Local Preservationists

Giving Gullah/Geechee Culture a Home at "The Little House"

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 6 Comments

 

The renovated Little House. Credit: Megan Tyson
The Little House

It’s that time of year again -- awards season -- and though the Grammys and the Oscars are nice, I like to keep an eye on the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards as well. Last year’s list of winners is packed with worthy recipients, but one in particular stands out to me because of its efforts to preserve a culture I hadn't even known existed.

For a long time, I had thought of Hilton Head Island, which lies off the coast of South Carolina, south of Charleston, as just another resort community in a warmer climate than my own. What I didn't know was that the island is a traditional home of the Gullah/Geechee, an African-American farming and fishing culture that spanned the barrier islands from Florida to North Carolina. Starting in 2010, preservationists led an effort to preserve that culture in the form of "The Little House."... 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.

Forging a Future for the Oswego Iron Furnace

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by Lauren Walser

 

The restored Oswego Iron Furnace. Credit: Susanna Campbell Kuo
The restored Oswego Iron Furnace.

For more than a century, the Oswego Iron Furnace stood near the Willamette River in Lake Oswego, Ore., a fading relic to the city’s origins.

From its perch behind a chain link fence, its stones were falling, its brick arches were collapsing, and the surrounding landscape was overgrown, with plants growing out of the structure.

“We were growing increasingly concerned that the whole thing could collapse,” says local historian Susanna Campbell Kuo and member of the advisory board of the Lake Oswego Preservation Society.

And in 2002, when the city unveiled its plans to redevelop George Rogers Park, Kuo and several other residents noticed that there were no comprehensive plans to preserve the 44-foot structure.So they began researching, diving into the furnace’s -- and the city’s -- history, in order to learn more.... 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.

Small Gestures, Big Meaning: Show Some Love for Texas Courthouses

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

Jason Clement wears his heart on his sleeve. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Staffer Jason Clement wears his heart on his sleeve(s) in front of a Texas courthouse.

Everybody needs to feel loved.

It’s a basic fact of life, regardless of where you fall on the scale between overemotional ninny (where I sit) and, well, the opposite of that.

It doesn’t have to be fireworks or someone showing up outside your window, pouring their hearts out while blasting an '80s mid-tempo classic on a boombox. For me, the simple things usually get the most traction: a bit of scribbled-down sweetness left somewhere thoughtful, an unexpected-in-a-good-way phone call, a “just because” gesture that takes you by surprise -- the things that say “I’m paying attention. I care. I’m here.”

As a preservationist/marketer whose job it is to turn non-emotive structures into emotional touch points, I feel like buildings are very much in the same boat as us ninnies. Places need love too ... except they're incapable of letting us know when they need a hug.... 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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Historic Power Plants: A Tricky (But Rewarding) Resource to Adapt

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by Michael R. Allen 1 Comment

 

This is the final installment of our guest series on the remarkable transformation of a hospital power plant in St. Louis. This week looks at other American examples of power plant reuse and examines what makes the City Hospital project unique. Read the series to date.

Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas. Credit: Thelonious Gonzo, flickr
Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas.

The Power Plant at City Hospital is the only historic power plant building in the United States that has been reused for a large-volume recreational purpose. Power plants remain difficult buildings to reuse due to their large open volumes, which have to be retained to some extent to qualify for historic tax credits.

A survey of adaptive reuse projects at historic American power plants shows that they tend to be used for office, retail and even residential space. It’s common for floors to be added in these configurations, making it even more significant that the City Hospital Power Plant retained its original space.... 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.

Michael R. Allen

Michael R. Allen is the Director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, which he founded in 2009. Recent activities include learning video editing and naming his cat after Oscar Niemeyer.

Tell Us How We Can Help You Save Places!

Posted on: January 30th, 2013 by Julia Rocchi

 

Partners in Preservation NYC 2012. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

If you're reading this blog post right now, chances are you like saving places as much as we do. But we want to get to know you even better. We want to know why you save places, how you save places, and -- most importantly -- how we at the National Trust can help you do it.

So we've put together a quick and easy survey to find out what you need from us. Our short-term goal? To hear from 250 folks by this Friday, February 1. Our long-term goal? To be the best resource we can be for you in your quest to protect special places in your communities.

Close to 100 of you have already rang in -- thank you! That means only 150 left to go, which is easy as pie with such a passionate group. So if you haven't responded yet, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts via our Facebook survey. (And if you haven't friended us on Facebook yet, now's the perfect time!)

Thank you in advance for telling us more about your preservation goals and dreams. It's helping us help you -- and in turn helping all the places we treasure.

P.S. If you're opting to take the survey on your mobile device, please use this direct link instead. (Smart devices make the Facebook survey hiccup.) Thanks!

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.