News Round-Ups

 

Stadtschloss Berlin, by Francesco Stella, courtesy of anArchitecture

Stadtschloss Berlin, by Francesco Stella, courtesy of anArchitecture

Kein Schloss in Meinem Namen: We recently featured anArchitecture's post surrounding the deconstruction of the East German cultural center and the plans to rebuild a Prussian-era Stadtschloss in its place. More news from this sector of the Preservodome as Berliners are speaking out against the new plans. At kein-schloss-in-meinem-namen.de (no palace in my name), citizens can express their feelings surroundings the rebuilding of the palace. Es ist nur auf Deutsch, but the point here is the discussion of which history a society is choosing to remember and represent. For a society and history that is obsessed with how remembrance and forgetting should work into its culture, the debate of what building should be placed on the site only makes sense, and fits nicely into the field of preservation. For spaces and places that have played a role in more than one era or historical moment, how do we go about deciding what should be preserved, restored, and interpreted to the public? An example here would be the restoration of James Madison's Montpelier. Although lacking the political nature of the German situation, the home of our fourth President was recently deconstructed, and rebuilt to reflect its Madison-era appearance. The building's post-Madison history is still on display in a visitor center exhibit, but not in the building itself. The Stadtschloss-reconstruction debate is far from over, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. [anArchitecture]

Metro Solutions: A lot of us here at the National Trust use D.C.'s Metro system every day, and often realize the challenges this system faces on our daily commute. "Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich thinks he might have found a way to let the suburbs grow without putting more cars on the roads: Build a rapid bus system that can speed past traffic. If his efforts succeed, Montgomery could become a leader in the region and one of only a dozen or so jurisdictions in the nation to embrace the low-polluting, high-end bus systems that can move thousands of riders at fairly high speeds, often in their own lanes." Could Elrich have the solution to the archaic system's problem? [Washington Post]

Midtown Mall and Revitalizing Rochester: It's Christmastime and to many Rochesterians that means one thing; the Monorail at Midtown Mall. While the monorail, the colorful clock tower and the decorations may all be gone, the discussion over what to do with this indicative place in Rochester history is still around. "Midtown Plaza, particularly the atrium, is a significant and unique historic resource that potentially presents a wealth of opportunities for reuse as part of a revitalized city core with a distinctive character. Our preference would be to see the atrium integrated into a creative reuse of this site." [Confessions of a Preservationist]

OnnenKenka Monument, Tuuri, Finland, courtesy of Virtual Tourist

OnnenKenka Monument, Tuuri, Finland, courtesy of Virtual Tourist

The Top Ten "Ugliest" Buildings: This is just one website's interpretation, as I find some of these buildings to be extremely cool (the Lucy Shoe Monument in particular) and we've even featured the number one listing here at the Trust as an example of Brutalism in the debate over preserving the modern. “Some of these picks have all the charm of a bag of nails while others are just jaw-dropping in their complexity. Love them or hate them, the list is certainly entertaining.” [Virtual Tourist]

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 and Development in New York City: A recent Times article examines the "delicate dance" between those who are looking to preserve buildings like those in Greenwich Village's Historic District and the developers who are looking to address practical, current issues. [New York Times]

Pinon House Renovation: A Modern Home that Conserves: "One of the best ways to have a green home is to renovate– and by reusing as much original material as possible, you can reduce the amount of virgin material necessary for construction." [Inhabitat]

Is the UK Failing to Adequately Preserve World Heritage Sites?: "The UK has drawn fire from UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural agency, for failing to adequately protect seven of its 27 World Heritage sites from the effects of development." [Architectural Record]

The Future of Greensboro's War Memorial Stadium: Before Greensboro's historic landmark can be saved, deterioration to its concrete structure must be addressed. In order to do this, cutting edge "ground penetrating radar" technology may be employed. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

