News Round-Ups

 

Mapping Neighborhood Perceptions: How do people perceive the urban spaces that comprise their neighborhoods? And can the culture and preferences of a specific group of people actually affect the physical layout of these spaces? A grad student at UC Berkeley has undertaken an impressive mapping study of neighborhoods in Oakland, California that seeks to answer these and many other questions. [San Francisco Chronicle]  [MappingOakland]

Say Hey to Mid Century Modernism: From the 1963 Ebony magazine article featuring Willie Mays' mod house. Very cool collection of styles going on here, and plenty of vintage photos. [MidCentury Architecture]

BLDGBLOG's Book Reports: One of our favorite blogs reviews a handful of books for the architecture nut. [BLDGBLOG]

UNCG Students Lobbying for Preservation: We've covered quite a bit of Lobby Day activity over the past two weeks. Preservodome met students from several different schools while attending the event, even some old classmates from the University of Maryland's HISP program. Here's a post on students from UNC-Greensboro who took part in the Lobby Day activities. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

NYC Historic Churches in Danger: With money drying up everywhere these days, it's easy to understand that many congregations are deeply affected. Also affected are the historic churches they have called home for decades. [Bloomberg]

Rethinking the Restoration of New Orleans: Andres Duany looks at the city through the lens of the Caribbean, and reveals some very interesting ideas regarding New Orleans and its restoration. "I remember specifically when on a street in the Marigny I came upon a colorful little house framed by banana trees. I thought, "This is Cuba," (I am Cuban). I realized in that instant that New Orleans is not really an American city, but rather a Caribbean one." [newgeography]

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.

 

(Bloomberg)

Art, People, Triumph Over Traffic in $23 Million Brooklyn Rehab: Demolished in the 1960's to make way for Robert Moses' highways, a public plaza near the Manhattan Bridge is being reborn by artist Brian Tolle.  Tolle is recreating the allegorical figures representing Manhattan and Brooklyn that once sat at the entrance to the bridge and were designed by Daniel Chester French. [Bloomberg]

Circle and District: Burleigh's descriptions of 18th century Cairo stand out. She writes that the city was "a labyrinthine metropolis that frustrated and confused the invaders." It was "a city of doors, mostly closed." [BLDGBLOG]

Morris Lapidus House in Biscayne Bay: WSJ magazine features a rare Miami home designed by modernist architect Morris Lapidus. Complete with some very cool photos. [WSJ Magazine]

Book Review: Saving Places that Matter: A Citizens Guide to the National Historic Preservation Act. [NTHS Blog]

Goodbye to the Spectrum: The Spectrum in Philadelphia hosted its final basketball game over the weekend as the Sixers defeated the Chicago Bulls in overtime. Sports arenas and stadiums are often difficult to preserve for a variety of reasons, so we're often only left with the memories they once hosted. It being mid-March (the most wonderful time of the year) it's easy to look back fondly at some of the biggest moments in NCAA Tournament history that took place within "America's Showplace." Two individuals in particular stand out when combining NCAA and the Spectrum: Bobby Knight and Christian Laettner.
Knight won two of his three NCAA Championships in the arena, leading the last team to post an overall undefeated record to the title in 1976. Five years later he brought Isiah Thomas and the Hoosiers to the Spectrum and defeated Dean Smith's North Carolina Tarheels. The Spectrum also played host to what is often considered the greatest game in NCAA Tournament history, as Christian Laettner hit a jumper with two seconds left in overtime to defeat Kentucky in 1992, sending the Blue Devils to the final four on the way to their second straight title.

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.

 

photo credt: Ezra Stoller

Consultant Backs Demolition of Bell Labs, Replace with Golf Course, Pretty Horses: A consultant's report commissioned by the Holmdel Township Committee called for the complete demolition of the Bell Labs building -- designed by Eero Saarinen -- and a development project that would “enhance the Holmdel Community as a whole and add to the Township’s tax base.” Enhancements would include: private golf course, multi-million dollar homes and an equestrian center among other projects. [PreserveNJ]

Lessons from the Great White North: The Landmark Society of Western New York outlines the similarities and differences between Edmonton and Rochester in regards to geography, layout, terrain, climate and culture. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Canada's Most Sustainable Cities: Speaking of Canada, the third annual list of our northern neighbor's most sustainable cities has been released. [Corporate Knights]

A Tale of Two Houses: In this difficult time for homes and home owners, two historic houses in downtown Greensboro may find new life through a public-private partnership in preservation. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

