Lincoln Sculpture Model is En Route to Washington

Posted on: January 16th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Two of the models of Lincoln sculpted by Daniel Chester French. The larger of the two will be on loan to the National Gallery of Art.

Two of the models of Lincoln sculpted by Daniel Chester French. The larger of the two will be on loan to the National Gallery of Art.

Take out a five dollar bill and you’ll see one of the most iconic buildings in America depicted on the back: the Lincoln Memorial. Each year, more than four million visitors make the pilgrimage to the Memorial in Washington, DC, walking along the reflecting pool and up a great flight of stairs into an immense temple. There, they confront an enormous seated marble figure who radiates dignity and wisdom. Now this is a place that matters.

For the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the National Gallery of Art will open a special exhibit on this building on February 12. Designing the Lincoln Memorial: Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon will explore the making of the statue and the Memorial, the careers of sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon, and the role the Lincoln Memorial has played in American life. On loan from Chesterwood, a National Trust Historic Site owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will be the six-foot high plaster final model of the statue. This is only the second time this model has been allowed to travel from the site. Even though it comes apart in seven pieces, it’s still big and fragile so a special crew from the National Gallery of Art will crate and transport the sculpture from Massachusetts to Washington, DC. Along with this exhibit, the enormous gilt Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (French’s contemporary) and the American paintings galleries are returning to public view after nearly two years of renovations. (Read the full release on the loan of the sculpture.)

This year will be a great one to visit Washington, DC, but do visit Chesterwood in western Massachusetts during the summer. Daniel Chester French chose the site for the views and it continues to be a very special place, especially in combination with his home and studio filled with his sculpture, a contemporary sculpture show on the grounds, formal gardens, and woodlands. The place has hardly changed—the road in front is still unpaved!

Here are my suggestions for a nice long weekend in Stockbridge, Massachusetts: visit Chesterwood, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and Naumkeag to get your fill of art and architecture; walk around downtown to enjoy an historic Main Street (Lightworks Arts and Crafts Gallery is topnotch, the First Congregational Church is wonderfully rustic, and the stone horse trough that survives is charming); and finally have a great dinner at the Red Lion Inn (and a good place to stay as well: it’s a Historic Hotel of America). If you’re a food lover, look for Berkshire Blue cheese at a local market—it’s among the best I’ve tasted.

-- Max van Balgooy

Max van Balgooy is the director of interpretation and education for National Trust Historic Sites.

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.

Tonight, in Birmingham: Preservation Solutions for Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masonic Temple

Posted on: January 16th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masonic Temple

Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masonic Temple

Another Preservation Leadership Training comes to an end. This past week has been incredible and Birmingham has been a wonderful host. We have seen the magnificence of Vulcan, and the somber in Kelly Ingram Park. Most of all our participants have worked long and hard to produce solutions for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masonic Temple which is located in the 4th Avenue Historic District. Don't forget come to our public presentations at Prince Hall Grand Lodge at 5:30pm today.

On Thursday Donovan Rypkema of Place Economics and David Flemming of Main Street Birmingham did an interview with the local Fox News Station, click here to view that video and to catch a glimpse of the Masonic Temple.

- Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya is the program assistant for training & online services in the Center for Preservation Leadership.

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.

 

Bedford House, Dublin Castle, Dublin

Bedford House, Dublin Castle, Dublin

Sustainability and climate change are global issues. Likewise, the role of historic preservation and conservation as a response to climate change spans national borders.

So it is fitting that the international heritage community is coming together this fall at the 13th International Conference of National Trusts to examine Heritage of the World in Trust – Conservation in a Changing Climate.

The hosts for this biennial gathering are An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland and the International National Trusts Organization (INTO). The conference, scheduled for September 13-17, 2009 in Dublin, will feature sessions on climate change, the challenges of stewardship with changing environments, and engaging new audiences in our work.

An Taisce has issued a call for papers with a deadline for submission of February 14, 2009. Applications for bursaries to attend the conference are also available on the INTO web site, also with a February 14th deadline.

The International Conference of National Trusts is a great opportunity to learn and meet those interested in heritage issues worldwide. New Delhi was the site of the 2007 conference and the posts from the conference give a flavor of what to expect in Dublin later this year.

***

David J. Brown is the executive vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and serves as the NTHP representative on the INTO Executive Committee.

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.

Three Thousand Miles from my Napa Valley Home

Posted on: January 15th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Three thousand miles from my Napa Valley hometown, I have landed in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. Like thirty five other country-wide preservation leadership participants, we have all come to learn more, network a bit and for some of us, begin to better understand the extraordinary civil rights history to be found in this city. To that, history may be seen and felt from the wrenching events that took place but 48 years ago.

