Tools

[10 on Tuesday] How to Preserve Places of Worship, Part Two

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by Emily Potter 5 Comments

 

As with any type of historic site, churches, synagogues, and mosques can find themselves at risk when no longer in use. The key difference: They have a religious context and sacred atmosphere that deserve special attention and care.

Last week, we began this conversation with ten questions to ask at the outset of any preservation or reuse project concerning a sacred space. This week, we have ten things to consider when planning for the most sympathetic reuse possible of a place of worship.... 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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

[10 on Tuesday] How to Preserve Places of Worship, Part One

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

A few blocks from my home in Washington, D.C., a non-denominational Christian church is housed in what once was an Irish-Catholic church (as the Celtic cross adorning the steeple makes clear). It always reminds me of the fluid and adaptable nature of our communities, and how a single building can be a part of many histories.

Preservationists, of course, have a role in maintaining that continuity, but because of the spiritual and emotional significance of religious spaces, it’s important to approach them sensitively. In particular, conflict can arise if there’s a feeling that preservationists are prioritizing the building over the religious group’s spiritual needs.

Today’s toolkit offers 10 questions to ask to make sure you’re keeping the congregation’s needs at the forefront of the preservation process. Next week, we’ll delve deeper into the nitty-gritty of the rehabilitation and/or re-use of religious buildings.... 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.

[10 on Tuesday] Our 10 Most Popular Preservation Toolkits (to date)

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013 by Julia Rocchi

 

DIY window tools. Credit: Muffet, Flickr

Happy Birthday, 10 on Tuesday!

One year ago this week, we at the National Trust began putting together weekly toolkits to help you protect and enjoy the historic places that matter to you. We've covered everything from researching your historic home to greening it, recovering from disasters to designating local historic districts, and learning social media to saving places on your own.

But which toolkits have you, our loyal readers, deemed to be the most popular? We looked through the vaults, crunched numbers, and came up with this great list of favorites from the past year. If you haven't seen them yet, take a minute to browse through them -- and if you have enjoyed them once before, consider sharing them with friends!... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

In the preservation world, the term “recent past” most commonly refers to historic places younger than 50 years old. Modernism, which is another term often associated with the recent past, is generally defined as a style that began to flourish in the United States in the 1930s. Both describe places and cultural resources that are among the most under-appreciated and vulnerable aspects of our nation’s heritage.

You may already know about our country’s recent past story through architectural icons like the Farnsworth House or Glass House (both sites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), designed landscapes like Lawrence Halprin’s Freeway Park, and nationally significant historic sites like Lorraine Motel, associated with the Civil Rights Movement.

But this story is also told in less prominent places that are equally important to local communities and reveal much about who we are and where we've come from -- early fast-food restaurants, drive-through branch banks, post-war housing projects, and suburban developments. And, often, these lesser-known places are the ones at risk, perceived as expendable, unattractive, or unworthy of preservation.

Here are 10 things you can do to help save a place from the recent past in your community:... 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.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

 

In popular culture, cemeteries have something of a bad reputation, considered by many to be sad or creepy on their best day, and downright haunted on their worst. But this is by no means a complete or accurate view; they also can be beautiful, peaceful, historic, and educational.

Overall, cemeteries need to be well-researched and preserved so they can tell us more about how people in the past viewed death and burial. This toolkit is designed to help you start researching cemeteries; you can find more information on how to save them in our publication Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds.

Please note: In this post we’ve focused on 17th - 19th century burial grounds -- essentially non-modern churchyards, cemeteries, and family plots. A future toolkit will take on prehistoric and Native American sacred and burial sites.

1. Be sensitive. If there is a golden rule to the preservation of cemeteries and burial grounds, it is to be aware that our diverse country is home to a wide variety of burial customs. Take into account cultural sensitivities when working above-ground, and employ only professional, trained archaeologists for below-ground research.

... 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.