News Round-Ups

Ten Remarkable Preservation Wins of 2012

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 3 Comments


Michigan Bell Building, Detroit. Credit: NSO
Michigan Bell Building, Detroit.

We at the National Trust are in a celebratin' mood ... it could be the beautiful decorations in our headquarters lobby, or the holiday cookies that keep appearing on conference tables, or the simple fact that 2012 marked some terrific achievements in preservation.

So before we all rush into 2013, eager and excited to save even more places, we just wanted to reflect on our favorite successes from this year -- and hopefully hear what you accomplished in your communities as well. Share your big moments in the comments!... 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.

Preservation Round-Up: Preservationists Take Spokane Edition

Posted on: November 9th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern


Spokane's clock tower, river, and brilliant fall foliage -- as seen from the Conference Center.

Beyond Boundaries in Beautiful Spokane -- Preservation Maryland

"This year’s conference highlighted the diverse cultural heritage of Spokane with a number of sessions and field trips devoted to the historic Native American presence and immigrant influence in the region. Preservation of structures, sites, landscapes and cultural resources were given attention and discussion. The sessions definitely reached beyond the usual boundaries of the preservationists’ comfort zone."

#PresConf Recap: Three Take Away Ideas -- Raina Regan

"It’s obvious, at least to me, that we’re at the cusp of major changes in the preservation field. On Wednesday night, National Trust president Stephanie Meeks discussed four “ingredients” that all major movements must have (based on Eric Hoffer’s work); a movement must be soul stirring, spectacular, communal, and an undertaking."

See also: #PresConf Recap: A Timeline // Storify

#presconf: Historic Building Assessment & Opening -- Adventures in Heritage

"Since I was in the systems group I got to go all over the building, from the roof to the basement. The building was AMAZING. From its view of the Spokane Falls, to its original fan system, to the elaborate blue room, every inch was stunning."

See also: Recaps for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

A Call to Action for 2016: Stephanie Meeks Addresses the 2012 National Preservation Conference -- Preservation Leadership Forum Blog

"It’s the same sort of emotional connection that drives people to action in all great causes, whether it be the crusade against breast cancer, homelessness or drunk driving.

Yet, while most of us would agree that saving historic places is as worthy a cause as those endeavors, I doubt many of us would argue that we have penetrated the national consciousness as deeply.

What those causes have -- and what we still need to build -- is the visibility and cohesion that turns a POPULAR CAUSE into a national MOVEMENT."

See also: The "National Preservation Conference" category for daily recaps and Storify slideshows.

Preserving State's Heritage: Why Spokane is Central -- Crosscut Seattle

"Attendees, more than 1,600 of them, had the opportunity to go on tours of Spokane's wonderful Craftsman neighborhoods and taste its mid-century modern moods (who doesn't enjoy the anachronistic wonder of the downtown concrete Parcade?). They also had the opportunity to go on tours farther afield to see Palouse barns, Hanford's B Reactor, even Grand Coulee dam, which was surely eye-opening for those who might regard Eastern Washington as little more than wheat fields and "Coug Mom" license plates; a not untypical Seattle view."

Downtown’s Past Draws Preservation Conference -- The Spokesman Review

"For the past 30 years, Spokane has put a big hug around its historic assets through restorations of the Davenport Hotel, Montvale Hotel, Lusso Hotel, Fox Theater, Bing Crosby Theater and Steam Plant Square -- to name a handful."

See also: Editorial: Spokane’s historical abundance spans city

Did you attend the National Preservation Conference in Spokane? Share your thoughts below -- and don't forget to fill out your session evaluations online!

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Shipping Container Edition

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by Emily Potter


A group of offices and homes constructed out of shipping containers.

3 Innovative Shipping Container Homes -- Sustainable Cities Collective

“Some admirable work is taking place in converting shipping containers into attractive residential units. Here are three great examples I first saw on gigmag.”... 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.

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: 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 --

"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 --

"“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 --

"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 --

"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.