News Round-Ups

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.

Preservation Round-Up: Summer Reading Edition

Posted on: July 16th, 2012 by David Garber


Preservation Pop Quiz: The A/C Question -- Preservation in Pink

"Architectural integrity aside, when has an air conditioning unit ever been attractive? [...] Obviously, this is a preservation pet peeve of mine. It might be one of yours now, too."

Abandoned Walmart Transformed Into A Functioning Library -- PSFK

"The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store [which was built in 1991] and abandoned it."

St. Louis County Library Seeks to Demolish Historic Lewis & Clark Branch -- Modern STL

"Designed by prominent architect Frederick Dunn, FAIA, with Emil Frei Stained Glass windows by artist Robert Harmon, it was completed in 1963 at 9909 Lewis-Clark Boulevard. After nearly 50 years in use, the building’s architectural integrity is unparalleled amongst its peers, and it functions as a vibrant hub for the surrounding North St. Louis County community."

Why All Philly Schools Look the Same -- Hidden City Philadelphia

"Standardization did not mean that all schools shared an identical look. Dimensions might be common among Catharine-built schools, but style and ornamentation vary widely. Many schools incorporated common Philadelphia architectural styles such as Second Empire and Georgian Revival. Still others bore styles scarcely seen in the conservative Quaker city."

What I Learned on Martha's Vineyard -- The Craftsman

"Recently I had the opportunity to visit Martha’s Vineyard. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, it’s an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts that has a rich history dating all the way back to 1602. Full of colonial era and mid 19th century buildings built by the captains of the then booming whaling industry I was like a kid in a historic candy store! But the incredible architecture was only the tip of the iceberg."

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: Demolition Edition

Posted on: June 25th, 2012 by David Garber 1 Comment


Did we hook you with that title? As our regular readers know, we at the National Trust are absolutely not in the business of condoning demolition. So we couldn't help but notice the provocatively titled 25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now list put out by California Home + Design last week.

Take a look at the list -- and the other articles we share today -- and let us know: What do you think could be done with these sites (particularly the historic ones)?

The Geisel Library at University of California San Diego made California Home + Design's list of "25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now." Those are some dramatic angles!

25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now -- California Home + Design

"When proportion, balance, form and function come together in a delicate harmony, architecture is nothing short of an art form. But when, on occasion, those principles clash, the results can be eye-searingly awful. We asked 15 architects and our own staff to weigh-in on what buildings, given the chance, they'd take a wrecking ball to."

The Real High Line Effect: A Transformational Triumph of Preservation and Design -- The Huffington Post

"The success of New York's High Line -- a stretch of abandoned elevated railroad on New York's West Side that has undergone a Phoenix-like resurrection to become one of the city's most popular destinations -- has generated much conversation about the so-called "High Line effect." Several cities are looking at their own long-disused sections of track, hoping they can literally replicate New York's success. Perhaps, but that narrow interpretation ignores the confluence of unique factors that made New York's High Line an instant classic."

Revitalizing Neighborhoods: Over-the-Rhine -- Metro Jacksonville

"Metro Jacksonville visits what is believed to be the largest most intact urban historic district in the United States: Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine. [...] What's slowly taking place in Over-the-Rhine indicates that when a city invests in itself and quality-of-life, privately financed market rate development tends to follow."

Renovated, Repurposed Buildings in Massachusetts --

"Boston is well-known as a historical city -- the Cradle of Liberty produced some sturdy buildings. If one goes into disrepair, there are numerous restoration societies that aim to keep the city's historic buildings up and running. Here’s a look at some of Boston's renovated and repurposed buildings where the outside is the same, but the inside is very different."

Texan Lighthouses a Preservation of History -- Galveston Daily News

"Mention the state of Texas and it brings to mind barbecue, the Alamo, football, real cowboys, longhorns, spring break, astronauts, big hats and lighthouses. Lighthouses? Maine and North Carolina have lighthouses, but Texas? The truth is that about 90 lighthouses and lightships have dotted the Texas coast through the years, guiding mariners through barrier island gaps into thriving ports at Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Indianola, Galveston, Houston and Beaumont."


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: Mini Golf Edition

Posted on: June 18th, 2012 by David Garber


Myrtle Beach Says Goodbye to Historic Inn, Will Be Replaced by Mini Golf and Restaurant -- Myrtle Beach Online

"The Chesterfield Inn -- a quaint, three-story brick building that has stood on the oceanfront at Seventh Avenue North since the 1940s, with earlier versions dating back even further -- has outlived its time as a go-to place to stay, its owners say, overshadowed by the trendy high-rises with modern amenities such as lazy rivers and in-room kitchens that weren’t even thought of during the Chesterfield’s heyday."

