No major medical breakthroughs happened at the original Palo Alto Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., and no scientific discoveries were made there. But the hospital, which treated thousands of patients in the decades after it opened in 1931, holds one important distinction: it’s a stunning example of pre-World War II hospital architecture. And the Art Deco building recently returned to its original glory after an extensive restoration.... Read More →
For the past 40 years, David and Mary Wolff have spent long weekends leaving their home in Houston, Texas, and driving 83 miles northwest, crossing the Brazos River and watching as hay bales replace skyscrapers, until they pulled into the driveway of their ranch home in Independence, Texas.
An unincorporated village in Texas’ Washington County, Independence was founded in 1835 and 10 years later was the chosen site of Baylor University. Sam Houston once called Independence home, as did a number of European immigrants, and during the 1850s, the village was the wealthiest community in the state.
But after the Civil War, Independence’s economy changed. The railroad bypassed the town, and Baylor relocated to Waco. The farmland remained active, though, and the town carried on.
When the Wolffs bought their Independence ranch in 1973, they didn’t know much about the village, beyond its unparalleled natural beauty.... Read More →
Written by Elmo Baca, New Mexico MainStreet Program Associate, Economic Development Department
A tiny prairie town of 3,200 on the state line in northeastern New Mexico, Clayton welcomes many Texas snowbirds in the winters en route to the New Mexico and Colorado mountains. Long before, Santa Fe Trail wagon caravans rumbled westward near here, and the vast buffalo plains surrounding Clayton nurtured great herds of cattle.
In town, meanwhile, sits the nearly 100-year-old Luna Theater, which operates today as one of New Mexico’s oldest movie houses, and the state’s best preserved from the silent movie era. The reason for its success: New Mexico’s MainStreet Historic Theater Initiative, the only program of its kind in the nation to actively invest in rural downtown theaters to keep them as economic anchors for their communities.
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“Abigail Adams is most commonly known for being the wife of one president and the mother of another,” says Cathy Torrey, President Emeritus of Abigail Adams Historical Society, an organization dedicated to the conservation and educational upkeep of Abigail Adams Birthplace in North Weymouth, Massachusetts. “She is also known for her letter writing and most commonly, her letters between herself and John [Adams, the 2nd President of the United States]. Abigail is also a letter writer to her friends, family, and notable historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Mercy Otis Warren.”
The second first lady lived in her birthplace for the first 20 years of her life. Education was important to her and her father, Reverend Smith, who regularly taught boys who were going to attend Harvard University subjects like law, ministry, and medicine at the home. Her mother taught Abigail how to read and write, and Abigail would later read from her father’s many books in the study’s library. She and President John Adams left to make a life of their own after exchanging vows at the home in 1764.
Such an early introduction to the world of learning would follow her for the rest of her life, manifesting in the famous correspondence between her and her husband that started while she was still living at the house. The letters provided a descriptive picture of what the era looked like through the eyes of a woman, says Torrey.... Read More →
"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 →