffalo, I struggle to understand why it’s not the norm around the country to reinvest in public school infrastructure.

That’s why we’ve been putting on an educational webinar series with partners such as the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If you missed the webinar series, don’t worry – you can still download them and enjoy them at your leisure.

Additionally, if you have questions about how you can make renovation of older schools a reality in your town, please join our upcoming live chat on November 1 at 2:00 p.m. EST. The live chat will provide you the opportunity to pose questions to experts in many fields, including a representative from the EPA who can answer questions about the first-ever federal school siting guidelines.

Like Buffalo, we at the National Trust believe that renovating older schools shows students, their parents, and other local citizens how historic buildings can be transformed into inspirational, 21st century classrooms. Good for the pocketbook? Yes. But also good for the soul.

Renee Kuhlman directs the Helping Johnny Walk to School project – to help states encourage school siting practices and policy that sustain our communities.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Back to School: New Tools for Local Preservationists

Posted on: October 12th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Renee Kuhlman

New tools, including siting guidelines and model policies for school districts, will help local preservationists make the case for preserving our older and historic schools.

Yesterday I went back to school. Well, at least the modern day version – I joined a webinar.

While I was a presenter on policy recommendations developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I also had the opportunity to learn about three new tools that will help local preservationists preserve their older and historic schools.

Looking for ways to show how walkable your older school is?  About two years ago Brian Fellows with the Arizona Department of Transportation had the bright idea to develop a tool that would help school districts evaluate the walkability of different school locations. With input from many organizations, including the National Trust and the Arizona Department of Health, Brian created a tool that you can use to illustrate to your local school district just how centrally-located and well-placed our older schools really are.

Looking for model siting policies your school district could adoptThe National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity is developing model policies that will help ensure the continued use of older, walkable schools. Sara Zimmerman announced that they’ll be available from their website in two weeks but gave us a preview yesterday.

Among other things, NPLAN’s model school siting guidelines for Local Education Authorities call for:

  •  coordinated planning (National Trust Advisor and former New Hampshire State Senator Martha Fuller-Clark believed so strongly about this need that she successfully introduced Senate Bill 59 which now ensures closer cooperation between municipalities and school districts throughout her state);
  • finding flexibility in the common practice of requiring a minimum number of students per school, which sometimes leads to closing of smaller (usually older) schools;
  • the sharing of space (both within the school and within the community); communities are more likely to maintain and retain older schools which provide lots of utility and are financially viable.

Looking for help to engaging in the siting process? The US Environmental Protection Agency recently-released voluntary school siting guidelines were released with little fanfare. However, I believe the preservation community should pool our admittedly less-than-robust-resources to throw a big celebration.

Missed this great learning opportunity to “go back to school” and learn about these tools? No sweat. You can visit the Safe Routes to School site and download the archived webinar from there. You can also enjoy the rest of the Fall Webinar Series called “Expanding the School Siting Conversation."

DATE

TIME

SUBJECT

October 18 2:00pm EST 11:00am PST State Strategies for School Siting; Locating Schools for Better Health, Environmental, and Fiscal Outcomes
October 25 2:00pm EST 11:00am PST The Environmental Justice and Preservation Concerns of School Siting
November 1 2:00pm EST 11:00am PST A Live Chat on School Siting and Community-Centered Schools

If you want to go back to school from the luxury of your own computer, this is the way to go!

Renee Kuhlman directs the Helping Johnny Walk to School project and always enjoys learning new ways to encourage more community-centered schools. 

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.