Historic Theatre, New Act

Posted on: April 17th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Erica Stewart

Our friends at the CenterStage Foundation have been keeping us informed of a fabulous project underway to create a new identify for a venerable historic theatre. The Richmond (Virginia) CenterStage project rehabs the Carpenter Theatre, a once-grand movie house, and integrates it into a brand new performing arts complex next door.  Built in 1928 as the Loew's Theatre, the Carpenter had an elegant interior and a dark brick exterior ornamented with sculpted terra cotta and limestone. Like many downtown theatres, it could not survive the demographic shift to the suburbs and the Carpenter was shuttered in 1979.

The  rehab returns the theatre to grandeur and beyond, expanding its stage size, improving acoustics and updating amenities and public spaces to create a more inviting environment for performers and patrons alike. This will create a top-notch venue for symphonies, dance troupes, Broadway shows and concerts from near and far.

The $25 million will be financed in part by a $12 million federal historic and New Markets Tax Credit equity investment by the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the for profit subsidiary of the National Trust.

Once the Richmond CenterStage project is completed, the Carpenter will complement the 80,000 square-foot Dorothy Pauley Square that will contain three venues, including an intimate setting for small nonprofit theater groups, educational workspaces and a visual arts gallery.

Without further ado, let's take a look:

At the rear of the Orchestra level in the Carpenter Theatre, the ceiling restoration is nearly complete.

At the rear of the Orchestra level in the Carpenter Theatre, the ceiling restoration is nearly complete.

Work to re-rake the mezzanine and balconies to provide better sight lines as well as accessible seating is well underway, as seen from peering between newly restored ight fixtures at the house-right sky loft.

Work to re-rake the mezzanine and balconies to provide better sight lines as well as accessible seating is well underway, as seen from peering between newly restored ight fixtures at the house-right sky loft.

... 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.

Teaching Preservation: The People of Potters Field

Posted on: April 17th, 2009 by Guest Writer 1 Comment

 

I love a good mystery.

Something

Making a list and checking it twice! My Research History classmates hard at work recording names on gravestones in Good Hope Cemetery.

It’s a passion that, through my school’s 4-H program, has kept me knee-deep in old records for a two-year genealogy project. The result? I’ve learned to root through census records (among many other sources) to collect information and piece together stories. Along the way, I’ve tracked down members of my own family dating back to the early 1600's.

Needless to say, I was quite excited when Mr. LaRue asked me to research the people who were laid to rest in the elusive Potters Field section of Good Hope Cemetery.

With a list of gravestone names recorded by my classmates in hand, I headed to my first stop in the research process – our local library. I pulled the 1880 census information and searched for all of the names I was given. I also worked my way through microfilm for each. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find all the names, but I was able to gather some interesting information on three families – the Martins, the Galloways and the Lyles.

Something

One of many mysterious gravestone remnants uncovered in the Potters Field section of Good Hope.

The first family I found, the Martins, was a large African-American family. James Martin, 70, was the leader of the household, and it was noted that he made a living as a local farmer. He was born in Kentucky and eventually moved to Fayette County. According to the census record, there was no wife living in the household at the time. James had one son, Scott, who was 24 and also a farmer. He also had four daughters: Mary, 17; Ella, 15; Dileina, age unknown; and another with an unknown name and age. Dileina was listed as “keeping house.”

The Galloways were the exact opposite of the Martins. Listed as Caucasian, their family was very small. Joseph Galloway, 27, was the only male in the household, and his occupation was noted as laborer. He was born in Pennsylvania and married to Amy Galloway, 26. Amy was listed as “keeping house.” She was born in Ohio. At the time of the census, Joseph and Amy were the only two people in their household.

Lastly, the Lyles had a four-person household consisting of a father, a mother and two daughters. The father, 26, was a farm laborer, and his wife, 24, was the keeper of the house. Their daughters were very young at the time of the recording; Alice Lyle was 2 and Emma Lyle was barely 1.

After finding all of this interesting information in the 1880 census, I decided to expand my search to other years. I started looking in records from 1870 and the early 1900's. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the 1890 census because it was destroyed in a fire many, many years ago. I was able to find a family in the 1900 records that I believe to be the Lyles. I’m not 100% sure, but I have some reasonable facts to suggest that it is. For instance, the information from 1900 is exactly 20 years apart from my original 1880 source, and all of the ages noted reflect that same difference. Also, in the 1900 census, they have a daughter who is 16 years of age. This makes sense because she would have missed the 1800 records by four years.

