National Treasures

The Nantucket Lightship Song: One Teacher's Ode to a National Treasure

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 2 Comments

 

John Rogers and his class onboard the Nantucket Lightship. Credit: US Lightship Museum
John Rogers and his class onboard the Nantucket Lightship

In the upcoming Preservation's "Past Present Future" department, we highlighted John Rogers and his fourth-grade classes at East Boston’s Curtis Guild School who made the Nantucket Lightship Museum (one of our National Treasures) more than just a field trip.

Before his class arrived at the dock for the first time in the fall of 2011, Rogers prepared articles to teach his students about the ship, and even wrote a song about its history which the class performed on deck for the museum’s staff.... 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.

 

Julia Bache and homeowner Elaine Taylor in front of the Buck Creek School. Credit: Lisa Bache
Julia Bache and homeowner Elaine Taylor in front of the Buck Creek School

Girls Scouts are well known for selling delicious cookies. But how many of them are known for saving important places?

Julia Bache, a sophomore at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, is working hard to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Girl Scouting's highest achievement, with a seven-step project to solve a community problem or perform a public service. Her focus: helping to preserve the Buck Creek Rosenwald School.... 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.

 

The city of Miami at dawn as viewed from the Miami Marine Stadium seating area.
The city of Miami at dawn

In the Spring 2013 issue of Preservation magazine, we’ll be featuring one of our National Treasures, the Miami Marine Stadium. Producing the story required navigating an ocean of red tape -- filling out film permits and “hold harmless” agreements with the city of Miami, providing proof of insurance, etc. -- all to get approval to photograph the stadium, which stands abandoned behind a chain link fence and locked gate.

Abandoned, but not unused.... 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.

Dennis Hockman

Dennis Hockman

Dennis Hockman is editor in chief of Preservation magazine. He’s lived all over the United States but currently resides in Baltimore where he is restoring a 1918 center hall Colonial.

 

(l.) Lydia Ely Hewitt, President, Wisconsin Soldiers' Home; (r.) Fanny Burling Buttrick, Vice President, Wisconsin Soldiers' Home. Photos courtesy Milwaukee County Historical Society
(l.) Lydia Ely Hewitt, President, Wisconsin Soldiers' Home; (r.) Fanny Burling Buttrick, Vice President, Wisconsin Soldiers' Home

The Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home was one of the first soldiers’ homes in the country, and the only one where it’s still possible to experience the buildings and designed landscape together in something close to their original form. The 90-acre campus has served veterans continuously since shortly after the Civil War and includes some of the oldest buildings in the entire VA system.

But this special site would not have been possible in the first place without the dedicated efforts of the West Side Soldiers' Aid Society, a group of women in Milwaukee committed to creating a place for veterans to heal and recuperate. This is 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.

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.

 

Bishop Frederick C. James (screenshot). Credit: Tracy Hayes
Bishop Frederick C. James

How's this for a vision? "The rehabilitation [of] Howard Junior High school and its transformation from a ruin into a modern learning center for the community."

That's what Bishop Frederick C. James wants to achieve with the Rosenwald School in rural Prosperity, SC, where he attended Howard Junior High School from the first through tenth grades. As we shared with Mabel Dickey's podcast earlier this month, the Rosenwald School Building Program began in 1912 and was called the "most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of Negroes at that time." It 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.

The African-Methodist Episcopal Bishop (now retired) calls those the “greatest days of his life” and credits Howard Junior High with giving him his start in everything he ever attained. He counts among his friends many of the well-known civil rights activists of the 1960s and 70s along with other world leaders, including a former United States president.

Now, as Chairman of the Board for the Howard Junior High School Center project, he's leading the fight to restore this historic, humble building and make it a pillar of the community once more. In this Voices of Rosenwald Schools podcast, hear Bishop James speak firsthand about his formative years at the school -- and maybe even recite a poem or two.

Howard Junior High School. Credit: jimmywayne, flickr
Howard Junior High School

What’s your dream for the Howard Junior High building?

[My dream is] to fulfill its stated mission: “to activate and utilize the historic school as a community center for Rosenwald School appreciation with updated focus upon youth development, African American art and Culture, tutorial education, teacher and student achievement, and other forms of community uplift, accommodation, and service.”

What’s the biggest personal lesson you’ve learned through your work with the Rosenwald School?

I’ve met wonderful folks in preservation; it’s been a very special asset to my life to know and be aware of people in this business. It has kept my hopes alive, and my expectation is to finish this job in my lifetime.

If somebody came to you and said, “I want to save a Rosenwald School,” what’s the first thing you’d say to them?

I would say by all means organize and make contact with the very best possible people that you can. Don’t let anything deter you from your dream and your goal. Get as many people as you can who have that same dream. We need more people who have the ability, contacts, and commitment to the mission.

I’ve been busy [since retirement] because of two things I’m unable to do: say no to something that’s on my heart, and give up!

Listen to the full podcast:

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.