The Mall is Like, So Dead These Days: Did you know: Only three enclosed shopping malls have been constructed in the U.S. since 2005, none were built last year, and only one is slated for 2009? "A driving force in the decline of the American shopping mall as we know it is a realization that the model is not sustainable, either economically or environmentally." So what to do with so-called "dead malls?" Turn them into mixed-use "lifestyle centers...that are tied into the street grids of surrounding neighborhoods and by connections to public transit and bike and walking paths." [Sustainable Industries]

Learning from Slums:"The world's slums are overcrowded, unhealthy - and increasingly seen as resourceful communities that can offer lessons to modern cities." [Boston.com]

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 Roundup: Westside Edition, Preserving New Jersey's Bell Labs

Posted on: February 23rd, 2009 by Matt Ringelstetter

 

Mapping L.A.'s Neighborhoods: The Los Angeles Times has started a collaborative mapping project that seeks to give clear boundaries to its city's diverse collection of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in the City of Angels have always had names, but city officials have never been willing to set clear parameters to match. So, why is the Times taking it upon themselves to do the job? "Consistency is one reason. If we report that an event occurred in Van Nuys or Westwood, we want people to know exactly what we mean. Beyond that, defining boundaries will allow us to give our readers a wealth of data, about demographics, money, crime, schools and more that we can break down for specific geographical areas." [Los Angeles Times]

Building a Better Las Vegas: What does the building downturn mean to a city that has been under an almost constant cycle of teardown, buildup, repeat for decades? Vegas can sometimes be viewed as a model for the anti-preservationist, and given its history of development, it's easy to see why. I'm not a total believer in this, however, as many older hotel/casinos are still in operation and together project an interesting piece of Americana. Anyways, Las Vegas Weekly sat down with a few of Sin City's best architects and urban planners to discuss the future of their city's architecture, development, and sustainable designs. [Las Vegas Weekly]

Can America's West Stay Wild?: Policy on vast public lands has favored ranchers. Demographics and economics may alter that equation now. [Christian Science Monitor]

Bell Labs Rehabilitation and Redevelopment Plan: Preservation New Jersey details the development plans put forth regarding the Bell Labs complex in Holmdel, NJ. "Somerset Development has proposed an interesting solution to the challenges of rehabilitating the Bell Labs property. The public has posed multiple important questions, the answers and solutions to which will require careful consideration by Somerset and hopefully, will inspire productive deliberation between all interested parties." [PreservationNJ]

Did Google Earth Find Atlantis?: Did Google seriously find the city of Atlantis? They're in the process of denying it, but rumors running through the interwebs say that Google Earth software has located the mythical city off of the coast of Africa. First they download every piece of info on the web, now they're covering up the discovery of sunken cities? If the Googleplex moves to the swamp that houses the Hall of Doom, I would not be completely surprised.  [cnet]

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.

 

Cardiopulmonary Spatialization: Can architecture affect one's medical condition? "The sensorial experience of architecture could play a role in healing" or, as the project's owner explains, "spaces themselves should act as experiential platforms that provide a broader spectrum of environmental qualities, so that we may better understand their effects on our psychology – and ultimately, on our physiology." [BLDGBLOG]

DC and the Height of Power: "As other American fiefdoms fade, Washington looms larger than ever." [Washington Post]

Forney House Falls: A sad day for New Jerseyans who value the landmarks and neighborhoods that give our communities character:  the Forney House, the stately 19th century house and clinic on Milltown’s (Middlesex County) Main Street, was demolished over the weekend, to be replaced with a drive-through facility for Valley National Bank. [PreserveNJ]

We Built This City...: Architect Teddy Cruz tracks a new kind of urban ecology: Across the border from San Diego in Tijuana, a spontaneous urban space is taking shape off the radar of city planners, as an affluent city sheds its aging houses and its pieces are reassembled into creative dwellings for the poor. [The Nation]

Historic Equals Safe: "Transportation researchers Wesley Marshall and Norman Garrick fed the facts from more than 130,000 vehicular crashes into their computers in recent months, hoping for a systematic answer to a life-and-death question: How can America’s streets and roads be made safer?" This study shows that older streets are safer than those in newly developed areas. [New Urban News]

Azerbaijan’s Carbon Neutral Zira Island:
Zira Island is a 1,000,000 sq meter island In the Caspian Sea that will soon be developed into an incredible eco-community and sustainably built resort. [Inhabitat]

And It's Groundhog Day!

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.