[Historic Bars] The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale

Posted on: December 4th, 2014 by David Robert Weible No Comments

 

Aloha, historic bar lovers! It's time to escape chilly winter temps and enjoy warmer climes inside historic tiki bars, those Polynesian-inspired spots known for their island flair and exotic cocktails. First up: Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Mai Kai was designed by the Fort Lauderdale architect Charles McKirahan and was restored to its original look after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
The Mai Kai was designed by the Fort Lauderdale architect Charles McKirahan and was restored to its original look after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

It all makes too much sense: A Texas kid leaves home, becomes a bootlegger, and then falls even further from mainstream society. He floats around the Caribbean for a spell before he washes up on a Pacific island no one from Texas has probably ever heard of. When he moves back stateside, he turns his booze-sodden adventures into a business empire and nationwide sensation.

It’s the story of Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber, who opened his eponymous Pacific-island themed café in Hollywood in 1934 and eventually set off a national obsession with hula skirts, heavy rum pours, and all things Polynesian.

In honor of this obsession, our next round of historic bars serves up a mixture of the best historic tiki spots America has to offer -- native girls not included.... 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.

Eighteenth-Century House Ruin to Be Restored…With Glass

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Meghan O'Connor 25 Comments

 

The Menokin Foundation aims to rehabilitate Menokin, home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee, using structural glass.
The Menokin Foundation aims to rehabilitate Menokin, home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee, using structural glass.

What some people see when they look at Menokin is a collapsed house, an old ruin, a testament to the perils of ignoring preservation.  What the staff and Board at Menokin see, however, is a cutting-edge preservation opportunity.

The Menokin Foundation does not want to restore the house to its original condition. Instead, the Foundation believes Menokin is more valuable to the public in pieces. ... 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.

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O'Connor

Meghan O’Connor is the member services assistant at the National Trust. She enjoys learning, writing, and talking about museums, art, architecture, and anything historic.

[Interview] The American Legend Lives On at Lyndhurst Castle

Posted on: December 2nd, 2014 by Guest Writer No Comments

 

By Ashley & Brittany Hill

The 1838 Gothic Revival-style mansion Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown New York represents 175 years of influential American history.
The 1838 Gothic Revival-style mansion Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, New York, represents over 175 years of influential American history.

Lyndhurst, a National Trust Historic Site, welcomed us to tour the property as part of our American Legend Tour, a nationwide commitment to raising historical awareness and educating America’s youth about the importance of the pursuit of the American Dream.

The American Dream permeates Lyndhurst’s history, as it was home to three influential families over the years: William Paulding; George Merritt, who doubled the size of the estate; and legendary railroad financier Jay Gould. Together, they represent about 175 years of history. Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand and Princess de Sagan, donated the 67-acre estate in memory of her parents to the National Trust for Historic Preservation upon her death in 1961.

We spoke with Krystyn Hastings-Silver, associate director of Lyndhurst, about why she is passionate about preserving and portraying the memories of the Castle’s famous residents, what opportunities are available for the public to interact with the site, and how Lyndhurst is, in her words, “a time capsule.” [Interview is edited for length and clarity.]... 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.

[Retro Roadmap] Donohue’s Steak House in New York City

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by Beth Lennon No Comments

 

The mirrored bar back has been reflecting the faces of Donohue’s patrons since 1950.
The mirrored bar back has been reflecting the faces of Donohue’s patrons since 1950.

The cobalt-hued pachyderm holding court in the middle of the back bar at Donohue’s on New York City’s Upper East Side may be holding his trunk aloft in an attempt to keep his martini from spilling, but this lucky pose has served his station well. Donohue’s, once one of any number of neighborhood cocktail and comfort food joints (from when comfort food was known just as food) lining the sidewalks of New York, has had the continued good luck to escape the gentrifiers’ grip, much to the benefit of patrons wanting a classic cocktail and a hearty meal.... 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.

See the James River in a New Way (and Help Protect the View)

Posted on: November 28th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 10 Comments

 

By Sharee Williamson, Associate General Counsel

141126_blog-photo_james-river_bend
The James River, one of our new National Treasures, is facing a severe development threat.

Earlier this year the National Trust named the James River at Jamestown to our list of National Treasures deserving protection. The threat facing the James River is Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to build a high voltage transmission line that would be visible from Jamestown Island, Colonial Parkway, and other resources located in the heart of Virginia’s Historic Triangle.

Additionally, the James River itself is part of the first congressionally designated national water trail -- the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail -- which traces the history of the Chesapeake from the 17th century.

With the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, the National Trust put together a story map using GIS technology to help the public better understand and visualize the threat posed by the transmission line. Take a look:... 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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.