Saving a Rosenwald School -- CNN

"The little white building with tall windows is off a main road, miles from the busier patches of town. This was the school where Marian Coleman sang nursery rhymes, the same school where her parents met when they were just kids. For about 30 years, any black child in this northwest Georgia community came here to learn to read and write, to understand math, geography and health. They shared books, brought their own lunches and shared those, too."

Transforming Historic Buildings into Magnets for Future Growth --

"Renovation of historic buildings is gaining momentum in downtown Buffalo, as derelict buildings like the AM&A warehouse, Hotel Lafayette and others are revived by developers to meet demand for innovative living and office space."

Yorkville Bank, Three Firehouses and Two Hotels Are City's Newest Landmarks -- New York

"All six structures, built in the early 20th century were named new landmarks on Tuesday for their architectural distinction and significant roles they played in the rapidly growing metropolis shortly after the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. "All of these buildings illustrate how far New York City had come by the start of the 20th century and signaled the promising direction in which it was headed," Commission Chairman Robert Tierney said in a statement."

Saying Farewell to The Georgetown, a Boat With a 'Soul' -- Georgetown Patch

"NPS, which operates the C&O Canal and its historic outreach programs, determined that repairs to the mule-drawn 1870's replica boat would be "cost prohibitive," according to John Noel, a regional spokesperson for the agency."

Ford School moved to its old home in McHenry County -- Chicago Tribune

"The building, which replaced an even older schoolhouse on the site, stopped functioning as a school in 1938. Andreas' husband, Weldon, was the last teacher there, and their son Duane, now 78, recalled playing under his dad's desk at the school when he was 4. In the 1940s, a farmer bought the structure for $250 and moved it a few blocks west, where it was used as housing for migrant workers. Later it became a private home and, most recently, an office for a nursery business that shut down about three years ago."

Want a Lighthouse? -- Maine Morning Sentinel

"The federal government wants to give away two historic Maine lighthouses -- but not to just anyone. Agencies interested in owning Boon Island Light Station, off York, or Halfway Rock Light Station, off Harpswell, must be committed to preserving the structures' historical integrity and willing to try to make the islands they are located on accessible to the public, said Patrick Sclafani, spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration in Boston."

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: 11 Most in the News

Posted on: June 8th, 2012 by David Garber 1 Comment


Each year, the week of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places announcement is always busy with events, web updates, press calls, and media coverage. And each year we're fortunate to help draw a lot of attention to places that need it.

Our lists of threatened historic places resonate because they cover a wide set of history and place interests, and a diversity of geography, site type, and related people groups. As you can see below, this year's list is no different, so we thought we'd share some of the great pieces that came through the wire over the past couple days.

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: Found on Facebook Edition

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 by David Garber 2 Comments


Today's Preservation Round-Up is a selection of stories you alerted us to on our Facebook page. As much as we have our ear to the ground for local preservation stories and efforts around the country, we can't be everywhere at once, so we greatly appreciate your shares. Here are some recent posts worth checking out.

Historic Preservation Needs in Los Angeles

"I've just created a shared google map for alerting folks to historic preservation emergencies in their LA communities. Click to see what's in danger near you, and please add any place you are worried about which is not already on the map."

The Last Humble Gas Station

"Humble Oil was once the most important oil company in Texas with service stations stretched across the state and huge refineries that supplied both Texans and motorists across the country."

Massive Fergus Falls, Minnesota Hospital in Danger of Demolition

"What would you do with 700,000+ square feet of pretty much raw space? The Historic Fergus Falls State Hospital (now RTC) is in need of your ideas. No idea is too outlandish - what would you do with this building?"

Philadelphia's Historic St. Peter’s Church Needs You

"St. Peter’s is one of those places that makes you realize you can go home again.  From her beautiful windows to the high boxes inside the church, to the climb up the stairs for a look out over the church yard, St. Peter’s is just a very cool place."

Kickstarter to Restore a Historic Building and Open a Coffee House

"I am trying to save this historic building and create a gathering place for the community and visitors! The Kickstarter project is to help raise the funds to complete the restoration of the building and create an outdoor space open to the public." ... 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.