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Historic Real Estate: The Farming Edition

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by Emily Potter 1 Comment

 

blog_photo_North Carolina Farm House
The historic farm house in Star, NC.

Spacious Rambling Farm House -- Star, North Carolina

Classic country living, this rambling farm house sits on just over 1.8 acres. Built in 1900, you get all the original features, like 9-foot ceilings, a rock fireplace, and wrap-around front porch, but also more modern amenities, including an eat-at bar in the kitchen and updated wiring and plumbing (thank goodness!). Price tag: $120,000

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The original stone farm house of Michael Rugh (left) and an addition (right).

Historic Farm House of Michael Rugh -- Murrysville, Pennsylvania

Michael Rugh, an early resident in this area of Pennsylvania and a prominent attorney, built the house around 1790. Relax in the family room and look out over three acres of land through floor to ceiling windows, or enjoy the fully loaded master bedroom suite, complete with a private dressing area and spa bath. Price tag: $849,000

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A section of the Bluegrass Farm.

Bluegrass Farm -- Scott County, Kentucky

Bluegrass Farm is a beautiful 118 acres that runs along scenic Route 460 between Paris and Georgetown in Kentucky. It comes with a 16-stall horse barn and Morton building for farm equipment. In true preservation form, the land is restricted from development except for two residences, barns, and any buildings necessary to run the farm. Price tag: $1,770,000

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.

Find Funding: How to Apply for Grants from the National Trust Preservation Fund

Posted on: January 14th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 5 Comments

 

Written by Brendan McCormick, Grants & Awards Assistant

Interior of the Eygyptian Theatre, Coos Bay, Oregon. Credit: Oregonkat, flickr
Interior of the Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay, Oregon.

Fun fact: In 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded more than $1 million to nearly 200 projects across the country through its small grant program. This annual program supports local preservation organizations’ efforts to preserve and protect important places in their communities.

In the Grants office, we field calls and questions throughout the year about our grants program from people eager to do similar work in their communities. So we compiled a quick Q&A to help guide potential applicants. Read on to learn how a grant from the National Trust might be available to kickstart a preservation project in your hometown.... 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.

Preservation Round-Up: The Oldest Distillery in the U.S. Edition

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by Emily Potter

 

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The oldest distillery in the U.S., Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Did You Know? -- Bricks + Mortar

“Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky is the oldest continually operation distillery in the US?* Its 130-acre facility includes 4 centuries of architecture that is well-maintained and fully operational!”

The Sweet Sound of Renovation: A Concert Hall Loft -- Apartment Therapy

“Adaptive reuse is one of the best forms of creative and eco-friendly construction. Whether it's a former school house or church, buildings with a past life often make for some of the most interesting homes and interiors. This social hall in New York City is no exception -- the 32-foot barrel arched ceilings, porthole windows, stage lighting and old wood floors make a for a one-of-a-kind residence.”

Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg Will Be Demolished -- Philly.com

“A 14-year battle over the fate of a modern structure at the heart of Gettysburg National Military Park is over. The National Park Service said Thursday that it would begin demolishing the Cyclorama building as soon as February, clearing the site ahead of the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle.”

Overdue Convenience of the Day: City Hall as Food Truck -- Atlantic Cities

“How did it take so long for this to happen? Boston's Brutalist City Hall building, designed by Paul Rudolph, may be the least popular City Hall in the country. It has only two stars on Yelp. And, like all government buildings, it is the site of bleak bureaucratic pilgrimages in search of forms and documents.”

A History of Home -- Sustainable Cities Collective

“We are often entrapped in the world of the now. We hardly ever look back, but it is surprising to find that once we do, we find the past is still lingers in every object around us. After having read Lucy Worsley's "If Walls Could Talk: An intimate history of the home," I look at my current spartan surroundings with a new appreciation.”

The Genius of Traditional Buildings -- Urban Indy

“Have you ever been to an old downtown and marveled at the historic buildings? Have you ever wondered how they could create such beautiful buildings on such small budgets, compared to the placeless architecture we are told is barely affordable today?”

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.

Remembering Architecture Critic Ada Louise Huxtable

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 by Gwendolyn Purdom

 

"On Architecture" by Ada Louise Huxtable.

The built environment lost one of its pillars this week when renowned architecture critic and ardent preservationist Ada Louise Huxtable passed away Monday at age 91. As the first full-time architecture critic for a daily American newspaper, Huxtable won the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded for distinguished criticism in 1970, seven years after she joined the New York Times staff in 1963. In recent years, her writing appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

“Ada Louise Huxtable was one of the earliest and most consistent champions of preservation and the need for humanity in architecture,” says National Trust Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer David J. Brown. “Her thoughtful perspective, along with her witty and sometimes sharp tongue, made her a force to be reckoned with in the field of planning, urban design, and preservation -- and a must-read for New Yorkers. She will be missed.”... 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.

Ten Remarkable Preservation Wins of 2012

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 3 Comments

 

Michigan Bell Building, Detroit. Credit: NSO
Michigan Bell Building, Detroit.