At the end of the day, I wish I could have crossed a few more names off of my original list, but that’s how research goes. However, I hope the information I uncovered will be a good jumping off point for future curious minds.

And the mystery of Potters Field continues...

- Bryan R.

Bryan R. is a senior at Washington High School in Washington Court House, Ohio. For the remainder of this semester, he'll be working with his Research History classmates on a variety of preservation projects, including documenting and preserving local cemeteries like Good Hope. Stay tuned as they share their experiences here on our blog and on their Flickr photostream.

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.

Award-Winning Restoration Focus of an Incandescent Evening

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

 

Written by Ellen Buckman

Last year, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida received our Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites at the National Preservation Conference in Tulsa. This winning restoration is now being showcased at a FREE community event at the Estates this Saturday, April 18.

This important restoration culminates a 5-year, $20 million effort to restore these side-by-side winter residences of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford back to the 1920’s lifestyle of their famous families and to shed light on the personal lives and friendship of two of America’s greatest inventors and industrialists. The 20-acre riverside campus provided these close friends respite, inspiration and a staging place for collaboration. Thanks to the completed restoration, visitors can now tour and see both houses, Edison’s personal laboratory where he worked on more than 1,000 inventions during his winter visits, his tropical research and botanical garden, one of the earliest above ground residential swimming pools in southwest Florida, the award winning Moonlight Garden, and a 20,000 sq. ft. museum displaying hundreds of Edison and Ford objects.

Prior to receiving the stewardship award, the Estates had a long-standing relationship with National Trust for Historic Preservation and our Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program -- in 1999 it was awarded an early seed grant from the Preservation Planning Fund, and in 2004 SAT selected it from over a thousand others to be one of 24 sites to participate in the Restore America partnership with HGTV and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. And, for the interior, our partner Valspar donated the paint used in the restoration.

If you happen to be in south Florida this weekend, do consider joining in on their special event. The Incandescent Evening, running from 5-8 p.m., will feature some of the programs members currently enjoy including botanical printmaking, Wild Wizards Lab shows, musical performances and food. There will also be opportunities to stroll along the Calooshatchee River and explore the homes and gardens of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and their families.

Hats off to the Estates!

Ellen Buckman is a marketing associate in the Corporate Partners department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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To learn more about the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, or to obtain a ticket to the event, visit www.efwefla.org.

To learn more about National Trust historic paint colors by Valspar, visit www.preservationnation.org/valspar.

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.

Governor's Request Endangers West Virginia's Blair Mountain

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

 

Written by Nell Ziehl

Aerial view of Blair Mountain Battlefield in West Virginia.

Aerial view of Blair Mountain Battlefield in West Virginia.

Earlier this month, preservation advocates were thrilled that the National Park Service listed Blair Mountain (Logan County, West Virginia) -- the site of a massive 1921 coal miners' insurrection and the largest armed conflict on U.S. soil since the Civil War -- in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register designation has taken decades, due to opposition by coal companies who wish to strip-mine the mountain and destroy the site. This ongoing struggle led the National Trust for Historic Preservation to include Blair Mountain on our 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2006.

The thrill wore off quickly, however. Less than a week after the National Park Service made its determination, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin’s administration requested that the site be de-listed.

We -- and our local partners -- remain committed to saving Blair Mountain Battlefield. We ask that concerned citizens help us take action by signing our online petition. With the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, we are also preparing a letter to be signed by scholars and historians, asking for Governor Manchin's help in preserving this important chapter of American history. If you are a scholar or historian who would like to be included in that effort, please email us at sfo [at] nthp [dot] org. (Replace the words in brackets with the customary symbols.)

Blair Mountain in the News:

Nell Ziehl is a program officer for the Southern Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Mark your calendars: Our 2009 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places will be announced on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Historic places around the country -- like Blair Mountain -- need your help.

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.

Notes from New Orleans: New Charity Hospital Web Site Launched

Posted on: April 15th, 2009 by Walter Gallas

 

A new web site launched this week in New Orleans promises to enrich the conversation, broaden the debate, and grow the movement surrounding embattled Charity Hospital and lower Mid-City neighborhood. SaveCharityHospital.com combines an unapologetic point-of-view with a variety of resources, documents, tools and information. It also offers the transparency so seldom seen in the public discussions surrounding one of the—if not the—largest potential redevelopment projects in New Orleans’ history. Visit the site and share your stories, find the schedule of the latest meetings on the city’s master planning and hospital design plans, scour the documents section, send your feedback, and become a part of the campaign to turn back the old way of doing things and achieve real change in New Orleans.

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.