News Round-Ups

Preservation Round-Up: Flying Saucer Edition

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by Emily Potter 1 Comment

 


Photo of the 1967 building that was originally a gas station, recently rehabbed to house a Starbucks.

Starbucks in a Flying Saucer: STL Preservationists Embrace Modernism -- Next American City

"Last Friday was the sort of day preservationists in St. Louis, Mo. had only ever dreamed about. As the sun started breaking through the cloud-gray morning sky, a Starbucks coffee shop opened its doors inside a renovated space-age concrete gas station at Grand and Forest Park boulevards, the subject to an intense demolition threat just one year prior."

Preservationists Aim to Protect Corcoran Interior -- CBS Baltimore

"Historic preservationists are nominating the interior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art as an architectural landmark to try to protect the building as the struggling museum considers selling it."

Transbay Transit Center to Present Unique Opportunities for Open Spaces -- The San Francisco Examiner

"Historically, the dimly-lit underpasses of freeway ramps have been havens for homeless encampments, shady drug deals and other types of seedy behavior. With the development of the new Transbay Transit Center requiring several overhead ramps for buses, project backers might have been intimidated by the prospect of those unseemly spaces dotting the landscape of the SoMa District. Instead, they’re viewing such spaces as places for positive possibilities."

American Planning Association's Annual List of "Great Neighborhoods" -- Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"When I travel, I like to visit "neighborhood" or "traditional" commercial districts as part of exploring and learning about cities and places that are new to me. And if you work on urban, neighborhood, and/or commercial district revitalization, it's a good way to learn best practice, get ideas, and have fun."

8 Ways to Build More Sustainable Communities -- Sustainable Cities Collective

"When we introduced the topic of social sustainability for our recent #CityTalk with the Berkeley Group and Social Life, we knew that we had a challenge on our hands trying to define that which “many a thesis has tried and failed to define.” It was clear that we needed to put many more brains together to begin to wrap our minds around ways to build and design socially sustainable communities."

Preservation ABCs: D is for Door -- Preservation in Pink

“Architectural styles are defined by all elements of a building, from siding to windows to shape to massing, ornamentation, details and doors. As much as preservationists discuss the negative effects of window replacements, door replacements are often overlooked, yet just as detrimental.”

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Parking vs. History Edition

Posted on: September 14th, 2012 by David Garber

 


The State Savings Bank in downtown Detroit, seen here not long after its original construction.

In Downtown Detroit, A Battle of Parking vs. History -- Detroit Free Press

"No matter what happens to the State Savings Bank Building in downtown Detroit, even the suggestion of turning the building into a parking garage signals that we are likely to see this type of dispute again and again. Thankfully, Triple Properties, which owns the building, has publicly said they will not replace the structure with a parking garage, as they indicated last month to a huge public outcry."

San Antonio's Roadside Treasure's Worth Saving -- San Antonio Express News

"San Antonio has a remarkable collection of roadside icons, including De Wese's Tip Top, Bun N' Barrel, the original Pig Stands, Kiddie Park and the Ranch Motel, to name a few. Recognizing their value can help ensure they are preserved for future generations."

Oklahoma City's Historic Gold Dome Sells At Auction For $800,000 -- News9.com

"David Box submitted the only bid at a public foreclosure auction on Thursday for the Gold Dome. [...] Box hasn't revealed his plans for the Gold Dome yet, but says he does not intend to tear it down."

City of Dallas Working to Restore Remnants of Frontier Farm -- DallasNews.com

"“People will be able to see how early pioneers and settlers lived,” Willis Winters, assistant director of Park and Recreation said, “how they farmed and survived and how they eked out a living and how rough it was. “To see this kind of place in its original, natural context anywhere, much less in Dallas, is phenomenal.”"

Save Pittsburgh's Frank and Seder Building -- Change.org

"The Frank and Seder Building is a historic building and contributes to the identity, character, and history of downtown Pittsburgh. The building was built circa 1917 as the Frank and Seder Department Store. Oxford Development has proposed a plan to either refurbish the existing building, or demolish for new construction. We hope to persuade Oxford Development to save [it]."

