Green

 

Older and historic buildings are the heart and soul of our communities. They provide character, history, and authenticity, making our main streets and neighborhoods places that we love, not just places to live. (That’s a big reason why we’re preservationists, right?)

What’s more, many older buildings are inherently just as sustainable, if not more so, than new ones. The National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab (PGL) is focused on helping historic communities maximize their energy efficiency potential and vitality. And in the end, we believe our main streets will outlive the chain stores and franchises.

There are 1.5 million commercial buildings more than 50 years old in America, so we have opportunities at every turn to make sure the places we love are sustainable, high-performing, and vibrant for years to come. Here are eight strategies to help you build a sustainable preservation movement in your community.... 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.

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.

Restoration and Repurpose of The Mill in Freedom, Maine

Posted on: March 27th, 2014 by Steven Piccione

 


"Reviving the Freedom Mill" will be shown at the 2014 Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 30, at 12:00 p.m.

When Tony Grassi, a retired investment banker, first visited the abandoned and dilapidated historic grist mill in Freedom, Maine, he was taken in by the value of the building not only for its connection to early American history, but also for the potential revitalizing effects it could have on the small town.

“It was literally a rotting mill,” Grassi said to Bangor Daily News. “It was terrible. We walked by and thought, ‘What a beautiful structure. And what a tragedy.’”

The story that unfolds from that first visit entails a renovation process that started in 2008 and culminated late last year. What makes the project unique are the ways Grassi approached the renovation from both a preservationist and environmentalist angle.... 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.

What Main Street Can Teach Us About Sustainable Preservation

Posted on: March 14th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Ric Cochrane, Associate Director of Preservation Green Lab


Lewiston has a long history of a strong local economy, starting with its location on deep-water accessible Snake and Clearwater rivers, allowing its locals to ship timber, grain, and other products to the Pacific Ocean.

I’m from Lewiston, Idaho, the aluminum jet boat capital of the world, entrance to Hell’s Canyon, and home of the Potlatch lumber mill. Twenty years ago, when my mom ran a shop on Lewiston’s Main Street, it was the heart of town -- until Wal-Mart, Costco, and other national franchises moved in and Downtown Lewiston started a long struggle to survive.

Today, thanks to the Beautiful Downtown Lewiston initiative, Main Street is once again alive and on its way to becoming the next designated Main Street within the National Main Street Center network.

I think Downtown Lewiston is going to long outlive the chain stores and franchises. Why? Because the downtown movement is led by people who care about each other and take a long view of prosperity. If I sound like some small-town rube or an idealist, that’s OK. I have evidence to indicate that Main Streets are our future.... 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.

CityLove: Boise According to Local Preservationist Kris Wilson

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 by Grant Stevens 4 Comments

 

Kris Wilson, Program Manager at the Idaho Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Credit: Kris Wilson
Kris Wilson, Program Manager at the Idaho Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council

As part of the CityLove Blog series, we wanted to highlight a local leader -- someone who is in the city, living the preservation-minded, place-loving life. For this month’s city of Boise, we chose Kris Wilson, Program Manager at the Idaho Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. We hope you enjoy our chat with him!... 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.

Melissa Jest Reveals Preservation’s Best-Kept Secret to Saving Places

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Brent Leggs, Author, Preserving African American Historic Places, and Field Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House. Credit: Melissa Jest
Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House

Sitting in the beautiful and historic St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., sipping on a gimlet, preservation advocate Melissa Jest admires the space:“This place is a wonderful example of preservation in action.”

As we began to sip our drinks and discover the layers of history around us, Jest said:  “The tools used to save St. Regis shouldn’t be kept a secret. What if local developers [from diverse communities] had the tools to bring life to vacant and fragile historic resources?”

To Jest, preservation has the potential to go to scale and increase its impact. She says cities with years of disinvestment can recover when preservation tools are used by developers at every level. As we continued to chat about preservation’s potential, I posed four questions that begin to reveal her thoughts for sustaining community character.... 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.