Local Preservationists

"Oregon Trail" Comes to Life at the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin

Posted on: March 21st, 2013 by David Robert Weible 5 Comments

 

A school group gathers in front of the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin. Credit: Volunteers of the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin
A school group gathers in front of the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin.

If you spent any portion of your childhood in the 1980s or '90s, then invariably your favorite part of the school day was bucking the lesson plan in computer class and rabidly killing bison, fording rivers, and visiting Chimney Rock in the Oregon Trail video game. If you were unfortunate enough to have missed this phenomenon of modern pedagogy, then suffice it to say that the game, in which the player acted as the wagon master for a family that set out on the Oregon Trail from Missouri, was the greatest video game of all time.

In the video game, once you made it to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where many who traveled the actual Oregon Trail between the 1840s and 1860s settled, you were safe from the dangers of the trail and your educational experience ended. But in the case of the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Cabin, located about 40 minutes southwest of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River, the education and the danger (albeit not from raiding parties or diphtheria), continue 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.

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.

[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.