How Mom-and-Pop Restaurants Can Compete With the Big Chains -- Forbes

"We have a traditional place we stop for dinner on this trip, at one of the big chain restaurants. The food is consistent but unexceptional, yet it’s become our normal stop just because we’ve had so many bad meals stopping at locally owned, independent restaurants in the area. This time, I spotted a local eatery that looked intriguing and we decided to take a chance. We had a great experience which could provide a guidebook for other independents looking to lure customers away from the chains."

7 Adaptive Reuse Projects We Love -- Dwell

"As the way in which people use cities morphs form generation to generation, we're left with dormant buildings -- those that have outlived their original purpose, but are rife for enterprising architects and designers to give them a second wind. This latent stock might include industrial remnants, former school houses, barns, and even convenience stores."

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.

Preservation Round-Up: One-Dollar Movie Theater Edition

Posted on: July 30th, 2012 by David Garber

 

Why I Restored and Reopened the Closed-Down State Theatre and Started the Traverse City Film Festival -- MichaelMoore.com

"I asked the Rotary group to give me the theater for a dollar, and we eventually settled on a dollar. I set up a community-based non-profit organization that would own the theater. Four others and I donated all the money needed to bring the theater back to life. I promised that we'd complete the entire rebuild in 6 weeks. And we did."

New Park in Downtown Los Angeles Inspires Grand Hopes -- LA Times

"This week, after a $56-million renovation, that 12-acre rectangle from the top of Bunker Hill to the base of City Hall will be christened as L.A.'s Grand Park, providing downtown with its first sizable amount of open space. [...] The park begins along Grand Avenue with a dramatic view of a renovated Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain and the tall white crest of Los Angeles City Hall. Parking ramps that once hid the fountain from pedestrians have been torn down, and the fountain is now programmed to run a colorful light show."

Local Museum Lands Sante Fe Sign -- Chicago Tribune

"The Illinois Railway Museum will take possession of the sign that advertised the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway from the roof of Chicago's Railway Exchange Building at 224 S. Michigan Ave." [...] Volunteers for the nonprofit museum will refurbish the sign, said Dave Diamond, the general manager for facilities. Once ready for display, it will join a collection of other Santa Fe equipment and railroad signs, many with roots in the Chicago area. [...] "It's a unique artifact that's tied to Chicago," Diamond said. "It keeps a piece of that in the area where it's still viewable to folks to understand Chicago's importance as a rail transportation hub."

Pittsburgh City Council Seeks Historic Preservation Limits -- Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit people from seeking city historic status for properties they don't own, a bill that grew out of the yearslong effort to save the old St. Nicholas Church building on the North Side. Mr. Burgess said third parties shouldn't have the right to interfere with owners' property rights. He said the city's historic designation 'should not occur without the landowner's consent.'"

Behind the Scenes: Teddy Roosevelt's House -- Washingtonian

"Ben Barnes has a Washington player’s résumé. He’s a Democratic lobbyist, he’s made a fortune in real estate, and he’s a former lieutenant governor of Texas and speaker of the state’s House. But there’s another side to him: history buff, art collector, preservationist. These are embodied in his building on 19th Street in downtown DC, where he has set up the Ben Barnes Group, a team of six including partners and staff. It’s the former home of Teddy Roosevelt and his second wife, Edith, who lived there when Roosevelt served on the Civil Service Commission."

When Values Collide: Balancing Green Technology and Historic Buildings -- NRDC Switchboard

"I believe that historic preservation in the right context -- a healthy neighborhood -- can be intrinsically green. Most historic buildings, at least the ones constructed before the days of freeways and urban flight, are on walkable streets in relatively central locations. They represent embodied energy and materials that would be consumed if the same amount of space and the same function had to be constructed anew. [...] But, by definition, historic buildings do not have the latest technology unless it is added many years later."

