Travel

[Historic Bars] The Owl Bar in Baltimore, Maryland

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Beth Lennon

 

Fans of the giggle water get to celebrate hooch in a big way this month as Preservation Nation covers blind pigs and juice joints -- a.k.a. speakeasies -- as part of our historic bars series. Next up: The Owl Bar in Baltimore, Maryland.

The nursery rhyme above the bar is a clue into the speakeasy past of Baltimore’s Owl Bar.
The nursery rhyme above the bar is a clue into the speakeasy past of Baltimore’s Owl Bar.

A wise old owl sat in an oak / the more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard / why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

First-time visitors to the Owl Bar may be amused by the appearance of a nursery rhyme embedded in stained glass above the antique backbar at Baltimore’s landmark Belvedere Hotel. More than a quaint decoration, however, the rhyming couplet is actually a nod to the Prohibition-era legacy that the bar’s feathered mascots played a major part in.... 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.

Beth Lennon

Beth Lennon is the creator of the website RetroRoadmap.com. As "Mod Betty," she delights as the retro travel "hostess with the mostess," scouting out cool vintage places and sharing them with the world.

[Historic Bars] The Backroom Bar in New York City

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by David Robert Weible

 

Fans of the giggle water get to celebrate hooch in a big way this month as Preservation Nation covers blind pigs and juice joints – a.k.a. speakeasies -- as part of our historic bars series. Next up: The Backroom Bar in New York City.

The Backroom’s ‘fake front’ as the Lower East Side Toy Company is a nod to old New York City speakeasies that often used supposed apothecaries or blacksmith shops to conceal their true identity. Ironically, the Backroom’s Prohibition predecessor never needed a fake front, as Ratner’s kosher restaurant concealed the speakeasy with a legitimate and profitable business.
The Backroom’s ‘fake front’ as the Lower East Side Toy Company is a nod to old New York City speakeasies that often used supposed apothecaries or blacksmith shops to conceal their true identity. Ironically, the Backroom’s Prohibition predecessor never needed a fake front, as Ratner’s kosher restaurant concealed the speakeasy with a legitimate and profitable business.

There are few places on earth, if any, that I enjoy sipping a few cocktails and drinking in the atmosphere more than modern-day New York City. But if I were given the chance to hit the town in the Roaring Twenties, I sure as hell wouldn’t pass it up. Lucky for me, I know a place I can do a little of both: the Lower East Side Toy Company, on Norfolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington.

That’s not the actual name, of course. It’s just the ‘fake front’ for the Backroom Bar, a contemporary speakeasy with roots that date back to Prohibition.... 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.

[Historic Bars] Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Lauren Walser

 

Fans of the giggle water get to celebrate hooch in a big way this month as Preservation Nation covers blind pigs and juice joints – a.k.a. speakeasies -- as part of our historic bars series. Next up: Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco.

141009_blog-photo_bourbon-branch_bar
Drinks have been poured at 501 Jones Street from as far back as 1867. From 1923 to 1935, it was billed as JJ Russell Cigar Shop, with a speakeasy in the basement.

During Prohibition, thirsty San Franciscans in the know could wet their whistles at JJ Russell’s Cigar Shop at 501 Jones Street. But you had to, as they say, speak easy.... 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.

Quirky Milk Bottle Landmark in Oklahoma Undergoing Restoration

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 by Guest Writer

 

Written by Kristi Eaton

Front view of the Milk Bottle Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Front view of the milk bottle grocery building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

One of the most iconic attractions of Route 66 in Oklahoma is getting a bit of a facelift.

The milk bottle grocery building in Oklahoma City has been around since 1930, but it’s what sits atop the tiny triangle-shaped building that has been drawing gawkers since 1948: a massive milk bottle perched on the building’s flat roof.... 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.

Historic Train Stations (As Seen on Instagram)

Posted on: October 3rd, 2014 by Grant Stevens 19 Comments

 

Union Station. Credit: CocteauBoy
Detail of Union Station in Washington, D.C.

For a long time, I tried to deny it, but it’s probably time to fess up: I’m kind of a train nerd. Or at least I’m turning into one. I didn’t grow up around trains, but they have always fascinated me. I have vivid memories of visiting the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad (pictured below) in elementary school and taking Amtrak from Iowa to New Mexico to get to Philmont Scout Ranch during high school.

In the last year, however, I think I’ve really realized my train nerd status. I’ve had the opportunity to travel through some beautiful train stations and several of our National Treasures projects have connections to trains. The Pullman Historic District in Chicago is home to the Pullman Palace Car; Washington, D.C.’s Union Station (where we did behind-the-scenes tours last May) is planning for a large expansion; and Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, an Art Deco masterpiece, needs public assistance to serve another generation of visitors.

I’m in Cincinnati right now, in fact, working on an exciting project for Union Terminal. (We’ll have a big announcement about that next week.) In the meantime, enjoy these photos of beautiful train stations from Instagram!... 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.

Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens

Grant is the Manager of Community Outreach at the National Trust. He's proud to be from a Main Street Community and the Black Dirt Capitol of the World – Conrad, Iowa! Growing up on a farm, he always loved going to town and looking at the historic buildings. Now a resident of DC, Grant enjoys reading, running, and anything rural.