Elvis' house, seen from the back yard. (Photo: Flickr user Thomas Hawk)
While Graceland Booms, Other Historic Homes Rot - National Public Radio
"Americans have always sought architectural brushes with greatness. The nation's first president spent the night at so many inns and private houses that signs advertising "George Washington slept here" were regular roadside attractions even during his lifetime. But only a few homes of celebrated figures, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Elvis Presley's Graceland, have become sites that people go out of their way to visit. Most such places have been torn down, or fall into neglect and disrepair."
Is landmarking a shield or a sword in the fight against overdevelopment? - Architectural Record
"Among urbanists in America, the advent of landmark-preservation laws in the 1960s is usually viewed as an inspiring time in urban planning: Concerned communities, academics, and fans of architecture banded together to protect beloved old buildings from the grand plans of rich developers and powerful politicians. And, remarkably enough, the Davids usually defeated the Goliaths. But have they acquired too much power?"
In Detail > The Banner Building - The Architect's Newspaper
"The structure’s cast iron face - both its decorative elements, many of which had fallen off over the years, as well as its structural supports and bracing - was severely corroded. The condition was even worse on the top two floors, an 1898 addition that featured sheet metal decorative elements, which had deteriorated to the point that, in places, a person could press their fingers through them."
"An abandoned Romanesque Revival heritage church in Montreal has been transformed into the beautiful Bourgie Concert Hall. When the historic church adjacent to Montreal’s Museum of Fine Art came up for sale, the museum decided to preserve the architectural culture of the area and bought the building as part of an extensive museum expansion. The adaptive reuse project has not only maintained the church’s façade, but also the 18 rare Tiffany glass stained windows that adorn each side of the building."
Communities Learn the Good Life Can Be a Killer -The New York Times
"Developers in the last half-century called it progress when they built homes and shopping malls far from city centers throughout the country, sounding the death knell for many downtowns. But now an alarmed cadre of public health experts say these expanded metropolitan areas have had a far more serious impact on the people who live there by creating vehicle-dependent environments that foster obesity, poor health, social isolation, excessive stress and depression."
David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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