Three Rosenwald School Projects Score for South Carolina at National History Day

Posted on: June 22nd, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 3 Comments

 

Written by Tracy Hayes

Alex Hayes, winner of outstanding project from SC with the documentary <i>Julius Rosenwald and the Legacy of Rosenwald Schools.</i>

Alex Hayes, winner of outstanding project from SC with the documentary Julius Rosenwald and the Legacy of Rosenwald Schools.

Three projects featuring Julius Rosenwald and the legacy of Rosenwald Schools placed in the finals for their state and traveled to College Park, Maryland for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland June 14-18. This year’s contest topic was The Individual in History and their Legacy. The two exhibits and one documentary on Rosenwald won local, regional, and state contests to make their way to the national contest where nearly 2,200 middle and high school students from the 50 states, Washington DC, Guam, Samoa, and US Department of Defense Schools in Europe gathered to compete for honors, prizes, and scholarships in each of five categories. Two of the three Rosenwald entries took home top honors as best-in-state for South Carolina.

National History Day grew out of a program begun with 129 students presenting history projects at Case Western Reserve in Ohio in 1974. Today, more than 600,000 students participate nationwide. Only two projects from each category are selected to represent their state at nationals.

Categories include papers, websites, documentaries, exhibits, and performances – the latter three categories can be group projects or individual, with Junior (middle school) and Senior (high school) divisions. Research requirements rival college level papers. Students then present projects to a panel of judges. Judging is based on the breadth of research, sources used, knowledge of topic, the adherence to the rules of the contest, the presentation, and student interviews. Most students spend the better part of the school year working on their presentations.

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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.

Brooklyn's Admirals Row at Risk from Neglect, Potential Demolition

Posted on: June 19th, 2009 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Roberta Lane

A collection of significant 19th century buildings in a corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been inaccessible, overgrown, and forlorn for far too long. Because of the overgrowth, it takes some squinting and slight effort to see the fine form of the buildings on Admirals' Row. It doesn't take much more attention than that to clearly see the potential of the buildings for rehabilitation and adaptive use.

Preservationists have called for the historic buildings at Admirals Row to be stabilized for many years, most recently as part of the federal regulatory review for the planned sale of the site. This morning, we received reports that one of the buildings has collapsed. Many more remain, and remain vulnerable. The Army National Guard needs to act today on its obligation to reinforce and protect these highly significant structures, before more are lost.

Brooklyn's role in America's military history is profound and not well-known, and Admirals' Row embodies a timespan and slice of life within that history that is not represented elsewhere. The cataclysmic Battle of Brooklyn in the Revolutionary War demonstrated the strategic importance of the Brooklyn waterfront. This context and strong connections to Brooklyn's larger industrial development drove the immense growth of the Navy Yard from the start of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. As the closure of the Navy Yard in 1966 recedes from memory, the story and importance of this New York City military-industrial site fades. The remaining buildings at Admirals' Row constitute a well-concealed and threatened connection to one of New York's most important contributions to America's history.

At this point, Admirals' Row consists of several stately officers' houses dating from the mid- to late-nineteenth century, and a rare timber shed for storage and drying of tall ship masts, all contributing elements of a National Register Historic District. The Army National Guard has control of this important historic area now, and they are undertaking the federal preservation review and consultation on their planned sale of the site to the City of New York. The city plans to transfer the site to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), which would construct a supermarket and job training facility on the site. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and all of our local preservation partners are active participants in the federal review, and in addressing this threat generally.

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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.

 

Montrose Matters

I’ve been on the clock as a full-timer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation for seven months and a little bit of change.

In my mind, that’s hardly a blip on the radar. After all, I recently had to ask a co-worker how to photocopy something (there are strange codes involved), and I still have no clue how snail mail reaches my desk (it magically appears in my chair during Diet Coke runs), much less how to send it myself.

My own hang-ups as a perpetual late adopter aside, if you were to ask Dolores McDonagh, our vice president for membership and one of the loudest cheerleaders on the squad for our This Place Matters campaign, she would say without blinking that seven months is more than enough time to have taken at least one picture in front of a near-and-dear space or place.

She’s absolutely right, and truth be told, I’ve had a plan all along. For me, my first stab at documenting the places that tell my story simply had to happen at the place that matters the most – 1,412 miles away from my home today at the corner of Westheimer and Yoakum in the Houston gayborhood of Montrose.

A week ago today, while on a tour of my old stomping ground in the Lone Star State, I finally made it happen. Now, you’re probably thinking, “It took seven months and a flight across the country for you to take a photo in front of a wall?” Point taken, but I assure you: that wall is the backdrop to a place that means the world to me.

You see, I attended high school in one of the countless master planned communities that are inorganically grown on Houston’s fringe. Dubbed First Colony, this massive development straddles land that was among the first to be granted to Stephen F. Austin in his quest to colonize Texas. Now, with a fascinating lineage like that, it’s easy to imagine there being a historical marker every fifteen feet or so. Instead, the suits who engineered First Colony took a big bite out of the sprawl playbook and mechanically spit out a non-place where the pioneering efforts of the Father of Texas are commemorated by miles of impervious nothingness, trees that grow in straight lines, and “neighborhoods” that are marketed on billboards by income level.

