Want to catch someone’s attention in Miami? Then you better do something flashy, fun, and visually appealing.... Read More →
Hispanic Heritage Month just wrapped up, and as always, showcased the history and accomplishments of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. Today we’re highlighting two rising Latino scholars who spent the summer working with us on some important projects. Thanks to the National Trust’s partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC), we were able to help empower the scholars to become leaders in the interpretation of Latino art, culture, and history.
One scholar is Ivel Gontan, a Cuban-American with a Master’s of Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University. This summer, she worked on a community engagement plan for the three National Trust Historic Sites in Washington, D.C.
Our other scholar, David McCormick, is proud of his Peruvian and Guatemalan roots, and also quite passionate about his career as an archaeologist. He gave us his perspective on his experience at the National Trust and about reaching out to diverse audiences.
I had the chance to interview Ivel and David and learn more about their passion to engage the Latino community in the conversation about preservation.... Read More →
Every year, aside from the dropping temps, there is one clear indicator that fall has arrived: it's time for the National Preservation Conference.
In 2005, Preservation magazine asked award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, “How important is preservation in the recalling of history?”
He answered, “It’s critical. We strain to listen to the ghosts and echoes of our inexpressibly wise past, and we have an obligation to maintain these places, to provide these sanctuaries, so that people may be in the presence of forces larger than those of the moment.”
American Express has long captured this ethos of protecting the past to enrich the future. As one of the world’s leading travel companies, they are passionate about culturally and historically significant places around the world, and have made historic preservation a hallmark of their community involvement.
As fans of the National Trust will know, we and American Express have worked together for nearly a decade on Partners in Preservation, a community-based initiative that has supported the restoration of nearly 200 historic places across the country.
Today, we’re excited to share that the Partners in Preservation model is evolving further. In 2014, American Express will become the presenting sponsor of the National Trust’s National Treasures program, where they will continue to support national landmarks and local gems alike.
It’s yet another example of American Express’s commitment to keeping valuable places open, accessible, and sustainable for years to come. So to celebrate, we’re spotlighting some of their most noteworthy preservation achievements over the past 130 years.... Read More →
We at the National Trust have been hard at work in Los Angeles this past month, and we wanted to share with you some great success stories from our recent projects.
You may be familiar with Terminal Island, one of our National Treasures in the Port of Los Angeles. This once-vibrant Japanese-American fishing village was a major World War I and II shipbuilding center, as well as the birthplace of the worldwide tuna canning industry. The island also played a key role in a tragic chapter of American history: In 1942, an entire Japanese-American community there was seen as a national security threat, and its residents were forcibly removed and imprisoned at the internment camp Manzanar.
Despite the site’s deep historic significance, however, the Port of Los Angeles has neglected historic buildings there, and in 2011 introduced a plan to demolish more structures rather than adapt and reuse them. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy joined forces on an advocacy campaign to save the island’s history -- an effort that paid off when the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted the forward-thinking Los Angeles Port Master Plan Update this past August.
The approved plan -- the first comprehensive update of the Port’s development policies and procedures in more than three decades -- offers a path for the preservation and re-use of historic buildings on Terminal Island. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy worked to ensure that the final plan would serve as a replicable model for other industrial ports throughout the country.
Preservation-focused components of the plan include:
- Identifying Fish Harbor’s Japanese-American Commercial Village as a historic resource
- Removing road realignments originally intended to bisect historic buildings
- Making mixed-use land use designations that provide greater flexibility in adaptively reusing historic buildings
In addition to the National Trust’s work at Terminal Island, the organization’s Preservation Green Lab is partnering with the Urban Land Institute to advance the reuse of historic and older buildings in the City of Los Angeles. Using downtown Los Angeles as a testing ground, the initiative is identifying the most common barriers to building reuse and developing strategies to make it easier to creatively reuse buildings. Their work will help inform policies and incentives for building reuse in other cities. A report to announce the findings of the LA pilot will be available mid-October, 2013.
On the heels of these successes, the National Trust opened a field office in downtown Los Angeles on September 1 to further its efforts to preserve historic places in Southern California and the Southwest. Chris Morris, formerly with the National Trust’s Chicago field office, is leading the new LA office and is joined by Jeana Wiser of the Preservation Green Lab. We’re excited to continue our work there and keep the good news coming!
Have a question about our work in this region? Know a cool place you want us to know about, too? Email editorial@savingplaces.