News Round-Ups


Heritage Preservation, Tourism and Inclusive Development in Panama City's Casco Antiguo: Efforts to revitalize historic districts in order to attract tourism in Latin American cities have often resulted in the displacement of the actual residents through gentrification and commercialization. Many of the people who have called the neighborhoods home for generations are low income families whose lifestyles don't always mesh with an increased accommodation to foreign tourists. Recently however, historic city center rehabilitation is being looked at in a broader view of pursuing "the recovery of the city centers (historical or otherwise) because of their key role as collective symbols or spaces of social interaction, or because of their potential efficiency as dense, well-serviced urban districts." [Land Lines- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy]

Civil War Photography Demonstration at President Lincoln's Cottage: This Saturday check out a free demonstration of wet plate collodion process, the technique used by photographers during the Civil War. Developed in the 1850's the technique produced a negative image, allowing photographers to replicate an unlimited number of prints from one photo--a huge advantage over the contemporary Daguerreotype. The demonstration takes place at 10 am and is free! [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

LEED Platinum Home of the Future Reduces Energy Costs by 80%: Imagine paying only 24 dollars per month in combined electrical and gas bills. This house of the future in the Sacramento-area town of Folsom is constructed "like a big thermos" according to it's designer and is only the second home in California to achieve LEED Platinum distinction. Energy saving resources include:

  • Resource efficient framing with blown-in cellulose insulation and two layers of Icynene foam insulation on the outside of the wall;
  • Spectrally selective glass windows with specially coated glazing to reduce radiant heat gain and loss;
  • A 3.85 kilowatt solar energy system with battery back-up;
  • Solar-assisted hot water and space heating with an advanced boiler;
  • State-of-the-art water cooled evaporative air conditioning;
  • Fluorescent and advanced LED fixtures that last 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than standard lighting;
  • Water efficient landscaping and irrigation with satellite assisted weather station on the irrigation controls;
  • Patios enclosed by recycled glass; and
  • Low VOC paints, cabinets and flooring for better indoor air quality

[Jetson Green]

Urban Adventurers: Who says you need mountains, backwoods trails, or whitewater rapids to find adventure these days? Now city-foots can find adventure too, and they don't even have to leave the metro area. Climbing, crawling and generally just breaking into abandoned buildings is growing in popularity amongst city dwellers looking for some weekend adventure. The British Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents has labeled such activity as "dangerous and irresponsible behaviour," but to urban adventurers, abandoned buildings offer a "fascinating, if dusty, window into a bygone era. The explorers use aliases to protect their identity, adding to the movement's mystique. Many are photography enthusiasts who post artistic pictures of their latest daring exploits online. Others are in it purely for the thrill, clambering to the top of towering cranes or exploring the network of sewers and storm drains beneath." The National Trust for Historic Preservation would like to advise our readers that we in no way condone or promote illegal and dangerous activity--no matter how cool the building may look, or exhilarating said activity may be. [The Independent]

Archaic Bathing Machines: Last week we featured a photo of mobile beach homes from Pruned. Here's another photo of a mobile beach house used by King Alfonso XIII of Spain. [Pruned]

Hitchcock and Architecture: anArchitecture ("An architecture blog dedicated to architecture and architecture thinking, news, links and opinions") points out Alfred Hitchcock's use of space in his films. Included, a ten minute sampler from Vertigo. [anArchitecture]

English Sites Pose Preservation Questions: Max van Balgooy from the National Trust for Historic Preservation discusses questions arising from the many preservation practices in England. [National Trust Historic Sites Weblog]

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.


Victorian England's Mobile Homes: Hurricanes are no joke when it comes to their destructive power. Here at the National Trust, we've been all over the current season, and are still very active in Gulf Coast relief efforts due to Katrina's wrath over three years ago. What if, instead of watching your beach house wash away into the ocean, you simply drove it away to higher ground? Landscape architecture blog Pruned uses an example from Victorian prudishness to highlight the possibilities. [Pruned]

Hollywood and Period Landscapes: Major studios love incorporating dramatic, sweeping landscapes into their films, and the use of such backgrounds is both popular and helpful when highlighting specific historic periods and scenes. Architecture and environment blog a456 examines the "visual language used to depict the natural and built environments of the 19th and 20th century." [a456]

Reuse, or "Contained Use" in Historic Buildings: In response to Cathleen McGuigan's recent Newsweek article, "The Bad News About Green Architecture," Laura Keeney Zavala from the Landmark Society of Western New York points out an important issue that McGuigan overlooked--adaptive re-use and preservation. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Green Modernism in La Defense: International firm Valode and Pistre have completed a design for the Generali tower, a huge new office building in the Paris business district making a name for itself in sustainable architecture in addition to economic prosperity. [Inhabitat]

Frank Lloyd Wright On, Well Pretty Much Everything: In a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace (and plenty of cigarette smoke), the famed architect covered organized religion, war, mercy killing, art, critics, his mile-high skyscraper, America's youth, sex, morality, politics, nature, and death. [The Harry Ransom Center: UT-Austin]

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.