Three Civil War/Lincoln-Related Anniversaries: are coming up. Take the President Lincoln's Cottage online poll to let them know which one you are looking forward to. [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

Hiding in Plain Sight - Matsumoto's Lipman Residence: " Located in Richmond, Virginia, it was built in 1957. This “split-level” was included in the book Contemporary Houses Evaluated by Their Owners (1961)." Check out the pictures found by MidCentury on Flickr. [MidCentury]

Ocean Pools: “Rock pools,” we read, “are one of Sydney’s defining characteristics, along with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, though not as well known...Each pool has its own colorful history. Some were built by wealthy individuals in the 1800s, when Victorian-era morals banned daytime swimming at the beach, a concept hard to fathom in a country where going to the beach seems to be required. Some pools were built by convicts, others during the Depression. They come in all sizes and shapes, from 50 meters long (roughly 55 yards) and many lanes wide to much smaller boutique pools." I once visited the river-pool in Berlin, something tells me the Spree has nothing on the Southern Pacific. [Pruned]

LEED Changes to Benefit Existing and Historic Buildings: Our own Barbara Campagna is the featured author in this month's AIA KnowledgeNet newsletter, bringing her broad understanding of LEED and its relationship to historic buildings to her peers in the architecture community. [AIA KnowledgeNet]

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.

 

Catching up on the news within the Preservodome after a long Thanksgiving weekend..

New Orleans Hospital Complex: Spectacular or a Disaster?: News is spreading about the Charity Hospital announcement, hopefully this is not the end of the discussion. [International Herald Tribune]

Red Revival: While that news may not be very positive, New Orleans does have another post-Katrina development that can viewed as a good thing. [Times-Picayune]

Giving Thanks: I'd like to give thanks to Vince Michael and his blog Time Tells. Always offering a fresh, unique perspective on a variety of topics, here he talks about what he is thankful for this holiday season--along with something he is not thankful for. [Time Tells]

History-Cosmetics Accomplished: 'The government building and cultural center of the former German Democratic Republic DDR, the "Palast der Republik" has been fully dismantled these days.' One of the cooler looking buildings from the DDR-period, the bronze and mirrored glass structure has been demolished and the site has now been cleared for the rebuilding of the Prussian era Stadtschloss, along with the "Humboldt-Forum" interior. This is rather interesting for a society and culture that is obsessed with the idea of preserving and remembering a traumatic past. Has the German Bundestag decided that other "traumatic pasts" can simply be paved over and now forgotten? While many disagree with and were deeply affected by the socialist/communist state, the building and this period are still part of Germany's history, and help tell the profoundly unique tale of Berlin. [anArchitecture]

Infrastructural Domesticity: A crane operator who has lived in the world's soon-to-be tallest building has lived in said building for over a year? With all the fascinating development going on in the Emirate city of Dubai, I'll believe it. [BLDGBLOG]

Cohabitational Living in Brooklyn: "More modest apartments than the original developers intended and to fill them with families whose lives revolve around the courtyard and 6,000 square feet of common space where residents can cook together, play together, do woodworking or take an art class together." [Tree Hugger]

Re-imagining Stockholm's Slussen: "A joint project between the Swedes at Nod Landscape Architects and Danes at BIG Architects is set to transform Slussen, Stockholm’s city center, with a massive pedestrian-friendly makeover. Currently Slussen is an interwoven mess of roads with no room for pedestrians or cyclists. The proposed project will transform the area into a multi-layered, multi-use intersection allowing walkers and bikers access to waterfront strolls and gas-free travel. The layered design will also incorporate shops and cafes, reviving Stockholm’s main artery." [Inhabitat]

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.

