By Sophia Dembling

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Hetty Jane blasted the Great Pool out of granite as a swimming pool. It has several tiers of cascading water.

It all started with a little recreational trespassing.

"Everybody trespassed," says Jennifer Bigham. "Gazillions of people had done the same thing."

So she and her husband, just to satisfy their curiosity, climbed over a little fence to explore the ruins of Dunaway Gardens in Newnan, Georgia.

At first glance the property looked like little more than kudzu and swamp. But Bigham, who lives in nearby Peachtree City, saw magic.... 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.

Life in a Converted Firehouse

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by Meghan Drueding No Comments

 

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Inside David Braly and Mark Montoya's converted firehouse home

Everyone likes the idea of living in a converted something-or-other. An old barn, an industrial loft, a former schoolhouse: With a lot of TLC, all of these building types have the potential to become comfortable, appealing residences.

In Montgomery, Alabama, David Braly and Mark Montoya were up to this task. They lavished attention on a neglected firehouse, turning it into a lovely (and quirky) home that honors both past and present. Photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley have documented the Braly-Montoya residence in the images that appear in the upcoming Spring issue of Preservation magazine, as well as in the video shown here. Enjoy!

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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

The Big Tap: Historic Bars Tournament Tip-Off!

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by David Weible 20 Comments

 

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From Cinderella stories to buzzer beaters, the NCAA basketball tournament ensures March is a month where history is made. But this year, history and the Big Dance mix to form an even more intoxicating brew: "The Big Tap" Historic Bars Tournament.

Starting in June 2014, the PreservationNation blog poured through dive bars, sports bars, tiki bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, and a slew of other establishments to crack open the stories of some of the nation’s most historic watering holes. But stirring as it was, our virtual bar crawl was merely the regular season. Now it’s time to shake things up with a little post-season drinking game.

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The Historic Bars Tournament has tapped 32 joints from our menu of historic drinkeries to compete against one another in a NCAA Tournament-style, single elimination format. Each week we’ll serve another round of pairings where readers will vote for their favorite inns and alehouses. When the matchups run dry on April 3, only one bar will claim the top shelf.

Below, you’ll find the full tournament bracket with first round matchups. Here's how to vote:

  • To learn more about the contestants, click on any matchup in the bracket for links to our original blog post about each bar.
  • To make your selections during each round, scroll down to the text portion of the blog and click on a bar’s name to highlight it.
  • To submit your vote, enter your email address and zip code, then click “submit.”
  • You can vote for as many or as few bars as you like during each visit, and as many times as you like during each round -- just don’t over-serve yourself.

Voting for each round will last one week and close every Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. ET. Once each round is complete, the bracket will be updated with vote counts and winners. We’ll also publish a new blog post recapping that week’s action, followed by the next round of matchups.

Now that you know the house rules, it’s finally time for tip-off. (Or is that tap-off?) Help yourself to the open bar of matchups below!

Learn More the Historic Bars Matchups

 

UPDATED: Voting has now closed for Round 1. Vote in the current round here.

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 Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

[Historic Bars] New York City’s White Horse Tavern

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn

 

In our next round of historic bars, let's sidestep reality and look at those establishments reflected in some way through the lens of pop culture. Last one up: White Horse Tavern in New York City.

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The White Horse Tavern has hosted dozens of literary luminaries over the years.

After Welsh poet Dylan Thomas downed an alleged eighteen shots of the last whiskey of his life at Greenwich Village’s White Horse Tavern on November 3, 1953, legend has it that he immediately stumbled outside and collapsed on the sidewalk. He was taken back to his room at the Chelsea Hotel, and died at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital a few days later of complications from pneumonia and other ailments.

Thomas’s legacy, however, is still alive and well at the last drinking establishment he patronized.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

Heart Bombs 2015: Love Letters to Historic Places, Part 2

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson No Comments

 

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Members of the Brockport, New York community showed their love for the 60 Clinton Street building by conducting a Virtual Heart Bomb campaign.

We had so many heart bombs shared with us this year that we couldn't fit them all into one post (read part 1 here). So we're extending the love with another affectionate round-up! Thanks again to everyone around the country who showed up to shower love on historic places near and dear to their hearts -- and now to ours.... 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.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

 

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Sometimes, the experiences that move us most are also the ones that go beyond words -- and that's where composer Eric Nathan finds his richest inspiration. Take, for example, his time spent in the Eternal City as a 2013 Rome Prize Fellow, where Nathan met our National Trust colleague Tom Mayes (a fellow Fellow) and became intrigued by Mayes' exploration of why old places matter.

The result of their conversations? Nathan's composition "Why Old Places Matter," a 12-minute piece for oboe, horn, and piano that was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players. In this piece, he evokes place, continuity, and memory -- all without words.

We caught up with Nathan to learn more about his creative process, his time in Rome, and his own relationship to old 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of 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.