Preservation Magazine

The Houses of Louis Kahn: Where Are They Now?

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 15 Comments

 

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The Esherick House in Philadelphia

In our Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine, Modernism-loving managing editor Meghan Drueding brings us the story of Bianca Sforni and Charles Firmin-Didot, a European couple who were so entranced by the Louis Kahn-designed Fisher House in suburban Pennsylvania that they recently decided to make it their home.

Dr. Norman Fisher and his wife Doris, who commissioned the house in 1960, weren’t the only people to seek Kahn’s renowned expertise in designing a relatively affordable, at the time, Midcentury Modern home. The Estonian-born Kahn designed an estimated two dozen houses during his lifetime, nine of which were built in the Philadelphia area for private clients.

Of these nine, all are still standing today, some still owned by the original families. We wanted to get the lowdown on each of these houses, so we did some digging. We hope our findings are as interesting to you as they were to us.

For more information (and beautiful photos,) check out The Houses of Louis Kahn by George H. Marcus and William Whitaker. ... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

The Best of Preservation Magazine’s Transitions Department: 2014

Posted on: December 31st, 2014 by David Weible

 

The beauty of the Treadwell Pump House rivaled that of any other Transitions submission in 2014.
The beauty of the Treadwell Pump House in Juneau, Alaska, rivaled that of any other Transitions submission in 2014.

2014 is sadly -- or mercifully, depending on how you view it -- over. New opportunities, new adventures, and new stories are on the doorstep.

But before we get too excited for our leap into 2015, and the stories that will shape our year in preservation, it doesn’t hurt to take a look back at 2014.

Below, I’ve included some of my favorite pieces from Preservation magazine’s 2014 Transitions department, which catalogues places lost, saved, threatened, or restored from around the country. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.... 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.

Mad River Glen’s Single-Chair Lift: Restoring an Icon

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 by Lauren Walser

 

Left: Crews remove the aging towers from their concrete bases. Right: The single-chair lift takes one skier per chair on a 12-minute ride to the top of General Stark Mountain.
Left: Crews remove the aging towers from their concrete bases. Right: The single-chair lift takes one skier per chair on a 12-minute ride to the top of General Stark Mountain.

Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont’s Green Mountain Range isn’t like most ski areas. As you’ll read in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation, it tends to buck the trends: It rarely uses manmade snow, it does minimal grooming of its trails, it forbids snowboarding, and it’s owned by its skiers, who formed the Mad River Glen Cooperative in 1995.

In fact, Mad River Glen today looks much the way it did when it celebrated its grand opening 66 years ago.... 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.

What It’s Like to Live in a Louis Kahn House

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Meghan Drueding 1 Comment

 

The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.
The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.

Most people associate the revered Modernist architect Louis Kahn with his enduring institutional buildings, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. But Kahn designed houses, too -- extraordinary dwellings filled with natural light and beloved by their owners. One of the nine in existence, the 1967 Fisher-Kahn House in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, was deeded to the National Trust in 2011 through an agreement with its original owners, Doris and Norman Fisher.

The National Trust created a strict protective easement for the property and found a preservation-minded couple, Charles Firmin-Didot and Bianca Sforni, to buy it. A story in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine takes a closer look at the house’s past and present, but here we’ve included some reflections on what it’s like to be there from those who know it best.... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

Filling Stations: (More) Restaurants in Former Garages

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by Geoff Montes 4 Comments

 

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In the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation, we feature three restaurants housed in former of gas stations and garages. We rounded up four other former filling stations around the country offering full-service flavor.... 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.

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes is the Editorial Assistant for Preservation magazine. He enjoys Art Deco architecture, any activity that can be done at the beach, and cotton candy.

[Interview] Q&A with Little Bighorn Archaeologist Douglas Scott

Posted on: December 24th, 2014 by Katherine Flynn 2 Comments

 

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A metal detecting team of National Park rangers and volunteers working near the Little Bighorn River in 2010, the last time Douglas Scott participated in a survey at the site.

In the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine, Logan Ward's story “Common Ground” takes a closer look at an innovative partnership at James Madison’s Montpelier: metal detectorists and archaeologists working side by side to unearth artifacts and dig more deeply into the rich history of our fourth president’s estate.

While this new program is certainly groundbreaking, it’s not without precedent. In 1984, archaeologist Douglas Scott, now retired from the National Park Service, used metal detectors in a large-scale survey of the site of the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn in eastern Montana. The conflict was a historic showdown between General George Custer’s 7th Calvary Regiment and members of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, with the Native American warriors emerging victorious. An estimated 268 U.S. soldiers were killed in the conflict, including General Custer.

With help from more than 30 machine-swinging volunteers, Scott and his partner, Richard Fox, were able to locate more than 5,000 artifacts and accurately map the action of Custer’s Last Stand for the first time ever. Their work at the battleground was one of the first archaeological surveys to employ metal detectors in an organized, systematic way.

I chatted with Scott about the survey, the use of metal detectors as an archaeological tool, and the mystery of the battlefield's Deep Ravine.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.