Conferences

Caution! Tulsa Blogging Ahead!

Posted on: June 12th, 2008 by Lori Feinman

 

FIVE burgers for $1?! Intriguing, and yet disgusting.For some people, the holiday season is their favorite time of year - the presents, the aroma of artificially scented candles, an overabundance of baked goods....not me (except for the baked goods, they're keepers). My favorite time of year is DRY RUN TIME. The conference staff leaves this Sunday for Tulsa to dry-run all the field sessions being offered at the Conference. Hopefully, by now you've received your preliminary program and have looked at what is being offered - a wonderful variety of experiences in a state that has yet to see a National Preservation Conference. In addition to experiencing Tulsa in-depth, we'll visit Oklahoma City, the Cherokee Nation, Bartlesville, Muskogee, Sapulpa, Ponca City, Guthrie, east-bound and west-bound on Route 66, and dozens of other places quirky and wonderful (keep an eye out for the next issue of Preservation, it's all about Tulsa, too).

Our first day includes dry runs of the Tulsa Downtown Safari Walking Tour and the Candlelight House Tour in Maple Ridge. Watch this space for frequent updates, and to whet your appetite for all things Tulsa.

And if I'm wrong and you haven't yet received your Preliminary Program, go to the conference page or see a PDF right away.

Thanks to the National Park Service for this and other great photos of Route 66.

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.

Tour Highlights Preservation Struggle

Posted on: October 11th, 2007 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

Nicollet Island, Minneapolis, Minn.(This post was written as part of PreservationNation’s coverage of the National Preservation Conference, October 2-6, 2007.)

I joined the National Trust Advisors’ tour after the closing session of the National Preservation Conference this past Saturday to get an overview of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Our first stop was on Nicollet Island, a charming place in the middle of the Mississippi River just upriver from St. Anthony Falls. It contains a collection of late 19th century housing, along with a few buildings that reflect its industrial past.

We learned about the struggle between the preservation community and De La Salle High School on the island as the school pushes forward with plans to build a football stadium there. It was depressing to hear about how many of the city’s decision-makers in this matter had ties to the school, and thus pushed to overrule the city’s preservation commission’s denials of the plans. The one bright note is that the National Trust has joined in a suit challenging the actions in the state appeals court.

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.

Rooted in Preservation

Posted on: October 10th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

St. Paul, fading into darkness. (Warren Shaver)(This post was written as part of PreservationNation’s coverage of the National Preservation Conference, October 2-6, 2007.)

From "Root Shock" to root vegetables, the two keynote speeches of the 2007 National Preservation Conference's Closing Plenary differed in their respective topics, but at root (do you get the theme here?), Dr. Mindy Fullilove and Arlin Wasserman shared a key value that is also near and dear to the preservationists sitting in the audience: the critical importance of place.

As we filed in to the Orpheum Theater in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday morning (past many of our familiar colleagues clad in some very unfamiliar attire: straw hats and bandannas. Hmmm, could all of these people have lost a bet, or was it a collective overreaction to Garrison Keillor's admonition that preservationists need to lighten up? More on this mystery in a minute), we were looking forward to an interesting double-bill.

Dr. Fullilove is a social psychologist who focuses on the psychological harm done to individuals when their community is dispersed and their social networks are disrupted. Wasserman, whose work focuses on "terroir"—French for "the taste of place"—is a self-described "foodie" who travels the globe tasting some of the world's greatest food. Wasserman's work forces him to drink Champagne in France, sample arugula in Cuba, and seek out iced cider in Quebec.

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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.

Making Space for Art

Posted on: October 10th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

The multi-story lobby of the Tilsner Artists’ Cooperative in St. Paul

(This post was written as part of PreservationNation’s coverage of the National Preservation Conference, October 2-6, 2007.)

It's a fairly common occurrence that artists are often the earliest residents in neighborhoods, such as warehouse districts, overcoming years of neglect. With the cachet of a vibrant arts community, more and more people and businesses choose to locate in these areas, leading to an economic upturn. The downside, however, is that rents move beyond what artists can afford to pay, and as a result, they end up evicted from very places their presence made "cool."

Friday morning dawned rainy in St. Paul, but it didn't seem to dampen anyone's enthusiasm for a field session called "Adapting Historic Buildings for Artists" -- a look at the work of Artspace, a nationwide nonprofit that started in the Twin Cities. The organization's goal is to create affordable housing for artists, eliminating the "Soho effect," the problem outlined above, so called for the once-artsy, now trendy Manhattan neighborhood.

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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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

Can the Junk, Save the Town

Posted on: October 9th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

(This post was written as part of PreservationNation's coverage of the National Preservation Conference, October 2-6, 2007.)

How do you keep your town looking, feeling, acting, and even preserving as your town and not some other burg up the pike or across the country? That question -- how to hold on to community character (and what benefits accrue when you do) -- informed a special speech by Ed McMahon. This was an early-morning Saturday event, not the primest of times to attract those on the down slope of a long and busy conference. But preservation types are nothing if not enthusiastic and indefatigable, as they proved by showing up in huge numbers for McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute.

He really delivered. Flawlessly mixing humor and truth -- and showing plenty of slides, that beloved mode of making a good point -- McMahon illustrated the often-ignored fact that good design really pays off, not just in dollars but also with social and environmental benefits. He set the stage with the sad observation that “special and unique character has been disappearing faster than ever” but went on to show that communities can and have made U-turns toward saving their individuality.

“The problem is not development but the pattern of development,” McMahon said, flashing us a good slide/bad slide combo of, first, a well-preserved Civil War battlefield building in Virginia (beautiful!), then a high-dreck strip shopping center right next door (phooey!). Guess what, he said. Communities can choose whether or not they want this sort of thing. They can plan against such mistakes. And in the cases where development will happen anyway, they can tell developers and fast-food folks a big-fat “no” to business-as-usual design – then get the much better model. Images of McDonald’s in exquisitely local-appropriate buildings, some of them hard to distinguish from historic structures, proved this beyond a doubt.

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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.