Revitalization

 

President Stephanie K. Meeks speaks at the Detroit Economic Club in May, 2014. Credit: Jeff Kowlasky
Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust, stresses the importance of preservation and its vital role in active and sustainable cities during a speech at the Detroit Economic Club in May 2014.

An occupational hazard of my job is that I tend to fall in love with every place I visit -- and I visit a lot of places! Granted, they’re generally among the most special places in the country, all living examples of how preservation contributes to dynamic, attractive cites.

Increasingly, the role of preservation in creating just these kinds of experiences is a topic of conversation that comes up again and again. And the National Trust is doing its part to respond. In fact, this post will be the first of many on this subject in the months ahead.... 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.

Stephanie Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks is president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written in 1961, Jane Jacobs observed, “Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.”

Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring How the Character of Buildings and Blocks Influences Urban Vitality, a new report from Preservation Green Lab, validates Jacobs' long-respected, but largely untested hypothesis -- that neighborhoods containing a mix of older, smaller buildings of different ages support greater levels of positive economic and social activity than areas dominated by newer, larger buildings.

The three study cities -- San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. -- all have extensive older building stock and strong real estate markets. In this toolkit, we share the highlights from the research as well as the steps your community can take to realize similar benefits. (See the full report and methodology here.)... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

CityLove: Chattanooga Edition

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Grant Stevens 2 Comments

 

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Credit: chattanoogafun.com
Chattanooga, Tenn., looking toward Lookout Mountain (center left). From left to right, the bridges are: the Walnut Street Bridge (with the Hunter Museum of American Art at its base), the Market Street Bridge (officially called the the Chief John Ross Bridge), and the P.R. Oligati Bridge. 

Last week, National Trust staff members attended the annual Vanguard gathering hosted by Next City in Chattanooga, Tenn., which is where we are headed for our next edition of CityLove!

While Vanguard attendees and the National Trust staff worked to “collectively learn and think about how to tackle the challenges our cities face," they also spent some time exploring the city.

Chattanooga hasn’t always been so beautiful. In 1969, the federal government declared that Chattanooga had the dirtiest air in the nation, and since then, the city has been on a mission to clean up its image. The road to recovery hasn't been easy (the city lost 10 percent of its population in the 1980s), but substantial private and public investment has turned Chattanooga around, earning it a new nickname -- "The Scenic City."

Now known for its many outdoor attractions like Lookout Mountain (not to mention its Incline Railway), the Raccoon Mountain Caverns, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden, historic preservation is certainly part of the scenery as well.... 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.

Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens

Grant is the Manager of Community Outreach at the National Trust. He's proud to be from a Main Street Community and the Black Dirt Capitol of the World – Conrad, Iowa! Growing up on a farm, he always loved going to town and looking at the historic buildings. Now a resident of DC, Grant enjoys reading, running, and anything rural.

Northampton Native Breathes New Life into Horner Cemetery

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by Steven Piccione 5 Comments

 

Credit: Kelly Schindler/National Trust for Historic Preservation
To this day, descendants of the Horner family return to the cemetery to view the tombstones of their ancestors.

An hour drive’s north of Philadelphia lies Northampton, Pa., a town in an area rich with coal mines and even richer in American history. Its story starts well before the American Revolution, as a frontier settlement of Scottish and Irish immigrants who fled from religious persecution and famine, only to clash with the native Lenape tribe.

While the newly settled community struggled to establish itself in the New World, a woman by the name of Jane Horner was struck in the head by a tomahawk (as the story goes), becoming the first woman killed during the French and Indian War, as well as the namesake for Horner Cemetery.

Nearly invisible from Route 329, Horner Cemetery spreads across a quarter acre of land situated behind a local Presbyterian church. Unkempt, overgrown, and neglected for decades, it was easy to miss. That is, until 2009, when Peggy Moser -- Northampton County born and raised -- took it upon herself to breathe new life into the oldest cemetery in this part of Pennsylvania.
... 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.

Steven Piccione

Steven Piccione

Steven Piccione is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. He enjoys carbonated water, all things British, and living in a city warmer than Chicago. Follow him on Instagram at @stebbsjp.

Millennials Take Cincy: Community Building Through Preservation

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Guest Writer

 

By Daniel Ronan, Program Coordinator, National Public Housing Museum

Credit: OTR A.D.O.P.T.
OTR A.D.O.P.T., Cincinnati Preservation Collective, and UC Preservation Action Network work together to clean out a building for affordable housing in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

When I think of Cincinnati, I think about the Rust Belt. Growing up in the Northwest, I learned about the general decline of the Midwest as a center for American manufacturing, often a narrative of loss and economic devastation. When I visited Cincinnati in mid-March, however, I had the privilege of seeing an entirely different story.

It seems a little hackneyed at this point to say Cincinnati, or Cincy, is in the midst of a renaissance or renewal. But what is happening is a reflection of broader national trends. Millennials are flocking to places of community and history. As seen in places like Philadelphia, Buffalo, N.Y. , and Cleveland, one of the main ways millennials are getting involved in community building efforts is through historic preservation, which promotes economic stability and community identity.... 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.