We at the National Trust are in a celebratin' mood ... it could be the beautiful decorations in our headquarters lobby, or the holiday cookies that keep appearing on conference tables, or the simple fact that 2012 marked some terrific achievements in preservation.

So before we all rush into 2013, eager and excited to save even more places, we just wanted to reflect on our favorite successes from this year -- and hopefully hear what you accomplished in your communities as well. Share your big moments in the comments!... 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.

In Search of the Best Historic Home

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by Gwendolyn Purdom

 


The James Madison house, Brookeville, MD. (Photo: Bill O'Leary, Washington Post - courtesy of Sandy Heiler)

When the Washington Post approached the National Trust for Historic Preservation in July about potentially offering our expertise for a local Historic Home Contest, we were excited to partner with the newspaper for the project.

Katherine Malone-France, the Trust’s director of Outreach, Education, & Support in our Historic Sites department, served as one of three judges for the popular contest designed to choose the area’s most impressive historic house based on “overall appearance and beauty; historical accuracy, how true to the original architecture the home has been restored; and contemporary creativity – how well modern changes have been incorporated in a way that preserves the character-defining features of the home.”

Sandy and Duane Heiler of Brookeville, Md., owners of the 18th century James Madison house, won the grand prize, a two-night stay at the Churchill Hotel, one of the Historic Hotels of America properties in the District (two runners-up received a year’s membership to the National Trust), in October.

We caught up with Malone-France after the contest wrapped up to get her reflections on judging, the right restoration balance, and the difference really specific fabric choices can make:

You and your two fellow judges, architect Simon Jacobsen and Post staff writer Jura Koncius, must have had the full spectrum of perspectives.

We did, it was a really good team. I think we were all on the same page about what we wanted to see and what we didn’t want to see, and what, to us, would have represented a quality restoration. We were all detail-oriented but then we could all also step back and say, “What’s the general feel?”


The James Madison house, Brookeville, MD. (Photo: Bill O'Leary, Washington Post - courtesy of Sandy Heiler)

What were you looking for?

We wanted to see preservation of historic features throughout. I think we were all looking to see that they had really guarded their historic fabric closely.

We all pretty much agreed on how we wanted to see modern intrusions. And I think the other thing we all agreed on was we didn’t want to see something that had been overrestored. In each of these places, it wasn’t like every molding was pristine. We wanted to see places that were clearly lived in; they weren’t just museum properties.

Can you tell me about the two runners up?

The whole pool had a great diversity of rural, suburban, urban, and a great diversity of Maryland, the District, and Virginia. And the final three really bore that out too. The Lord Fairfax House, which is in Alexandria, VA is a very high style, early 19th century home that was the home of Lord Fairfax, a tremendously significant, landmark property that its owners just lovingly and graciously had not only restored but really added great spaces for living and entertaining seamlessly.

And then Brad and Jim, they had a rowhouse in [the Shaw neighborhood of DC]. One of those great preservation stories where it had been abandoned, just totally beaten up and allowed to deteriorate and they came and brought it absolutely back from the dead.

The Lord Fairfax House to me was so much about great, consistent stewardship of a really significant place, and Jim and Brad’s place was about preservation’s ability to bring something back from a point where you don’t think it can even come back. Where they needed to replicate finishes, they taught themselves how, so very hands on. The owner of the Lord Fairfax House also described to us scraping away paint with a dental pick, so I loved that they had both been really involved with the process.


The James Madison house, Brookeville, MD. (Photo: Bill O'Leary, Washington Post - courtesy of Sandy Heiler)

Can you tell me about the winning house?

The Heilers, the owners, had been fortunate enough to come into a situation in which the house had had owners all along who knew well enough not to do anything to it or hadn’t really had the funds or the time, so it had been left alone pretty much. Mrs. Heiler, Sandy, had finished her career and gone back to school and gotten a degree in historic preservation and they’d lived in a historic house in Massachusetts and then come down, so they certainly are not amateurs by any stretch of the imagination.

But I was so struck by how respectful they were. Any time they had added something it was done so minimally, so tastefully, it wasn’t underdone but it wasn’t overdone. I remember Jura, the [Post’s] design reporter, at one point saying “These are the best bathrooms in a historic house I have ever seen.”

One thing they did was a ton of research on the house and its owners. The man who owned it had been a silversmith and they have framed hanging next to the door one of his [engraved] cards. When they got ready to add their little kitchen addition, they could see that there had been a little pantry addition there so they, again, just followed the clues the house had left for them.

I mean you went out on the little sun porch in the back and the couch, the upholstery on it was a toile, but it was a toile that featured figures from the War of 1812, so every single little detail was so harmonious with the house’s history.

Do you think this is something we will be involved in again in the future?

I don’t know, we certainly had a good time and everything went well. All three of the finalists were National Trust members and I think at one house Preservation magazine arrived while we were doing the judging. So it was really great to have the Trust involved. Because this is the kind of thing our members are doing and they deserve recognition for it. I would love it if every major city’s paper had a contest like this! Looking at this whole pool, historic preservation is alive and well in this area both as sort of a personal value and a movement. They were examples of people who love their historic houses so much.

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.