Pop Culture

The True Story Behind Those Giant Concrete Arrows

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by Lauren Walser 7 Comments

 

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Giant concrete arrows were first installed by the Department of Commerce around 1927 to guide commercial pilots. (Photo courtesy Dppowell, Wikimedia Commons)

In the days before high-tech navigation systems, pilots flying across the country had slightly simpler tools to point them in the right direction: a network of beacons and giant concrete arrows.

Some of those arrows still exist today -- huge, mysterious, brush-covered artifacts, generally in remote reaches of the country. To an unsuspecting hiker, it might be a startling discovery. But together, these beacons and arrows tell the story of how the country’s earliest airmail and commercial airline pilots navigated the skies.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

By Sophia Dembling

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Esther Gordy Edwards established the Motown Museum in 1985.

Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, has called his big sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, “bossy” and he knew in 1958 that borrowing money from the family savings club she had established wouldn’t be easy.

“She had power and influence,” Gordy wrote in his autobiography, To Be Loved. “She was a strong businesswoman, and very careful with money. The family depended on Esther to keep these things together.”

Gordy got the fight and the words he’d expected to hear from his sister -- If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich? And, she continued, “You’re 29 years old and what have you done so far in your life?” In the end, though, Edwards approved an $800 loan -- provided Gordy sign a contract with future royalties as security.

The rest, of course, is music history -- still preserved in Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit. The museum founded by Edwards in the modest house where some of the greatest hits of the 1960s were recorded by some of the era’s most iconic acts: the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a who’s-who of others.... 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

A New “Constellation” Over Bannerman Castle

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by Lauren Walser

 

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"Constellation" rises over Bannerman Castle.

There's a new set of stars shining over the ruins of Bannerman Castle, a former military surplus warehouse on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River 60 miles north of Manhattan. It's the work of Beacon, New York-based artist Melissa McGill, who grew curious about the island and its mysterious brick and stone structure as she passed them by train.

After researching the island's history, McGill worked with local preservation groups to install 17 poles around the ruins, ranging in height from 40 to 80 feet, each with a solar-powered LED light on top. One by one, the lights turn on at sunset, creating a new constellation above the ruins.

Some lights mark a current architectural feature of the castle; others mark what was once there. Together, they create a set of stars connecting the castle’s past to its present.

Constellation will shine above Bannerman Castle for the next two years. Check out the photo essay below for more about the history of this island and how this public art project is shaping the skies.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Travel Itinerary] Lowell, Massachusetts

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by David Weible

 

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Trolley tours through Lowell National Historical Park are free of charge.

One of Lowell, Massachusetts’ defining qualities -- beyond being a hard-working, blue-collar town -- is change.... 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.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

[Historic Bars] Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by Lauren Walser

 

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Flat Tire Lounge is in an old Quonset hut originally used by the railroad. It now features a new 800-square-foot deck.

A pint of beer after a summer afternoon bike ride? Yes, please.

Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa, can deliver just that. This bike-friendly bar opened in 2011 as the vision of a group of local friends.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Summer Concert Series] Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by Kara Timberlake 3 Comments

 

Summer is concert season, and as part of our own summer concert series, we're putting the spotlight on places that have witnessed some of the most memorable musical performances in American history. Some are traditional venues, and others… well, not so much. But they all have two things in common: terrific music and fascinating history.

Liner Notes

Performer(s): Marian Anderson, accompanied by pianist Kosti Vehanen

Venue: Lincoln Memorial

Location: Washington, D.C.

Date: April 9, 1939 (Easter Sunday)

Memorable Moment: Then-Interior Secretary Harold Ickes introduced Anderson to the stage, saying “Genius draws no color lines, and so it is fitting that Marian Anderson should raise her voice in tribute to the noble Lincoln, whom mankind will ever honor.”

Show Vibe: More than 75,000 crowded the National Mall while millions of radio listeners tuned in to hear Anderson.... 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.

Kara Timberlake

Kara Timberlake

Kara Timberlake is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. An aficionado of coffee and music, she loves to discover hidden stories through reading, traveling, and meeting new people.