Local Preservationists

[10 on Tuesday] 10 Steps to Start Saving Places

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by Julia Rocchi

 

We’ve now shared more than 30 Tuesday toolkits on topics ranging from sustainability to social media, but we haven’t yet shared the mother of them all: Saving Places 101.

If you want to protect a place near and dear to your heart, but aren’t sure where to begin, then today’s toolkit is for you. It provides a solid framework for turning your concern for a historic spot into meaningful, lasting action.... 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.

 

Dekalb's Egyptian Theatre in 1938 and restored. Credit: Egyptian Theatre
(l.) Dekalb's Egyptian Theatre in 1938; (r.) its restored facade today.

For decades, when the people of DeKalb, Ill., have spent an evening out at the movies, or attended a concert or other event, they’ve done so under the watchful eye of Ramses II.

The Egyptian pharaoh, who reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC, served as inspiration to architect Elmer F. Behrns when he designed the northern Illinois community’s downtown landmark, the historic Egyptian Theatre, in 1929. Behrns channeled the ancient ruler as he envisioned a temple-like entrance flanked by two pharaoh sculptures, an elaborate sacred scarab beetle-centered stained glass window, and a colorful tiled lobby floor.

At the time, Egyptian architecture was a nationwide craze set off by the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Today, DeKalb’s Egyptian is one of few left standing. But standing it is, and even 84 years after it was built, the regal structure is still drawing loyal crowds.... 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.

The Race to Save the Last Piece of a City's Chinatown

Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by Lauren Walser

 

Exterior of China House. Credit: O.C. Lee

In Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., the only surviving remnant of the valley’s once-thriving Chinatown -- a two-story, c. 1919 house -- faces an uncertain future, and local preservation and Chinese American heritage groups are fighting to save it. ... 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.

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.

Peery's Egyptian Theater: A Utah Theater Goes From Shutdown to Sundance

Posted on: March 11th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 6 Comments

 

Third in our series on Egyptian movie theaters around the country.

Opening of the movie "Duel In the Sun," 1946, at Peery's Egyptian Theater. Credit: Van Summerill Collection
Opening of the movie "Duel In the Sun," 1946, at Peery's Egyptian Theater.

From small towns on the plains, to inner-city neighborhoods on the coasts, theaters used to be at the center of nearly every American community, right along with the local hardware store and maybe a deli or family-owned grocery. But as indoor shopping malls and multiplexes grew in popularity from the 1970s on, traditional central business districts lost their luster and their patrons.

The script is the same nearly everywhere, and for a while, it looked like Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah was going to play its part.... 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.

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.

Women in Preservation: Nancy Schamu Reflects on Four Decades of Saving Places

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

This profile, written by Byrd Wood, originally appeared on Preservation Leadership Forum blog. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Nancy Schamu. Credit: Nancy Schamu
Nancy Schamu

Preservationists often jokingly refer to some of the early pioneers in the preservation movement as "little old ladies in tennis shoes standing in front of bulldozers." But the movement changed dramatically in 1966 following the enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act, when a wave of young history graduates, eager to assume positions in the recently created state historic preservation offices, soon began to replace the feisty, determined volunteers of the early part of the century.

Nancy Schamu, who is retiring this month after 26 years with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), was one of them, and she strode confidently into the new preservation profession with all the energy and idealism of her 1960s generation. From the early days of rousing Section 106 battles over elevated highways to today’s advocacy efforts to protect the tax credits, Schamu has been more than willing to "raise her hand," as she puts it, to speak out clearly -- and often quite forcefully -- in favor of preservation.... 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.