News Round-Ups


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!

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12 Amazing Stadium Designs: Sports stadiums are perfect examples of places that act as containers of memory and culture. Found in practically every major city across the world, few people are without experience when it comes to these giant structures. [Listicles]

Preserving Historic Airports: If you saw Valkyrie, you may recall the scenes where the reserve troops are lined up in a huge, high-walled courtyard. That courtyard is part of Berlin's Tempelhof airport, a nazi-era Flughafen that Sir Norman Foster once called, "the mother of all airports." Tempelhof ceased operations in October and now the decision over what to do with it. Suggestions for the structure include: apartment complexes, athletic facilities, even a fancy new red-light district. [Spiegel Online]

Celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial at Lincoln's Cottage: It's Lincoln Bicentennial time at the President's historic D.C. vacation home and the Cottage's new exhibit, My Abraham Lincoln, is adding to the celebrations. [President Lincoln's Cottage]

Wade in Manhattan: "For her thesis project at Rice, Amanda Chin proposed ten "waterscrapers" that would slice across the urban space of Manhattan, cutting through buildings, through parks, and through the urban grid itself, forming strange aquatic intersections with the city." [BLDGBLOG]

West 59th St Sea Creatures: [Scouting New York]

The Legibility of Destruction: " If a building calls attention to itself when it has ceased to exist, is there a middle ground, an intermediate representational stage that not only forecasts a language of destruction, but that also evokes the purely conceptual urgings that inspired the design of the building in the first place?" [a456]

Happy Birthday Macintosh: Preserving historic computers? That may be a stretch, but Preservodome would be amiss to not mention that it was 25 years ago this week that Apple debuted the Mac. Some people are probably more than excited than others. [ReadWriteWeb]

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.


Letter from a Birmingham Jail: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms..." [mlkonline]

Guide to Catching the Inauguration from Anywhere: [LifeHacker]

Accidental Maps: [StrangeMaps]

Town Center's Urban Planning Bumps into Wal-Mart: "Eden Prairie envisions a new "town center'' in its future, and Wal-Mart -- to the company's dismay -- has a store right in the middle of it." [Minn-St Paul Star Tribune]

Superb Idea: Bike Lane that Travels With You: "The system projects a virtual bike lane (using lasers!) on the ground around the cyclists, providing drivers with a recognizable boundary they can easily avoid. The idea is to allow riders to take safety into their own hands, rather than leaving it to the city." [Good]

Pneumatic Post in Paris: "Introduced to combat the shortcomings of the telegraphic network in Paris, the subterranean Poste Pneumatique (Pneumatic Post) moved written telegraph messages from 1866 until 1984. The pneumatic tube network relieved the saturated telegraph network, delivering physical messages across the city and to the suburbs faster and more reliably than the telegraph." [active social plastic]

What Will Save the Suburbs?: "The problem now isn’t really how to better design homes and communities, but rather what are we going to do with all the homes and communities we’re left with." [New York Times]

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.


President Lincoln's Cottage in Winter, Photo by Jessica King.

President Lincoln's Cottage in Winter, Photo by Jessica King

Lists and Resolutions Abound: Here's 20 things that Place Economics learned about Historic Preservation while blogging on the subject over the past year. [PlaceEconomics]

2008: A Year of Resilience: Historic Sites Weblog looks at the weather-related calamities of the past year and what can be done to prepare for the future. [Nation Trust Historic Sites]

Coastal Engineering in the Netherlands: The situation in the Low-Countries can often be seen as resembling threats that continue to face our own Gulf Coast regions like New Orleans and Galveston. "More than half of the Netherlands sits below sea level, and if a megastorm were to break through these not-so-formidable dunes, the water could inundate Rotterdam and surrounding cities within 24 hours, flooding thousands of square miles, paralyzing the nation's economy, and devastating an area inhabited by more than 2 million people." [Wired]

Is the Dubaian Dream Dead in 2009?: With falling oil prices and an unstable global economy, the Dubai-building boom may be on the way to bust. Tree Hugger has followed the "sometimes 'green'" development in the emirate over the course of 2008. [Tree Hugger]

Fortifications Tour: It may have been canceled for 2009, but it sounded extremely cool. "We will study the architectural responses to conflict; their continuing evolution and adaptation to new technology, tactics and politics; as well as their impact on the national, urban and individual scale in the built environment and landscape..." [BLDGBLOG]

Historic Site Tourism: Tiger Style: In order to help make ancient Buddhist temple tourism more profitable, the town of Guandu has done what any village in time of need would do; turn to the local Shaolin masters. "Guandu officials say they will get no money from the deal, but they hope the Shaolin mystique will pull in the kind of crowds that have turned the flagship monastery, in Henan Province, into one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. Mr. Dou said the government would save the $88,000 once spent on temple maintenance each year. They are also counting on the tax revenue from a vast new mall that is nearing completion next to the temple complex." (Meth and Ghostface could not be reached for comment.) [New York Times: Asia/Pacific]

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.


Preserving Susan B. Anthony's Neighborhood: The Landmark Society of Western New York's mini-grant program supplied 12 applicants with money for exterior repairs to pre-Civil War homes in the neighborhood of Rochester's favorite daughter. "Historic preservation grant programs can do more than preserve properties; they also can nurture and preserve the communities they serve!" [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Atwater Building, Wabash Ave., Chicago. From Time Tells.

Atwater Building, Wabash Ave., Chicago. From Time Tells.

Time Tells End of Year Roundup: Vince Michael’s take on preservation in Chicago-land and beyond for 2008 (with plenty of interesting photos). [Time Tells]

NYC to Test New Energy Efficient Street Lamps: Street lamps played an important role in the creation of public space in the city. Originally fueled by gas, street lamps opened up the dark and seedy areas of the city to families and the emerging middle-classes. Now, New York's DOT is taking their lamps to the next level. "Rather than just designing a new bulb to replace the older high-pressure sodium light bulbs, OVI (Office for Visual Interaction) has completely re-envisioned the streetlamps from the ground up. The new LED lamps will use considerably less energy and will reduce the city’s power usage by 25-30 percent if all the streetlamps are switched out. As an added bonus, the lamps are expected to last 50,000-70,000 hours compared to the high-pressure sodium lights that last only 24,000 hours. As a result maintenance and energy costs will be considerably reduced, and the expected ROI on each lamp is 2-3 years." [Inhabitat]

33 Stunning LEED Platinum Projects: Jetson Green discusses thirty three LEED Platinum Projects from the past year. [Jetson Green]

Touring Hitler's Air Palace: If you happened to catch the new Tom Cruise fim, Valkyrie, you may recall the scene where German reserve soldiers muster in a vast, high-walled courtyard. The space belongs to one of Europe's largest buildings, Templehof Airport. "Typical of Nazi-era architecture, Tempelhof's main building was built to last all 1,000 years of Hitler's Reich. A short walk from the U-bahn stop at Platz der Luftbrucke, the first view is a city block of art deco limestone, itself only a small part of a complex that goes on and on and on. Don't even bother photographing the exterior unless you have a satellite. The curving arms of the terminal span 1.2 kilometres, and the complex encompasses three million square feet." [The Globe and Mail]

Nuclear Urbanism: Google Maps mash-ups are all the rage (personally, I'm a huge fan of MapMyRun's distance tracker) these days. This one, while possibly a bit frightening, is worth a look. has created a mapplet that allows you to select a place, choose your desired nuclear weapon and "Nuke It!" in order to see the results of an attack. I'm not saying I'm a fan of nuclear weapons, but I couldn't resist entering the address to a certain division-rival's stadium and looking at the results. [BLDGBLOG]

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.