Interviews

[Slideshow] Exploring "Iconic" Places with Photographer Brian Vanden Brink

Posted on: March 29th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

ICONIC Book Jacket/Cover, 2012.

Brian Vanden Brink has been photographing unforgettable historic places since the 1970s, when he moved to the coast of Maine and began shooting for architects and magazines. Since then, he has cemented a reputation as one of the nation’s foremost architectural photographers.

“The images in Iconic, my sixth book, cover more than 35 years of this work -- my whole photographic life,” he says. “It’s almost like a personal travel journal documenting experiences with buildings I feel are important ... Whether it’s because of the way these structures sit in the landscape -- or what they represent culturally or socially -- I felt they had to be brought together for readers to see and appreciate.”

James H. Schwartz, the National Trust’s vice president for editorial and creative strategy, recently spoke with Brian to learn more about his work and inspirations.... 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.

 

Julia Bache and homeowner Elaine Taylor in front of the Buck Creek School. Credit: Lisa Bache
Julia Bache and homeowner Elaine Taylor in front of the Buck Creek School

Girls Scouts are well known for selling delicious cookies. But how many of them are known for saving important places?

Julia Bache, a sophomore at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, is working hard to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Girl Scouting's highest achievement, with a seven-step project to solve a community problem or perform a public service. Her focus: helping to preserve the Buck Creek Rosenwald School.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

Before 2008, M. Rosalind Sagara didn't know many details about the history of the Chinese community in Riverside, Calif. Now, you could say she is one of the most engaged experts on the story of the area’s early immigrants, as she leads her community’s efforts to preserve the very beginnings of their Chinese American history.

blog_photo_GW Tour
Sagara (center) on the George Wong History Walk in Riverside, Calif. George Wong was the last resident of Riverside’s Chinatown, and the walk takes guests on a tour of his life. ... 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.

Stories from the Sea: A WWII Battleship Gets a Historic Blog

Posted on: March 6th, 2013 by Gwendolyn Purdom 4 Comments

 

Reflection. Credit: Battleship North Carolina
Battleship North Carolina

In its years at sea, the USS North Carolina held more than 2,300 aboard at one time; was the first of ten fast battleships to join the American fleet in World War II; and participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations, earning 15 battle stars. When the battleship was set to be scrapped in 1958, a group of citizens banded together to save the vessel and bring her back to her home state.

Five decades later, the ship’s storied history is getting a different form of preservation through Sea Stories, the Battleship North Carolina’s new blog. Launched on January 24, the web series posts actual firsthand accounts of life on the ship, which now serves as a WWII memorial and museum, each week.

We caught up with Battleship Promotions Director Heather Loftin to find out more about the unique project.... 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.

 

Bishop Frederick C. James (screenshot). Credit: Tracy Hayes
Bishop Frederick C. James

How's this for a vision? "The rehabilitation [of] Howard Junior High school and its transformation from a ruin into a modern learning center for the community."

That's what Bishop Frederick C. James wants to achieve with the Rosenwald School in rural Prosperity, SC, where he attended Howard Junior High School from the first through tenth grades. As we shared with Mabel Dickey's podcast earlier this month, the Rosenwald School Building Program began in 1912 and was called the "most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of Negroes at that time." It eventually provided seed grants for the construction of more than 5,300 buildings in 15 states, including schools, shops, and teachers' houses which were built by and for African-Americans.

The African-Methodist Episcopal Bishop (now retired) calls those the “greatest days of his life” and credits Howard Junior High with giving him his start in everything he ever attained. He counts among his friends many of the well-known civil rights activists of the 1960s and 70s along with other world leaders, including a former United States president.

Now, as Chairman of the Board for the Howard Junior High School Center project, he's leading the fight to restore this historic, humble building and make it a pillar of the community once more. In this Voices of Rosenwald Schools podcast, hear Bishop James speak firsthand about his formative years at the school -- and maybe even recite a poem or two.

Howard Junior High School. Credit: jimmywayne, flickr
Howard Junior High School

What’s your dream for the Howard Junior High building?

[My dream is] to fulfill its stated mission: “to activate and utilize the historic school as a community center for Rosenwald School appreciation with updated focus upon youth development, African American art and Culture, tutorial education, teacher and student achievement, and other forms of community uplift, accommodation, and service.”

What’s the biggest personal lesson you’ve learned through your work with the Rosenwald School?

I’ve met wonderful folks in preservation; it’s been a very special asset to my life to know and be aware of people in this business. It has kept my hopes alive, and my expectation is to finish this job in my lifetime.

If somebody came to you and said, “I want to save a Rosenwald School,” what’s the first thing you’d say to them?

I would say by all means organize and make contact with the very best possible people that you can. Don’t let anything deter you from your dream and your goal. Get as many people as you can who have that same dream. We need more people who have the ability, contacts, and commitment to the mission.

I’ve been busy [since retirement] because of two things I’m unable to do: say no to something that’s on my heart, and give up!

Listen to the full podcast:

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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.