Local Preservationists

#SaveTacoBell: America’s First Taco Bell Is Threatened

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn

 

Taco Bell was founded by fast food entrepreneur Glen Bell in Downey, California in 1962.
Taco Bell was founded by fast food entrepreneur Glen Bell in Downey, California, in 1962.

It started with some hard-shell tacos and a dream.

Glen Bell, founder of the international fast food chain Taco Bell, opened his very first restaurant of that name in a modest 20-by-20 foot Mission-style building in Downey, California, in 1962. He thought that crunchy taco shells would make the traditional Mexican fare more fast food friendly, and that the American public would eat it up.

He was right. Fifty-three years later, there are roughly 6,000 Taco Bell restaurants in the U.S. The small cinderblock building in Downey where mass-market Mexican food arguably began, though, faces an uncertain future.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Q&A] What Life is Like in Louis Kahn’s Esherick House

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 2 Comments

 

The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.
The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.

In early January, we rounded up the current status of each of the nine private homes designed by renowned Modern architect Louis Kahn, all located in the greater Philadelphia metro area. After seeing our post, the new owners of the Esherick House in Chestnut Hill reached out to us, hoping to share their story.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

By Sophia Dembling

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When the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club purchased the Excelsior Hotel in 1959, the ladies cleaned and furnished the neglected building themselves.

In the 1930s, a group of ladies started getting together to share recipes and gossip. They ended up saving a town.... 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.

[Q&A] The Chautauqua Amphitheater: An Insider’s Guide

Posted on: February 4th, 2015 by David Weible 1 Comment

 

The Amphitheater's open-air construction is one of its defining characteristics. It's speeches and concerts can be heard for blocks through the warm summer air.

The Amphitheater's open-air construction is one of its defining characteristics. Its speeches and concerts can be heard for blocks through the warm summer air.

Since it opened in 1875, the Chautauqua Institution in western New York has served as one of the great centers for public discourse on the important issues facing American society. And since 1893, the Chautauqua Amphitheater has been at the center of both that discourse and the community of Chautauqua itself.

Last week, as part of an announcement of the Amphitheater as one of our newest National Treasures, we published a Q&A with Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger discussing the threat to the 4,000-seat, open-air structure’s historical integrity. This week, we thought we’d follow up with a Q&A with three life-long Chautauquans about what the Amp means to them.... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

Showing the Colorado County Courthouse in Texas some love, February 2013.
Showing the Colorado County Courthouse in Texas some love, February 2013.

"Preservation" can sometimes come across as a complicated or academic process, but the truth is much simpler. At its heart, preservation is about love -- love for buildings, love for places, love for history, love for community, and love for the people who rally together to protect all these important things.

So this February, during a month that is all about love, we're inviting you to join our national heart bomb. What's a heart bomb, you ask? It's the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion -- preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow.

The beauty of heart bombing is its simplicity. Here are the basic steps (but feel free to improvise!):

  • Read these two blog posts to learn where heart bombing comes from and see how other communities have spread the love.
  • Buy your basic, elementary school art supplies.
  • Gather a group of people who are passionate about saving a place.
  • Make big Valentines for the place you love.
  • Use glitter. Lots of it.
  • Take your Valentines and either affix them to the place, or stand in front of it holding your declarations of love.
  • Take pictures. Lots of them. Especially of your smiling faces in front of the bedazzled location.
  • Share all those pictures (and tweets and Facebook posts and pins ...) with the hashtag #iheartpreservation.
  • Send your very best pictures to editorial@savingplaces.org by Friday, February 20. (Feel free to keep heartbombing until the end of the month, though!) Please include a one-paragraph blurb about why you love this place and why more people should fall in love with it too.

Our team will compile your heart bombs into one, big, wonderful Valentine to places and the people who adore them. So snag some glitter, pick your place, and shout your love from the rooftops -- both literal and virtual!

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 director of 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.

 

When preservation is on the ballot or otherwise up for public discussion, canvassing the street to talk issues with community members can be an effective way to get the word out and garner support for saving places.

But despite enshrinement in grandpa’s toolbox of American public activism, pounding the pavement and pumping the flesh can be tough; we’re not all born with political busking in our blood. Here are five tips to a better showing on the streets.

... 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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.