Barbeque from Dreamland.

Barbeque from Dreamland.

For me though, a micro fruit farmer and culinary focused Californian, my attention is also food-focused. On this trip that attention will focus on the culinary traditions of the deep south, truly a unique and distinguishable cultural pathway. So what do regional food traditions have to do with preservation?
On a historical basis, we saw civilizations evolving, dominating and being defined based upon natural resource availability. Agriculture was king, eating was (and is) fundamental. It is the ghost of those past landscapes, economies and food resources that have come to define the food traditions that we now rely upon, that we seek out on a daily subconscious basis.

Fresh, juicy pig lips.

Fresh, juicy pig lips.

In the south, you see the legacy and evolution of African-American food traditions: b-b-que, greens, fried chicken, lots of pork, stews, preserved meats and vegetables and unique gravies. This legacy has defined the African American southern food tradition; a reflection of place, experience and history. These traditions have been brought forward as the new wave of Birmingham cooking manifests itself in hip restaurants that bring elements of old, new and fresh all together.

Macaroni and cheese and pulled pork sandwiches at Dreamland.

Macaroni and cheese and pulled pork sandwiches at Dreamland.

I have seen these most delicious plates of living history, from pulled pork sandwiches with macaroni and cheese to ribs, trigger fish with turnips, coconut cake and peanut butter ice cream using local peanuts. Put simply, food can quickly tell you where you are. And if you want to understand where you are, go back 100 years and you will begin to really understand why that turnip is on your plate next to the boiled greens and chopped pork.

So if preservation has to do with celebrating, revitalizing and educating, than surely this must include realizing that the very foods we pick, eat and enjoy have a long story to tell as well. And like an endangered church, bridge or house, we can easily loose the very food traditions which so subtly but surely defined place and culture.

Yes, there is history to food. Bon appétit.

-- Wendy Ward

Wendy Ward is the director of Preservation Napa Valley, she also has an extensive background in sustainable farming and is the current owner of a micro-farm. She is a participant in this year’s Preservation Leadership Training in Birmingham, Alabama. If you are in Birmingham on Friday, January 17, 2009 please attend the public presentations which will take place at 5:30 at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Birmingham, Alabama. Click here to view the flier. For more information on PLT visit our website.

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.

It's Time to "Vote Up" Preservation

Posted on: January 15th, 2009 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

For so many reasons, this past presidential election was like nothing we've ever seen - online that is.

With the candidates YouTube-ing, their advisors Twitter-ing and pretty much everyone Facebook-ing, we had a front-row seat to see politics get a daytime talk show-style makeover. And now that we've picked a president and he's just days away from taking office, we have another avenue for getting involved online.

The YouTube video (see!) above is from Valerie Jarrett, a co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Team. In it, she describes an innovative new project on Change.gov, the always-open online office of President-Elect Obama. Called the Citizen's Briefing Book, it's an opportunity for viewers to not only make policy suggestions for the new president, but to see and vote on the ideas of their fellow users. At the end of the project, the topics that are voted the most popular will make their way to Obama's desk in the Oval Office.

All you need to do it visit Change.gov and register - a necessary (yet quick and easy) step in order to participate. Next, search the idea pool for "Historic Preservation." You'll find a variety of topics related to our mission, including this popular entry entitled "Historic Preservation is Sustainability:"

The National Historic Preservation Program is essential for the funding of public and private initiatives to advance sustainability. Financial tools to improve energy efficiency in buildings must include assistance for owners of historic buildings, both residential and commercial, to rehabilitate and upgrade their properties in accordance with historic preservation standards.

Maximizing the contribution of historic preservation to the green economy and sustainability requires a skilled labor force.

Global climate change leads to increasingly devastating natural disasters that require a comprehensive approach to the protection of historic sites and communities.

Infrastructure rehabilitation and improvements are critical to the preservation and sustainability of our historic urban and rural communities.

To this end, expanding resources for the National Historic Preservation Program is critical to providing the infrastructure needed for the stewardship and sustainability of the built environment.

You'll see the rating of each idea once you open them. The goal is to "vote up" ideas like the one above (which is already at over 1,500 and counting) that are related to our preservation goals.

And of course, if you have a spare moment after doing your voting up, consider leaving comments as well (use our policy platform if you need help making the case). This is, after all, a public forum designed to uncover what the people feel are the most pressing issues facing our nation today. It's critical that, when given "open government" opportunities like this, we all act as thought-leaders by demonstrating how preservation is so much more than just standing in front of bulldozers.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.