The Presidential Campaign of 1864: It's hard to escape the political ads and punditry of this election season, but what was it like for presidential campaigns of the nineteenth century? Lincoln's last summer spent at his presidential cottage in northwest DC was an election year, and he used his time there to rest as well as to mobilize his campaign. [President Lincoln's Cottage]

The Other Side of "Green Architecture": Wait, not everyone is excited over the green architecture trend? Cathleen McGuigan discusses the trendiness in constructing green buildings and how the hype often detracts from building truly sustainable structures. [Newsweek]

Are Historic Sites prepared for Disasters?: With the current hurricane season in full force, it's important to keep in mind that historic homes and sites are also affected by rising water, wind and debris. Max van Balgooy takes a look at disaster planning for historic sites. [National Trust Historic Sites Weblog]

Galveston Today: Confessions of a Preservationist collected a few images from the aftermath of hurricane Ike in the city of Galveston. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Chinatown--The Next Lower East Side?: Development in New York's Chinatown has some crying "gentrification," and fearing an ensuing hipster invasion. Others see the neighborhood's potential for smart growth and new types of business as a way to cater to the next generation. [Time Out New York]

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.


Twenty Most Sustainable Cities: Ethisphere looks at 20 "Global Sustainability Centers," weighing factors such as economies, populations, cultural activities, universities, international recognition, and most importantly "they also needed to have a plan in place that will shift their bulky, mega-hub selves onto an environmentally sustainable path so that by 2020 (the future, if you will), they will be sustainability role models." [Ethisphere]

Modernism in Greensboro: The "Gate City" has developed a reputation as a center of Modernism in the southeast. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

Interpreting Slavery at Historic Sites: With the inclusion of "history from below" into many historic sites and museums, topics such as slavery need to be interpreted alongside more traditional areas. Max Van Balgooy details the strategies for interpreting these unique histories laid out at a recent meeting of the America Association for State and Local History, held in Rochester, NY. [National Trust Historic Sites]

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.


Memorial Stadium - Greensboro

Memorial Stadium - Greensboro

Greensboro's Memorial Stadium at a Crossroads: Serving the Greensboro baseball community from 1926 until 2004, Memorial Stadium is facing the question that many historic stadiums face--what to do? Ideas of adaptive reuse are being tossed around in a city known for reusing existing structures for other purposes. In 1984, the Wafco Mill Complex in College hill was converted into residential units and a civic center completed in 2006 was at one time the Southern Railway Depot. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

New England's Football Mall: The NFL season kicked off this weekend and Patriot fans can now enjoy a trip to Bass Pro Shops, Circuit City and other retailers while tailgating this fall. Team owner Robert Kraft footed the bill for a $300 Million shopping mall addition to Gillette stadium in Foxboro, Mass. While it's become common for a professional sports stadium to offer stores to gameday visitors, the Patriots organization is hoping that Patriot Place will act as a draw well into the offseason. Hopefully the new mall will give Pats' fans something to be excited about this season--and relief from the oftentimes harsh realities of pro football. [NPR]

Getting Her Kicks on Route 96: Preservationist Rebecca Rowe discusses the benefits of straying from the beaten path and discovering heritage travel along the way. New York State's Route 96 curves southeast from Rochester through the Finger Lakes region, offering some scenic views and small town flavors. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Lincoln Bicentennial Activities Are Heating Up: Get your tickets to visit the most significant historic site directly associated with Lincoln's presidency aside from the White House. Tour tickets for President Lincoln's Cottage are now available for January through June of 2009. Reserve your spot online now and celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday at his Presidential retreat. [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

Post Katrina Housing Shortage is Still a Problem: With New Orleans bracing itself for another hurricane over the past week, it's important to remember that the effects of Katrina in 2005 are still an ongoing issue. [Mother Jones]

Lower Eastside Tenanment Museum's New Website: The National Trust Historic Site has recently redesigned their website, offering exciting new means of interpreting the history of New York's immigrant experience. [National Trust Historic Sites Weblog]

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.


Ferris Wheels and Shikinen Sengu: Preservation Wayne looks at the replacement of historic landmarks, and how this can affect their surroundings. While die-hard preservationists may lament over the loss of a historic building, Wayne acknowledges that appropriate rebuilding can enhance the surviving buildings and areas. [Preservation Wayne]

Historic College Hill: Like any other institution of higher learning, UNC-Greensboro is rapidly growing and in need of expanding in order to accommodate. Standing in the way of at least one phase of this expansion is a small residential area named College Hill--a National Register designated neighborhood. [Preservation Greensboro]

The Old House and the Sea: Clinghouse--a century-old mansion built on a rock in  Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay--has quite a unique history. [New York Times]

10 Myths About Abraham Lincoln: Slaves? Depression? Lovers? President Lincoln's Cottage addresses some of the most widespread rumors surrounding our 16th President. [President Lincoln's Cottage]

Marlan Blackwell's Arkansas House: A fire-damaged property gets an sleek, modern redesign. [ModernTulsa]

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.