National Treasures

Behind-the-Scenes Tour Shows Critical Needs at Union Terminal

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Sarah Heffern 3 Comments

 

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On my first-ever visit to Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, I found it impossible not to be impressed from the moment it came into view. The enormous half-dome shape, stunning Art Deco details, and striking resemblance to the Super Friends’ Hall of Justice (readily obvious to someone like me who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 1970s and '80s) combined to wow me before I even walked in the front door.

Upon entering the building, though, it continued to amaze. I hardly knew where to look first. The massive, arched ceiling sports possibly the boldest paint job I’ve ever seen -- arcs of bright yellows, oranges, and greens that somehow work together to be gorgeous, rather than garish. The glass-tile murals along the back walls are beautiful and clearly tell a story about the city. And every door (and there are many) is labeled in a cool Art Deco font, which made my inner design nerd very happy.

But, because my reason for coming to Union Terminal was as part of our National Treasures efforts to help local preservation advocates to pass a small sales tax increase dedicated to raising funds to save it, my attention quickly focused on one thing: It didn’t look threatened. At all.... 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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

Choreographer Hattie Mae Williams and her dance troupe, The Tattooed Ballerinas, are presenting site-specific performances at two historic sites in Miami: Miami Marine Stadium and the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.
Choreographer Hattie Mae Williams (left) and her dance troupe, The Tattooed Ballerinas, are presenting site-specific performances at two historic sites in Miami: Miami Marine Stadium and the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.

Miami native Hattie Mae Williams is on a mission to change how we see public spaces. And she’s set her sights on her hometown.

Through her Miami Sites Project, Williams, a recipient of a 2013 Knight Arts Challenge Miami grant, is celebrating two of her city’s iconic, historic sites: Miami Marine Stadium and the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, which is celebrating its 90th birthday this year.

Her method? Dance.... 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.

Sign the Pledge to Protect Villa Lewaro — And Learn How You Can Tour It

Posted on: October 24th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Spotlight on National Treasures: Villa Lewaro

The National Trust hosted several influential writers and bloggers from the New York City area in August 2014 to tour historic Villa Lewaro.
The National Trust hosted several influential writers and bloggers from the New York City area in August 2014 to tour historic Villa Lewaro.

Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Associate Manager, Public Affairs

In the course of all the Madam C.J. Walker stories this week, one word has come up more than any other: dream.

Walker called her home, Villa Lewaro, her "dream of dreams" -- the perfect phrase for a place that put her ingenuity, acumen, and hard work on display. And as this week's series shows, her influence continues to reverberate through history as she made history tangible for a writer, inspired an entrepreneur to start her own business, created a space for African-Americans to "do big things," and built a "monument" that speaks to the power of the American dream.

So now that you've experienced her remarkable legacy as well, maybe you have a dream of your own: to see Villa Lewaro in person. Here's how you can go one step further in making it happen -- and help save the estate at the same time.... 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.

 

Spotlight on National Treasures: Villa Lewaro

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Kathy Dixon, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects

As Walker descendant A’Lelia Bundles eloquently put it, “Villa Lewaro is one of the few remaining tangible symbols of the astonishing progress made by the first generation after Emancipation.” So we’d be remiss in a week of celebrating Madam C.J. Walker if we didn’t dig into the physical embodiment of her success -- her home, the historic Villa Lewaro.

To learn more about the estate, we turned to Kathy Dixon, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects as well as a licensed architect with more than 20 years of experience, for her thoughts on Lewaro’s significance. After all, Walker herself wanted the estate “left to some cause that will be beneficial to the race -- a sort of monument.” So we asked Ms. Dixon: Does this vision ring true today? Here’s what she had to say.... 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.

 

Spotlight on National Treasures: Villa Lewaro

Left: A portrait of Madam Walker; Right: A'lelia Bundles
Left: A portrait of Madam Walker; Right: A'Lelia Bundles, Walker's great-great-granddaughter.

Written by A’Lelia Bundles

Every time I walk through the doors of Villa Lewaro -- the mansion my great-great-grandmother, Madam C. J. Walker, called her “dream of dreams” -- I always take a moment to imagine the ancestors and the magic they must have felt in these rooms. From the columns of its majestic portico to the balustrades of its grand terrace, the original stucco facade sparkled with marble dust and glistening grains of white sand when the washerwoman-turned-millionaire took possession in May 1918.... 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.