General

Restoration Blogging

Posted on: October 15th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

Now seems like as good a time as any to mention another blog produced by the National Trust for Historic Preservation: The President Lincoln's Cottage blog. After all, the cottage will be opening to the public in just a few months, and was the subject of a great article in yesterday's New York Times.

President Lincoln's Cottage, described as a 19th century Camp David, is undergoing a complete transformation in preparation for its February debut. Staff at the cottage are writing about the restoration, the history of the Lincoln presidency, the site's role in DC, and more. It's a fun and fascinating look at the creation of a historic site. Check it out.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: October 11th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

Rebirth Brass Band, New Orleans, La.The Convention and Visitors Bureau of New Orleans depends heavily on the marketing appeal of crowds parading through the streets of its neighborhoods in a “second line” following a brass band. The occasion can be a happy one when, for example, one of the city’s many Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs comes out on a Sunday, just for the joy of parading. Sometimes the mood is somber, when the crowds gather to remember someone who has passed away.

Last Monday, Rebirth Brass Band snare drummer Derrick Tabb and his brother, trombonist Glen David Andrews, received citations from the New Orleans Police Department for disturbing the peace and parading without a permit. Both learned later at their arraignment that they were also charged with "disturbing the peace by tumultuous manner." The procession was prompted by the death of their friend, a tuba player, the previous week. As the two men’s attorney put it after their appearance in municipal court, the charge "speaks volumes about the disconnect between some officers and the culture of New Orleans.” The two men entered innocent pleas.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

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.

Mrs. Bennett is Home at Last

Posted on: October 3rd, 2007 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

A worker putting the finishing touches on the Bennett house this morning.It was nearly two years ago when we were first introduced to Mildred Bennett and her pink shotgun house on Dauphine Street in New Orleans’ Holy Cross neighborhood. Last Friday, Kevin Mercadel (the National Trust's field office program officer) and I met at the Bennett house for another walk-through of the house with the general contractor and Mrs. Bennett’s granddaughter, who has been steadfastly pushing this project to completion. With the construction materials removed from the rooms, the floors cleaned, and the ceiling fans operating in every room, the place began to feel like a someone’s home again. We have had many failed predictions in the past, but I am happy to report that Mrs. Bennett’s homecoming happened today.

Welcome home, Mrs. Bennett.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

(Updated to replace photo.)

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.

News from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: October 1st, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

When the city of New Orleans began its demolition program early in 2006, the National Trust was among the interested parties who came to the table to help draft the procedures which would ensure that historic properties were adequately reviewed by FEMA and protected if possible. Sixteen months later, I was at the table again, this time to talk about how things have gone so far and what needs to be revised. The revisions are prompted because as of September 30, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is no longer the demolition contractor. These responsibilities will now fall to the City of New Orleans.

FEMA’s Historic Preservation staff reported that of the 9,000 properties proposed for demolition by the city using FEMA funds, 780 (nine percent) were determined to be National Register eligible. The good news is that one-third of these National Register eligible properties were removed from the demolition list as a result of the process we helped lay out to force the consideration of alternatives to demolition. Nevertheless, this still leaves 522 historic properties on the demolition list. About 100 of these have been selectively salvaged to date—again a provision of the agreement. The city is not ready to take on the demolition process, so any progress we have made so far could be stalled.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

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.

Public Outcry Slows Tomb Process

Posted on: September 28th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

There is some positive news to report concerning the Trust’s efforts to convince public officials to preserve, not replace, the Tomb of the Unknowns. This week—in response to public uproar—the Senate adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585) that would delay any hasty action regarding the Tomb of the Unknowns. Even though the Senate will not finalize the measure before the Army’s September 30th deadline, the outcry over the Cemetery’s plan and the resulting interest in Congress has forced the Army to delay action.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Akaka (D-HI) and cosponsored by Senator Webb (D-VA), also requires the Secretaries of the Army and Veterans Affairs to determine the feasibility of repairing, rather than replacing, the monument and to report the findings to Congress.

Click here for more information on this issue—and to find out how to lend your support to the cause to save the original, authentic Tomb, one of our most important war memorials and our only national monument to those who fought in World War I.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.