Trust News

Lost: Iowa School

Posted on: February 28th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

East Side School, Decorah, IowaThe loss of a majestic 112-year-old school last month has divided a northeastern Iowa town.

"A lot of people are still feeling really hurt here in town," says Jack Hedstrom, chair of the East Side School Development Committee, which fought for years to save the East Side School in Decorah, Iowa. "I wait for the day when people start understanding what they did. I'm sure that day will come."

In a September referendum, 4,000 residents in the town of 8,100 voted on the issue, and 57 percent chose not to lease the Romanesque revival building to Hedstrom's group, which had raised millions for its restoration.

In 2003, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the schools as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. ... 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.

 

A panel discussion called “At Risk: 20th Century Urban Design and Architecture” drew at least 150 people to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art this past week. Panel moderator was New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussof. Also participating were Ferrell Guillory, director of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina and a former New Orleans States-Item reporter; Sally Hernandez-Pinero, former chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority; New Orleans architects Arthur Q. Davis and Ray Manning; and Jack Davis of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The discussion ranged from the threats to Charity Hospital and city school buildings to the loss of St. Frances Cabrini Church, but finally settled primarily on a discussion of the public housing developments. One of the audience members, Rev. Marshall Truehill, put it so eloquently this way: “We need to keep in mind that the buildings have become symbols of what has been distasteful, and rather than deal with the source of the distaste, we’d rather tear down the building.” Jack Davis noted that the city’s penchant for demolition was rooted in the mayor’s need to show progress—of any kind—in an administration short of notable accomplishments. Meanwhile demolition is proceeding on the newer non-historic sections of the B.W. Cooper housing development, and at the C.J. Peete housing development. We’re not sure what’s going on with Lafitte and St. Bernard, so I wrote a letter to the president of the City Council this past Friday asking for information.

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.

Detroit's Tiger Stadium May Be Partially Demolished this Spring

Posted on: February 15th, 2008 by Preservation magazine 2 Comments

 

Tiger StadiumIn the cult baseball movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner is called upon to be a preservationist of a different sort. To rekindle the love of baseball, he's inspired to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field: "If you build it, they will come," a voice tells him. In the case of Detroit's Tiger Stadium, however, the baseball field already exists. This former major-league ballpark is 112 years old. The challenge, instead, involves sowing the seeds that will continually bring people to come see it. After all, the last major league ballgame was played here in 1999—and plans for its partial demolition have been slated for spring.

If making the claim that America's love affair with baseball is largely wrapped up in the places where it is played sounds like sensationalist dribble, ask any fan who grew up going to a local ballpark. They'll likely tell you of familiar smells: roasted peanuts, hot dogs, popcorn, freshly cut grass. They'll mention the vantage point from which clouds of orange dust can be seen when a player slides into home plate. They'll talk of the stacks of lights that illuminate an outdoor theater where outfielders dive for fly balls and fans from upper decks swear they saw the play better than the umpire. "Playing fields like Tiger Stadium are considered hallowed ground," says Francis Grunow, executive director of locally-based Preservation Wayne.... 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.

11 Most Endangered Update: H. H. Richardson House Has a New Owner

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

H.H. Richardson HouseMore New Orleans than New England, a 204-year-old house with a two-story veranda stands out in suburban Boston. The house at 25 Cottage Street in Brookline, Mass., is not one that a casual observer might link with the work of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), one of America's most important 19th-century architects. It was in this Federal-style house that Richardson spent the most productive years of his career, from 1874 to his death in 1886, designing masterpieces such as Boston's Trinity Church, which he could see from the house.

After being on the market for seven years, the house found a new owner last month. "I don't like to think what damage the house would incur if it were left unprotected another year," says Allan Galper, chair of the three-year-old Committee to Save the H.H. Richardson House. "We're glad a buyer has been found."

On Dec. 5, the H. H. Richardson Trust bought the property for $2.2 million. "It is an honor to have this opportunity to restore a precious piece of American history," said Michael Minkoff, a spokesman for that trust and owner of Washington, D.C.-based National Development Corp., in a statement. Minkoff has restored historic buildings in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., according to the Jan. 10 statement.... 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.

Georgia Courthouse Falls

Posted on: January 9th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Gilmer County Courthouse, Ga.The people have spoken, and a brick courthouse in northern Georgia fell this week.

Built in 1898 as a Hyatt Hotel, the neoclassical building in Ellijay, Ga., was converted to the Gilmer County Courthouse in 1934. The county fire marshall condemned the ailing in 2003, and in November 2006, voters in the county of 28,000 passed a referendum to raze the old courthouse and build a new one.

"Counties that have lost their historic courthouses are always sorry about it afterwards," says Jack Pyburn, FAIA, director of Atlanta-based Lord, Aeck & Sargent's Historic Preservation Studio. "Gilmer County's historic courthouse was unique as Georgia's only courthouse not originally built for that purpose. Fortunately, the overwhelming number of counties in Georgia consider their historic courthouses to be a significant definer of their community's identity, past, present and future."... 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.