Restoration

 

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Shankweiler's in Orefield, Pennsylvania is the oldest drive-in theatre in the country.

It was only supposed to be a temporary gig. Paul Geissinger, a recent high school graduate, agreed to run the projection booth at Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre in Orefield, Pa., for just a couple weeks until the theater’s new owner could find a permanent employee.

Forty-two years later, Geissinger is still there -- except now, he owns the place.

“I remember, I told [the owner] no, I’m not interested in working at a drive-in,” says Geissinger, who, at the time, was enrolled in electronics school. “But I said, fine, I’ll give you two weekends while you find someone else. But after two weeks, he couldn’t find anyone, so I gave him three weeks. Then another week. And I’m still there.”

This April, Geissinger opened up the beloved Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre, the oldest drive-in theater in the country, for its 80th season.... 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.

No School Left Behind: Saving Montana's Rural Classrooms

Posted on: June 24th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

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The little school on the prairie. Rural schoolhouses, like this one in western Montana, may soon exist only in fiction.

Sandy Hart’s grandmother rode her horse to school. Out in rural Montana, wooden bell towers ring in the school day as the stars and stripes flutter atop lone flagpoles.

Tucked among mountains and prairies, these schoolhouses only have one or two classrooms. Yet steeped in the state’s homestead history, the rough hewn logs, clapboard, or cobblestone walls, are -- or were once -- a beacon for learning and community life.

Montana abounds with these one-and-two room schools built to educate children in the countryside. But these schools are getting, literally, left behind.... 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.

Ellinwood's Historic Wolf Hotel: Giving Hope to a Hometown

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Katherine Flynn 1 Comment

 

Chris McCord and business partner Kelli Penner are hoping to turn the National Register-listed Wolf Hotel into a bed and breakfast. Credit: Kelli Penner
Owner Chris McCord and business partner Kelli Penner are hoping to turn the National Register-listed Wolf Hotel into a bed-and-breakfast.

In 117 years, the Italianate-style Wolf Hotel in sleepy Ellinwood, Kan. has had only four owners. The newest, 26-year-old Chris McCord, is still in awe of his new responsibility.... 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 editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Slideshow] Cincinnati's Workers Murals: Historic Treasures on the Move

Posted on: June 8th, 2013 by David Robert Weible

 

Winold Reiss traveled to local Cincinnati industries and businesses in search of scenes to capture in his murals. Pictured here is a scene from American Laundry Machinery Inc., which at the time, was the world’s largest producer of industrial laundry equipment. This mural is one of the nine that will have to be moved.
Winold Reiss traveled to local Cincinnati industries and businesses in search of scenes to capture in his murals. Pictured here is a scene from American Laundry Machinery Inc., which at the time, was the world’s largest producer of industrial laundry equipment. This mural is one of the nine that will have to be moved.

They've done it before. The question is whether they can do it again.

With the completion of Cincinnati’s new Art Deco Union Terminal in 1933, officials commissioned over 18,000 square feet of art for its walls meant to transform the city’s image from one to be avoided on cross-country train travel, to a desired stopover. The largest portion of that space went to Winold Reiss, who set about depicting the industrial prowess of the Cincinnati area with 23 glass mosaic tile murals.

But after train service ceased at Union Terminal in 1972, and with the impending demolition of the concourse, 14 of the murals depicting specific scenes from local industries and businesses like Procter & Gamble, ended up being the ones on the move.... 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 Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

One Man's Quest to Restore the Humble Homes of American Icons

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn 1 Comment

 

Dan Riedemann, of Nineteenth Century Restorations, LLC, poses with a sign outside Johnny Carson’s birthplace before the restoration. Credit: Dan Riedemann/Nineteenth Century Restorations, LLC
Dan Riedemann, of Nineteenth Century Restorations, LLC, poses with a sign outside Johnny Carson’s birthplace before the restoration.

Woody Guthrie, Nina Simone, and Johnny Carson are just three of the many American legends to be born in small, modest homes in America’s heartland, far away from the bright lights of the bustling cities where they would one day perform. Two of these three homes are still standing, serving as a testament to the fact that great things can come from humble beginnings.

Dan Riedemann, who co-owns Nineteenth Century Restorations, LLC, with his wife, has taken on the task of restoring each of these homes to their original, historically accurate appearances. For the past four months, Riedemann has been restoring Johnny Carson’s childhood home in Corning, Ia., a 1,000-square-foot house where Carson spent the first three years of his life.... 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 editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.