 

Modern master Richard Neutra built this house on the edge of Rock Creek Park. Photo by Matthew Monteith

Modern master Richard Neutra built this house on the edge of Rock Creek Park. Photo by Matthew Monteith

D.C. Off the National Mall: In an interview with Dwell, senior vice president and curator at the National Building Museum Martin Moeller talks about some other things to do in our nation's capital besides visit the Mall's museums and monuments. "There are, for instance, an otherwise unremarkable couple of blocks of Corcoran Street NW that are peppered with delightful small metal sculptures—some freestanding in front gardens, others affixed to doors and facades–all by one artist who used to live on that street. To me, these modest works of art are as quintessentially Washingtonian as the Lincoln Memorial. They speak of a time when residents on that block knew the artist and were pleased to play a part in the permanent exhibit of his work." [Dwell]

Portland Preservationists Battle Local School Board: "A grade school building designed by Portland’s most famous architect, A.E. Doyle, has become the focus of a debate over what is best for historic building preservation and what might be best for students at the school." [Daily Journal of Commerce]

Team of Rivals Revisited: Was Lincoln's famed cabinet both as unique and cohesive as it has recently been portrayed? President Lincoln's Cottage Director Frank Milligan reviews historian James Oakes' arguments in a recent New York Times article. [President Lincoln's Cottage]

The Sound of Space: "If we understand these cinematic images of highways and other forms of conveyance infrastructures as representations of centrifugal space, this begs another question: what does this space sound like?" a456 pulls together some music videos that employ space and technology to give glimpse of how these concepts crossover into music. (Complete with some sweet Kraftwerk tunes.) [a456]

America's Top Bicycling Cities: Bicycling Magazine released its annual list of the best cities for American cyclists. The top five should be no surprise, as they have been known for their bike-friendly streets for some time, but some of the 'most-improved' cities may come as a surprise. . [Bicycling]

Underground Railroad Cycling Route: Speaking of biking, how about a trail that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to Ontario? The 2,028-mile bicycle route memorializes the 19th century trails to freedom used by thousands of slaves. Adventure Cycling Association in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Minority Health created the bike route and have recently been awarded the American Trails National Partnership Award for their efforts. [Bike Pittsburgh]

Abandoned Railways in New York State: And speaking of underground railroads...A recent NYC project to preserve the 1930's elevated High Line railway and turn it into a "park in the sky" could serve as a model for other old rail lines. Being from Rochester, New York, I'm well aware of the abandoned network of tunnels that constitute the old subway (teenage life + living in a city with not much to do=appreciation for the excitement of abandoned tunnel systems). The Landmark Society of Western New York looks at the High Line project and compares the old NYC railway with the situation in the Flower City. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

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.

 

Downtown Buffalo - Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Downtown Buffalo - Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Western New York in the Spotlight: The city of Buffalo may be focused on hosting the Monday Night game this evening, but there is plenty more to get excited about as well. Back in May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Buffalo's Peace Bridge Neighborhood on its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  Now, the New York Times is on board as well.  "Buffalo is home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with major architects like Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright building marvels here. Together they shaped one of the grandest early visions of the democratic American city." [New York Times - Art & Design] And check out the Buffalo Slideshow featured on the Times' website.

Olmstead in Rochester: Besides his impressive work in Buffalo, Frederick Law Olmstead designed several parks in the Queen City's neighbor of Rochester. In addition to Highland Park--home of the annual Lilac Festival--Olmstead worked with the city on Genesee Valley and Seneca/Maplewood Parks.  [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Preservation in Spartanburg: The Preservation Trust of Spartanburg has launched a new website. [Preservation Trust of Spartanburg]

Reembracing the High-Rise: "Tall buildings are back in vogue internationally at present, and South Africa appears alive to this international property-development trend. Partly, the attraction comes down to sensible space management. But urban planners assert that tall buildings can also make positive contributions to city life by serving as beacons of urban regeneration, assisting with changing negative perceptions of a particular area and stimulating further investment." [Engineering News]

Texas Canyon Escapes Suburban Sprawl: A San Francisco-based group called The Trust for Public Land has stepped in to help preserve Palo Duro Canyon  from increasing development. [NPR]

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.