Local Preservationists

Preserving Decay: Exploring the Ghost Town of Bodie, California

Posted on: March 24th, 2015 by Lauren Walser

 

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Bodie is preserved in a state of "arrested decay" -- meaning everything stays just as it was when the abandoned town was acquired by the state parks department in 1962.

No one comes to Bodie, California, for the gold anymore.

That kind of traffic peaked in the late-19th century, after a mine cave-in in 1875 revealed vast quantities of gold ore. People from all over the world rushed to the high desert town, hoping to strike it rich. And with nearly 10,000 tons of ore extracted from the mine, it was one of the richest gold strikes in California.

By 1879, there were nearly 10,000 people living in Bodie. More than 2,000 buildings dotted the rolling hills: as many as 70 saloons, a bowling alley, dance halls, gambling halls, general stores, hotels, churches, and about 200 restaurants.

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At its peak circa 1879, Bodie, California, had a population of nearly 10,000 people and more than 2,000 buildings.

But its heyday didn’t last long. By 1881, the mines were depleted, miners left for new areas, mining companies went bankrupt. There was a boost in production again in the 1890s, a few years after a fire ravaged much of the town. But in 1932, another fire burned all but 10 percent of Bodie, and by the 1940s, it was essentially abandoned. In 1962, what remained of Bodie after that 1932 conflagration was declared a State Historic Park and a National Historic Landmark.

Today, decades later, crowds still flock this remote region of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, northeast of Yosemite, to visit Bodie. But it’s not gold they seek -- it’s a genuine ghost town experience.... 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.

All in the Family: Barbara Donnelly Dishes About Lockport’s Gaylord Building

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

By Katherine Malone-France, Vice President of Historic Sites

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Barbara Donnelley during the restoration of the Gaylord Building (left); the present-day facade of the Gaylord Building (right)

Fast facts about the Gaylord Building, a National Trust Historic Site in Lockport, Illinois:

  • It is the only industrial building within our portfolio of historic sites.
  • It represents a great example of adaptive reuse in the Illinois and Michigan Canal Heritage Corridor, the first heritage area ever designated in the country.
  • And it all came to be thanks to the effort of one devoted family.

... 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.

 

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This 1998 statue, by Ted Aub, depicts the first meeting in 1851 between famed suffragettes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, (who were introduced by activist Amelia Bloomer, depicted in the center).

Can you name 20 American historical figures that are women, excluding famous athletes, celebrities, and First Ladies? Most college students cannot, which isn’t surprising given that less than 5% of the content of history textbooks refers to women. On top of that, only 8% of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places embody underrepresented communities, including women.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York aims to change that.... 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.

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O’Connor is the member services assistant at the National Trust. She enjoys learning, writing, and talking about museums, art, architecture, and anything historic.

 

In the state of “Smiling Faces and Beautiful Places,” between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, lies a pearl.

Atlantic Beach, nicknamed “The Black Pearl” for its rich history and African-American owned businesses, is located in Horry County (pronounced OH-ree) in the northeast corner of South Carolina. Though it was conceived as a result of segregationist laws, Atlantic Beach flourished as a thriving African-American vacation spot and as a nucleus for the surrounding communities of  Crescent Beach, Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, and Cherry Grove that would later become part of North Myrtle Beach. Today, those living in the Black Pearl strive to preserve and communicate the distinctive history of this African-American enclave and the Gullah-Geechee culture that has shaped 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.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

 

By Sophia Dembling

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Hetty Jane blasted the Great Pool out of granite as a swimming pool. It has several tiers of cascading water.

It all started with a little recreational trespassing.

"Everybody trespassed," says Jennifer Bigham. "Gazillions of people had done the same thing."

So she and her husband, just to satisfy their curiosity, climbed over a little fence to explore the ruins of Dunaway Gardens in Newnan, Georgia.

At first glance the property looked like little more than kudzu and swamp. But Bigham, who lives in nearby Peachtree City, saw magic.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

Life in a Converted Firehouse

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by Meghan Drueding

 

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Inside David Braly and Mark Montoya's converted firehouse home

Everyone likes the idea of living in a converted something-or-other. An old barn, an industrial loft, a former schoolhouse: With a lot of TLC, all of these building types have the potential to become comfortable, appealing residences.

In Montgomery, Alabama, David Braly and Mark Montoya were up to this task. They lavished attention on a neglected firehouse, turning it into a lovely (and quirky) home that honors both past and present. Photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley have documented the Braly-Montoya residence in the images that appear in the upcoming Spring issue of Preservation magazine, as well as in the video shown here. Enjoy!

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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.