Revitalization

 

Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University. Credit: The Texas Collection, Baylor University
Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University.

For the past 40 years, David and Mary Wolff have spent long weekends leaving their home in Houston, Texas, and driving 83 miles northwest, crossing the Brazos River and watching as hay bales replace skyscrapers, until they pulled into the driveway of their ranch home in Independence, Texas.

An unincorporated village in Texas’ Washington County, Independence was founded in 1835 and 10 years later was the chosen site of Baylor University. Sam Houston once called Independence home, as did a number of European immigrants, and during the 1850s, the village was the wealthiest community in the state.

But after the Civil War, Independence’s economy changed. The railroad bypassed the town, and Baylor relocated to Waco. The farmland remained active, though, and the town carried on.

When the Wolffs bought their Independence ranch in 1973, they didn’t know much about the village, beyond its unparalleled natural beauty.... 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.

Marcus Books: Oldest African-American Bookstore Fights to Stay Open

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 6 Comments

 

Marcus Bookstores has a second branch in Oakland, California. The bookstores are named after Marcus Garvey, author of Philosophy and Opinions. Credit: Steve Rhodes, Flickr.
Marcus Books: San Franciscans hope landmark designation and city resolution will save the oldest African-American-owned bookstore in the country.

“The African-American experience has always been told,” says Reverend Arnold Townsend, vice president of the NAACP San Francisco chapter. “In the bookstore, it never dies because it’s in print.”

Marcus Books opened in 1960 in San Francisco’s historically black Fillmore district. Now, the country’s oldest African-American-owned bookstore is at risk of closure.... 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.

The House that Radio Built: NPR's New Headquarters Celebrates Preservation

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments

 

NPR’s new headquarters building, where old effortlessly meets shiny and new.
NPR’s new headquarters building, where old effortlessly meets shiny and new.

For most people, moving means cardboard boxes, heavy lifting, and forgetting where you packed your underwear. However, for National Public Radio, a recent relocation meant making something old new again.

NPR’s shiny new headquarters is built atop the National Register-listed Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company Warehouse. As an anchor in an emerging neighborhood, the organization is a terrific example of how preservation supports the future.

National Trust correspondents Jason Clement and Julia Rocchi had the chance to tour the building. Here’s what they thought -- to quote NPR’s “founding mother” Susan Stamberg -- of “the house that radio built.”... 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.

Deer Lodge, Montana's Rialto Theater Rises from the Ashes

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 3 Comments

 

Historic Photo of the Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge, Mont., c. 1942. Credit: Rialto Community Theater, Inc.Ccollection
The Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge, Mont., c. 1942

It’s often said that small towns enjoy an enhanced sense of community; they are places where neighbors work together, help one another, and pitch in for the common good. Nowhere does that seem to be truer than in Deer Lodge, a tiny town of 3,400 located an hour and a half southeast of Missoula, in western Montana.

Since 1921, Deer Lodge's Rialto Theater has sat at the heart of the town, and as the only auditorium in the area, hosted events from rotary talent shows to weekend movies. In 1995, with the National Register-listed theater deteriorating and its ownership no longer able to maintain it, members of the community banded together to form Rialto Community Theater, Inc., a nonprofit that would run the theater and lead a restoration project.

By 2006, the organization had poured more than $100,000 into upgrading the theater. Then, disaster struck.

... 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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

By Linda Feagler, senior editor of Ohio Magazine

Ohio Auditorium restored. Credit: PlayhouseSquare Archives
Ohio Auditorium restored

Critics called him crazy.

Even well-wishers who offered Ray Shepardson sincere support couldn’t believe the school administrator’s crusade to preserve four historic theaters in Cleveland, Ohio, could possibly succeed.

But it did -- and then some.

Today, Shepardson’s once improbable effort is Cleveland’s crown jewel: His rescue not only initiated the world’s largest theater restoration project (totaling some $100 million), it transformed that quartet of crumbling venues into a revitalized PlayhouseSquare, one of the largest performing-arts complexes in the country (second only to New York’s Lincoln Center).... 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.