Restoration

Baltimore's Senator Theatre Restored to Full Art Deco Glory

Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn 1 Comment

 

The Senator’s exterior post-restoration, ready for opening night. Credit: Senator Theatre
The Senator’s exterior post-restoration, ready for opening night.

The 1939 Senator Theatre holds a beloved spot in the hearts of Baltimoreans. Just ask co-owner Kathleen Cusack Lyon.

“Everyone has some sort of memory of the theater,” she says. “Everyone went to see It’s A Wonderful Life every Christmas there, went on a first date there, met their husband or wife of 50 years there. Everyone has a story.”

That’s why, when Lyon and her father, James “Buzz” Cusack, bought the Art Deco Senator from the city of Baltimore in 2012, they knew they had to fix the movie theater’s leaky roof and bring it back to its former pre-war glory.... 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.

 

Written by Ric Cochrane, Project Manager, Preservation Green Lab

Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas; food at his restaurant Lola. Credit: Tom Douglas; conjunction3, Flickr
Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas; food at his restaurant Lola.

“Buildings have a temperature,” Tom Douglas says, sitting at the bar of his popular restaurant, Lola, one of ten in his Seattle food empire. “Old buildings are warm. Many new buildings are ice cold. I’m not talking about temperature -- I’m talking about intimacy. People want to eat good food in intimate spaces. New is rarely warm.”

To Douglas, intimacy means local character, the story of a place that adds to the experience of eating his famous food. He says old buildings often come with stories built in: “I love new buildings -- they’re much easier [compared to renovating old buildings]. But they don’t tell stories.”... 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.

 

The Antique Boat Museum and La Duchesse, as seen from the St. Lawrence River. Credit: Antique Boat Museum
The Antique Boat Museum and La Duchesse, as seen from the St. Lawrence River.

After you’ve survived sinking to the bottom of the St. Lawrence River, not to mention receiving tens of thousands of visitors, you deserve to celebrate a little. So in August the Antique Boat Museum (ABM) in Clayton, N.Y., held a 110th birthday party for its top attraction, the 106-foot-long houseboat La Duchesse. Local residents, volunteers, staff, and family members of the boat’s former owners gathered on board to toast her enduring appeal.... 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.

New Orleans' Saenger Theatre Weathers the Storm

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn 3 Comments

 

A view of the theater’s interior, circa 1930. Credit: ACE Theatrical Group
A view of the theater’s interior, circa 1930.

New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre, located on historic Canal Street in the French Quarter, has been a beloved landmark since it opened as a movie palace in 1927. With an interior styled to look like a 15th-century Italian courtyard and a ceiling painted to emulate the night sky, the theater’s design embodied New Orleans’, and America’s, last flush of prosperity before the Great Depression.

The theater was converted to a performing arts space in the 1970s, hosting acts such as Johnny Carson, David Bowie, and Bill Cosby. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused massive water damage to the Saenger’s interior. After a push and strong show of interest from the local community, followed by an eight-year restoration, the venue is undergoing a grand reopening this weekend.... 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 Brooklyn Public Library was designed to look like an open book. Credit: Roberta Lane
The library's central branch is a striking building combining Art Deco and Scandanavian Modernist elements, completed in 1941 on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. The design was meant to evoke an open book.

Last week, the Brooklyn Public Library central branch celebrated the completion of restoration of their entrance doors, made possible by the Partners in Preservation program, a partnership between the National Trust and American Express.

In 2012, Partners in Preservation chose 40 diverse historic places all over New York City to compete for $3 million in preservation funding by appealing to the public for votes. The Brooklyn Public Library won the popular vote, and with it, $250,000 for their preservation project.

Now, a year later, you can see the fruits of the partnership in completed projects such as these doors. Here's my take on the Brooklyn Public Library's milestone, filtered through Instagram.

The newly restored doors at Brooklyn Public Library. The Brooklyn Public Library was designed to look like an open book. Credit: Roberta Lane

The people who created this library system understood that providing beautiful, inspiring public buildings was as important to the community as it was to build robust library collections. The library's entryway is framed with glowing, gilded figures from history and lore. To enter a great library is to pass into other, bigger worlds, and the Brooklyn Public Library's fine entryway draws patrons into that elevated experience like nothing else could.

Working on the Brooklyn Public Library's doors. The Brooklyn Public Library was designed to look like an open book. Credit: Roberta Lane

The library's users are among the most diverse in the country, and it serves as a vibrant center of community. A huge range of places in all five NYC boroughs competed for Partners in Preservation funding, from the Guggenheim and the Apollo, to a small church in Staten Island and a stately historic house museum in the Bronx. But the Brooklyn Public Library won the public vote by appealing to Brooklynites' love for their iconic library.

Interior of the Brooklyn Public Library. The Brooklyn Public Library was designed to look like an open book. Credit: Roberta Lane

With Partners in Preservation, the National Trust and American Express sought to help historic places to meet their immediate restoration needs. But by driving them to ask the public for votes, we also wanted to help them build their visibility and base of support, and to engage with people about the importance and relevance of NYC's multifaceted history.

Roberta Lane speaks at the celebration of the Brooklyn Public Library's door restoration. The Brooklyn Public Library was designed to look like an open book. Credit: Roberta Lane

I just moved to Brooklyn in March to staff the National Trust's new New York Field Office. Before speaking at the ribbon-cutting, I snuck away to spend some time in the local history part of the library, poring over historic images of the Brooklyn streets I've been exploring. As a preservationist, I was happy to be part of this celebration of the Brooklyn Public Library's restoration success. As a new resident of Brooklyn, I was particularly glad for the chance to thank the library for caring for this place we all value, and ensuring that it will endure.

Find Roberta on Instagram at robertal7, and the National Trust at presnation.

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.

Roberta Lane

Roberta Lane

Roberta Lane is the Senior Field Officer and Attorney for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s New York City Field Office. She has been with the National Trust since 2006, delivering preservation technical assistance and legal guidance in the field.