Local Preservationists

Deer Lodge, Montana's Rialto Theater Rises from the Ashes

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 3 Comments

 

Historic Photo of the Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge, Mont., c. 1942. Credit: Rialto Community Theater, Inc.Ccollection
The Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge, Mont., c. 1942

It’s often said that small towns enjoy an enhanced sense of community; they are places where neighbors work together, help one another, and pitch in for the common good. Nowhere does that seem to be truer than in Deer Lodge, a tiny town of 3,400 located an hour and a half southeast of Missoula, in western Montana.

Since 1921, Deer Lodge's Rialto Theater has sat at the heart of the town, and as the only auditorium in the area, hosted events from rotary talent shows to weekend movies. In 1995, with the National Register-listed theater deteriorating and its ownership no longer able to maintain it, members of the community banded together to form Rialto Community Theater, Inc., a nonprofit that would run the theater and lead a restoration project.

By 2006, the organization had poured more than $100,000 into upgrading the theater. Then, disaster struck.

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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.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Uncertain Future (and Contentious Past) for Kansas City Church

Posted on: May 10th, 2013 by Lauren Walser

 

Elevation from street level of St. John the Divine Church in Kansas City, Kan. Credit: Daniel Serda
Elevation from street level of St. John the Divine Church in Kansas City, Kan.

Once the center of the Mexican-American Catholic community in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., today, St. John the Divine Catholic Church faces possible demolition.
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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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

Skee's Diner: A Slice of Americana in Progress

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Written by Mallory Somerset, Preservation Intern

Skee’s Diner in Torrington, Conn., c. 2008. Credit: Improbcat, Wikimedia Commons
Skee’s Diner in Torrington, Conn., c. 2008

The American dining car evokes a mid-century nostalgia like nothing else. Perhaps the most recognizable (though not necessarily by name) are dining cars manufactured by the Jerry O’Mahony Company between 1917 and 1941.

Stand-alone Streamline Moderne coaches were manufactured in a factory in New Jersey and brought by flatbed to their final destinations across the States. They had model names like “Victory” and “Monarch” and were built to last 30 years, according to the brochures. Though details such as length and roof shape differ with each model, the interiors are almost identical, and it is this assembly-line sheen of uniformity that give the O’Mahony diners their appeal to vintage diner enthusiasts even today.... 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.

The Curtain Rises Again for the Culpeper State Theatre

Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Written by Erica Stewart, Manager, Public Affairs

The State Theatre of Culpeper before and after renovation. Credits: LWPrencipe, Flickr; Ed Bednarczyk
The State Theatre of Culpeper before and after renovation

After sitting vacant for almost a decade, the 1938 Art Deco State Theatre of Culpeper, Va., is back in business.

For years, the theatre sat abandoned, coming perilously close to demolition before being purchased by Culpeper natives Greg and Liz Yates. At the time, there was a hole in the ceiling near the stage and the building was seriously dilapidated. But thanks to a committed group of community members, led by the State Theater Foundation, a $9.3 million historic rehabilitation has raised the curtain on the former vaudeville and movie house, revealing a gorgeous 560-seat live theatre.... 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.

 

A group of former students at the Cleveland Chinese Mission School gathers at the plaque dedication. From left: Fee Joe, Ed Joe, Kellogg Wong, Fun Pang, J.W. Dunn (seated), Annette Joe, Vice Mayor Ted Campbell, and Bobby Moon. Credit: Gilroy and Sally Chow
A group of former students at the Cleveland Chinese Mission School gathers at the plaque dedication. From left: Fee Joe, Ed Joe, Kellogg Wong, Fun Pang, J.W. Dunn (seated), Annette Joe, Vice Mayor Ted Campbell, and Bobby Moon.

The Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, as Frieda Quon explains it, is a labor of love -- a project that stems from the desire of the children of Chinese immigrants in the region, like herself, to make sure that their unique history isn’t lost.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.