Revitalization

 

Today we're pleased to kick off a new series from guest blogger Michael Allen, founder and director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis. Over the next few weeks, he'll share the remarkable transformation of the power plant at St. Louis' City Hospital building -- the only historic power plant building in the United States that has been reused for a large-volume recreational purpose (in this case, a climbing gym!).

Our hope: that Michael's example of inventive preservation from his hometown inspires you to look at your local places with new eyes and fresh ideas. So if you have any questions or insights during the series, please share in the comments! -- J.R.
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Postcard view showing the completed group of Georgian Revival hospital buildings designed by Albert B. Groves, sometime after 1912. Credit: Preservation Research Office.
Postcard view showing the completed group of Georgian Revival hospital buildings designed by Albert B. Groves, sometime after 1912.

The stately red brick Power Plant at City Hospital today stands as a testament to the transformative power of adaptive reuse. The building now houses an indoor climbing gym as well as two restaurant spaces currently being built out. Few traces remain of the building’s long period of vacancy after City Hospital closed in 1985, and the boilers and generators that made this building an integral part of the hospital for 48 years have been removed.

Yet the form of the building, the lofty machine hall inside, and the building’s tall smokestack appear much as they did when drawn under the supervision of municipal architect Albert A. Osburg as part of a Public Works Administration-aided reinvention of the crowded City Hospital into a modern medical facility serving the city’s poor. After completion in 1937, the Power Plant has been a key part of the hospital’s three phases of life: service, abandonment, and renewal.... 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.

Michael R. Allen

Michael R. Allen is the Director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, which he founded in 2009. Recent activities include learning video editing and naming his cat after Oscar Niemeyer.

 

Last month, we gave you a basic road map to help you navigate securing local historic district designation for your community. Today’s toolkit will focus on one of those steps: determining the edges of your district.... 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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

Holiday Magic on Main Street: Highlights from 2012

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Big Bright Light Show, Rochester, Michigan. Credit: Brad Ziegler
Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester, Michigan.

As everyone trickles back to work this week, we find ourselves already nostalgic about the holiday magic that brought Main Streets across the country alive during this festive season. In today's post (adapted from Conan Cheong's Main Street Story of the Week) we look at the downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts that gathered revelers together to enjoy light shows, caroling, and special shopping experiences with local merchants.

Here are some of the highlights:... 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.

[SLIDESHOW] How Preservation Transformed Two Small Towns in Kansas

Posted on: December 26th, 2012 by Gwendolyn Purdom 3 Comments

 

For our upcoming winter issue of Preservation magazine, I had a chance to travel to rural Plainville and Hays, Kansas, where I spent a few days with entrepreneur Chuck Comeau, the founder of Dessin Fournir and a designer who has been buying up empty historic storefronts and reviving them to house his luxury furnishings business and other ventures for nearly 20 years.

The magazine didn’t have enough pages to include all the cool pictures photographer Jason Dailey took of these now-vibrant communities, so we’ve put together a slideshow for you with some of the shots that didn’t make it to print. Enjoy!

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.

 

Stephanie Barber, president of the Hamlin Park Taxpayers & Community Association, hands the keys to Lyth Cottage over to Matthew Newton. Credit: David Torke, fixBuffalo
Stephanie Barber, president of the Hamlin Park Taxpayers & Community Association, hands the keys to Lyth Cottage over to Matthew Newton.

Matthew Newton first laid eyes on his dream house while browsing a list of buildings that the city government of Buffalo, NY was selling for $1.

Lyth Cottage was in grave disrepair, but Newton was able to look past the boarded-up windows and broken front steps to the structure’s former glory, when it served as a home for the servants of a terra cotta tile maven, Alfred Lyth, in the late 1800s.

“This was obviously a unique house, far different from all of the other ones,” Newton says. “I didn’t know where it was located really, and then I just decided I had to have it right away.”... 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.