Pop Culture

Playing with Art: The Isamu Noguchi Playscape

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 5 Comments

 

The Isamu Noguchi Playscape: Is it a park? Is it sculpture? Let’s call it visionary playground design.
The Isamu Noguchi Playscape: Is it a park? Is it art? Let’s call it visionary playground design.

Don’t touch the art -- play with it! Kids can definitely get their hands and feet all over this sculpture installation. The Isamu Noguchi Playscape, a colorful world of reimagined play and art, is found in the Olmsted-designed Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia.

At the Playscape, swings, slides, and jungle gyms are reconceptualized as sculpture. Likewise, sculpture is rethought for its communal function, blurring the line between fine art, landscape design, and good old childhood fun.... 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Imaginations Lift Off at Los Arboles "Rocketship" Park

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 4 Comments

 

The Rocketship Park. Credit: Neil Klemer, Flickr.
The Rocketship Park in Torrance, California.

For generations of children who have grown up in Torrance, Calif., traveling to outer space was as easy as visiting Los Arboles “Rocketship” Park.

The highlight of the 6.3-acre park, completed in the 1960s, has long been the 28-foot-tall rocket ship play structure, purchased from a catalog of playground equipment shortly after a local developer donated the land for the park to the city.

On any given day for the last five decades, park visitors would see children scaling the ladder inside the ship from one level to the next and careening down the metal slide on the outside of the structure.

“Kids feel like they’re blasting off into space,” says Janet Payne, a vice president with Torrance Historical Society.... 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.

Not Stopping That United Sound: Highway Threatens Detroit's Motown Studio

Posted on: September 6th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 1 Comment

 

The United Sound System Recording Studios’ and its long music history may be run over by a freeway. Credit: Brian Mulloy, Flickr.
The United Sound System Recording Studios and its long music history may be leveled or be forced to relocate to make way for the I-94.

United Sound System: it's where Detroit got its Motown sound. One of the first independent recording studios in the US, United Sound was where Berry Gordy Jr. first produced his Motown record and Aretha Franklin recorded the vocals to "Freeway of Love."

Ironically, today a freeway -- an expansion of the I-94 -- threatens the legendary music house.... 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Historic Playgrounds: Seward Park, NYC

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013 by Paulina Tam

 

This week's installment on historic playgrounds comes to you from the Big Apple, where editorial intern Paulina Tam reports on Seward Park in New York City’s Lower East Side (more history after the jump!):

... 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.

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam is an intern at Preservation magazine as well as the Features Co-Editor of The Observer at Fordham University. A WWII and aviation fanatic, she maintains a growing collection of WWII model airplanes that accompanies her hometown writing station.

How We Came to Play: The History of Playgrounds

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Guest Writer 3 Comments

 

By Kaitlin O’Shea, Preservation in Pink

Giant Stride ca. 1910-1915 as would be seen on a Model Playground. Credit: Library of Congress.
Giant Stride ca. 1910-1915 as would be seen on a Model Playground.

On warm spring evenings, blustery fall afternoons, and sticky summer days, when nostalgia and memories brush past you, where does your mind go? Where did you spend many hours as a school-age child? For most of us it was a playground, whether climbing the playground equipment or running circles on the athletic field, letting our imaginations take us anywhere and everywhere.

Yet this was not always the case. Children of the 19th century didn’t have formal playgrounds. Originating as “sand gardens” in Germany in 1885, the beginnings of playgrounds appeared in the United States in Boston in 1886. And until the turn of the 20th century, playgrounds remained uncommon in public spaces.

But as industrialization and urbanization grew, so did the concern for public welfare. Humanitarians saw playgrounds as the solution to cramped quarters, poor air quality, and social isolation. This new concept could keep children off the dangerous streets and help them develop their physical health, good habits, socialization skills, and the pleasure of being a child.... 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.