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Summer Reading Edition

Posted on: July 16th, 2012 by David Garber

 

Preservation Pop Quiz: The A/C Question -- Preservation in Pink

"Architectural integrity aside, when has an air conditioning unit ever been attractive? [...] Obviously, this is a preservation pet peeve of mine. It might be one of yours now, too."

Abandoned Walmart Transformed Into A Functioning Library -- PSFK

"The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store [which was built in 1991] and abandoned it."

St. Louis County Library Seeks to Demolish Historic Lewis & Clark Branch -- Modern STL

"Designed by prominent architect Frederick Dunn, FAIA, with Emil Frei Stained Glass windows by artist Robert Harmon, it was completed in 1963 at 9909 Lewis-Clark Boulevard. After nearly 50 years in use, the building’s architectural integrity is unparalleled amongst its peers, and it functions as a vibrant hub for the surrounding North St. Louis County community."

Why All Philly Schools Look the Same -- Hidden City Philadelphia

"Standardization did not mean that all schools shared an identical look. Dimensions might be common among Catharine-built schools, but style and ornamentation vary widely. Many schools incorporated common Philadelphia architectural styles such as Second Empire and Georgian Revival. Still others bore styles scarcely seen in the conservative Quaker city."

What I Learned on Martha's Vineyard -- The Craftsman

"Recently I had the opportunity to visit Martha’s Vineyard. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, it’s an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts that has a rich history dating all the way back to 1602. Full of colonial era and mid 19th century buildings built by the captains of the then booming whaling industry I was like a kid in a historic candy store! But the incredible architecture was only the tip of the iceberg."

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Demolition Edition

Posted on: June 25th, 2012 by David Garber 1 Comment

 

Did we hook you with that title? As our regular readers know, we at the National Trust are absolutely not in the business of condoning demolition. So we couldn't help but notice the provocatively titled 25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now list put out by California Home + Design last week.

Take a look at the list -- and the other articles we share today -- and let us know: What do you think could be done with these sites (particularly the historic ones)?


The Geisel Library at University of California San Diego made California Home + Design's list of "25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now." Those are some dramatic angles!

25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now -- California Home + Design

"When proportion, balance, form and function come together in a delicate harmony, architecture is nothing short of an art form. But when, on occasion, those principles clash, the results can be eye-searingly awful. We asked 15 architects and our own staff to weigh-in on what buildings, given the chance, they'd take a wrecking ball to."

The Real High Line Effect: A Transformational Triumph of Preservation and Design -- The Huffington Post

"The success of New York's High Line -- a stretch of abandoned elevated railroad on New York's West Side that has undergone a Phoenix-like resurrection to become one of the city's most popular destinations -- has generated much conversation about the so-called "High Line effect." Several cities are looking at their own long-disused sections of track, hoping they can literally replicate New York's success. Perhaps, but that narrow interpretation ignores the confluence of unique factors that made New York's High Line an instant classic."

Revitalizing Neighborhoods: Over-the-Rhine -- Metro Jacksonville

"Metro Jacksonville visits what is believed to be the largest most intact urban historic district in the United States: Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine. [...] What's slowly taking place in Over-the-Rhine indicates that when a city invests in itself and quality-of-life, privately financed market rate development tends to follow."

Renovated, Repurposed Buildings in Massachusetts -- Boston.com

"Boston is well-known as a historical city -- the Cradle of Liberty produced some sturdy buildings. If one goes into disrepair, there are numerous restoration societies that aim to keep the city's historic buildings up and running. Here’s a look at some of Boston's renovated and repurposed buildings where the outside is the same, but the inside is very different."

Texan Lighthouses a Preservation of History -- Galveston Daily News

"Mention the state of Texas and it brings to mind barbecue, the Alamo, football, real cowboys, longhorns, spring break, astronauts, big hats and lighthouses. Lighthouses? Maine and North Carolina have lighthouses, but Texas? The truth is that about 90 lighthouses and lightships have dotted the Texas coast through the years, guiding mariners through barrier island gaps into thriving ports at Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Indianola, Galveston, Houston and Beaumont."

 

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.