Restoration

Silver Birches: Polishing a Jewel at Michigan's Mackinac Island

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by Paulina Tam

 

Silver Birches ready for the 2013 July 4th festivities. Credit: Silver Birches.
Silver Birches ready for the 2013 July 4th festivities.

"They say Mackinac Island is the crown jewel of Michigan," says Liz Ware, a Chicago native who is spearheading the renovation of Silver Birches, one of the many historic buildings at the popular Mackinac Island summer colony at Lake Huron, Michigan.

Built in 1906, Silver Birches alternated between use as a private rental property and a public resort, lodge, and girls' camp. Its pristine Adirondack style signified health and wellness, drawing generations of visitors to its dock, pool, and cottages.

"I saw the property last summer for the first time when I was on a boat going around the island," says Ware. "I saw it from the water and I thought, 'What is that place?' Afterwards, I got on my bicycle and rode out to the property. I walked to the back of it and I saw its architectural style and the view of the lake. Then I just cried because it was just so beautiful."... 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.

Coming to Drayton Hall: Historic Preservation in 3D

Posted on: July 22nd, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

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Welcome to history's future. Drayton Hall, a National Trust site in Charleston, South Carolina, follows Colonial Williamsburg in going digital.

Unpack your bag, because you won’t need one for this virtual adventure. Introducing the latest in preservation technology: 3D imaging.

Now, you might be thinking, 3D has been around forever. Visualization software is now common for architects and designers. But for preservation and public history, it means something more: the magic of recreating lost space and time.... 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.

Local Preservationists Dive Into Saving Decorah, Iowa's 1937 Bathhouse

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 1 Comment

 

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This 1930s bathhouse and outdoor pool in Decorah, Iowa was saved from a more "modern" replacement.

In 2009, when locals began to consider demolishing the Art Moderne, Edward Novak-designed bathhouse at the Municipal Swimming Pool in Decorah, Iowa in favor of erecting a structure over the existing outdoor pool, Kyrl Henderson decided to do something about it.... 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.

 

The Spud Drive-In. Photo courtesy jpc.raleigh, Flickr.
The Spud Drive-In

Anyone who owns -- or has tried to buy -- a camera any time in the past 10 years knows that digital photography has replaced film almost entirely. This transformation has not been limited to still pictures; digital is now king at the movies, too, which has created challenges at many older movie theaters.

The Spud Drive-In in Driggs, Idaho, is no exception. The theater, which opened in 1953 (and celebrates its 60th birthday this week) has long been a beloved part of the community, but has faced closure twice in recent years -- first from management changes, and then from the transition to digital projection.

Local fans rallied with Facebook outreach that reached thousands, and to date enough "Save the Spud" t-shirts have been sold to cover half the cost of a new digital projector. (They're still available -- get 'em while they're hot!)... 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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

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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.