Local Preservationists

 

blog_photo_Anne and Aaron at La Salle
Anne and Aaron at the re-dedication of the La Salle County Courthouse.

We all feel some kind of love for a certain place (or places). That’s why we’re preservationists. So what happens when two preservationists fall in love? In the case of one Texas couple, meeting each other launched a commitment to celebrating the places they love together -- by visiting all the historic courthouses across the Lone Star State.

I talked with Anne Cornell shortly after she and her fiancé, Aaron Mason, attended the Comal County Courthouse celebration, which was one of the first events in our “I Love Texas Courthouses” campaign. Having just completed their courthouse journey on December 1, 2012, their tale of Texas love is inspiring in more ways than one.... 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.

Voices of Rosenwald Schools: Mabel Dickey Tells Mt. Zion's Story

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by Julia Rocchi 1 Comment

 

Mabel Dickey. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation/Clement
Mabel Dickey

Allow us to introduce you to Mabel Dickey. She's one of countless volunteers across the country who are tirelessly working to save Rosenwald Schools in their communities and preserve a compelling piece of African-American history.

Called the "most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of Negroes at that time," the Rosenwald School Building Program began in 1912 and 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.

Mabel was one of the students who benefited from this forward-thinking program. She attended the Mt. Zion Rosenwald School near Florence, SC for a brief period as a young child, and retired back to Florence as a adult. Today, she continues to fundraise so the school can be restored and used by the Mt. Zion Methodist Church and the surrounding community.

As one of our Voices of Rosenwald Schools interviewees, Mabel shared her memories, experiences, and lessons learned about this special place. Hear firsthand about her journey, and learn why she's not giving up on this little schoolhouse any time soon.... 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.

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.