One Sunday afternoon, a sixteen-year-old version of myself received a jaw-dropping AOL instant message from a handsome guy by the name of Leo, a fellow junior at my non-place high school who had recently come out. It was a point-blank invitation to an afternoon in Montrose. I knew immediately that his friendly e-vite was predicated on two weeks of rumors that had started and then swirled after my screen name was spotted in a gay chat room. However, in that moment, denial was suddenly not my gut reaction. With the cursor and my heart pulsing at near-equal intervals, I remember looking down at the little yellow AOL man who was running – sprinting – in an endless loop at the bottom of our instant message window. He just kept going and going and going…

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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.

Cheers Greet Announcement of Boston Grant Winners

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

 

Written by Alissa Anderson

American Express and National Trust representatives with Steven Greenberg of PiP major grant-winner Vilna Shul.

American Express and National Trust representatives with Steven Greenberg of PiP major grant-winner Vilna Shul. (Photo: Nathan Fried-Lipski)

A hush fell over the crowd assembled in the chandelier-lit lobby of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel this morning at approximately 10:45 a.m., as National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe stepped to the speaker’s podium. Even the ding of arriving elevator cars and the clatter of wheeled suitcases across the marble floor quieted as hotel guests, too, joined the rest of the audience and paused to hear the impending announcement.

What were the words everyone was so eager to hear? The name of their favorite Greater Boston historic place included among the list of 2009 Partners in Preservation major grant winners!

For the past number of months, the program’s 25 selected sites have worked tirelessly, creatively, and successfully to rally public support of their organizations through the Partners in Preservation website online voting contest. As announced on May 18th, the Paragon Carousel in Hull won this public vote and was automatically guaranteed to receive their grant request of $100,000 from American Express. Nine-tenths of American Express’s $1 million commitment still remained to be granted, however, and with the help of an Advisory Committee comprised of 21 Greater Boston civic and preservation leaders, those final decisions were made last week. Which brings us to this morning and the hushed Park Plaza lobby...

After thanking previous speakers Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy at American Express, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Mr. Moe proudly announced the following grant winners (virtual drumroll please!):

  • Paragon Carousel in Hull: $100,000 to restore the doors and windows of the Carousel Building
  • Crane Estate in Ipswich: $50,000 to restore the walls and terraced staircase of the Estate’s Bowling Green
  • Edgell Memorial Library in Framingham: $100,000 to restore the Library’s windows and install storm windows
  • Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury: $75,000 to repair the church’s roof, gutters, and dormers
  • José Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge: $100,000 to restore six of Sanctuary Theatre’s etched glass windows
  • Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury: $86,200 to repair the shop’s roof, windows and exterior, and to install a modern heating system
  • Museum of African American History in Boston’s Beacon Hill: $100,000 to repair the Abiel Smith School’s foundation
  • Old North Church in Boston’s North End: $18,000 to repair and strengthen the church’s steeple
  • Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown: $60,000 to restore the natural pond on the school’s campus
  • Salem Old Town Hall in Salem: $75,000 to reinforce the hall’s foundation and provide new interior finishes
  • United First Parish Church in Quincy: $80,000 to restore the church’s bell tower and the Adams crypt
  • Vilna Shul in Boston’s Beacon Hill: $90,800 to uncover, preserve and display a hidden mural within the sanctuary’s Women’s Gallery
NTHP President Richard Moe and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino enjoy the celebration following the announcement.

NTHP President Richard Moe and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino enjoy the celebration following the announcement. (Photo: Nathan Fried-Lipski)

Cheers erupted as each site was named, and the crowd’s applause continued as selected representatives from every winning site came forward to be congratulated. In addition, Richard Brown also announced that each of the 13 remaining PiP sites will receive a $5,000 award in recognition of their participation in the initiative and their commitment to preservation efforts.

To all 25 of the wonderful historic places that participated in this year’s program, thank you for all your hard work, and congratulations on your successes—present and future! And to all those who cast their votes in support of their favorite Greater Boston sites, thank you for helping save the places that matter most to you! We hope that now that you’ve experienced the preservation excitement, you’ll continue to support the work of the historic places in your communities. (Might I suggest the ever-popular rallying cry of “PiP, PiP, Hooray”?)

Alissa Anderson is an intern in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office in Boston.

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.

 

By Ti Hays
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President Clinton created this 486,149-acre monument in 2001 through a proclamation authorized by the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Last Friday, in a positive development, a federal district court in Arizona reversed a previous decision that held that President Clinton had exceeded his authority by including management directives in the proclamation for the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

The case began when an environmental group — the Western Watersheds Project — filed a lawsuit claiming that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had taken too long to prepare a resource management plan and grazing suitability analysis for the Sonoran Desert. President Clinton created the 486,149-acre monument in 2001 through a proclamation authorized by the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Passed by Congress in 1906, the Antiquities Act allows presidents to establish as national monuments “historic landmarks and other objects of historic and scientific interest” located on federal land. Over the past century, presidents have used this authority to protect some of our nation’s most revered landmarks and landscapes, including the Grand Canyon, Casa Grande and Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado — a national monument with the highest known density of archaeological sites in the entire country.

In its February decision, however, the court ruled that although the Antiquities Act permitted President Clinton to establish the monument, it did not provide him with the authority to direct how the monument should be managed through the terms of the monument’s proclamation. Based on this reasoning, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint for lack of standing.

Because the decision had the potential to affect the management of national monuments throughout the country, the National Trust for Historic Preservation filed an amicus curiae brief with the court this past April in support of the plaintiff’s request for reconsideration. A coalition of law professors led by former Solicitor of the Interior Department, John Leshy, submitted a similar brief. The court agreed to reconsider the case in May, and, last week, issued a new opinion upholding the president’s authority to govern national monuments through the directives of national monument proclamations.

Of obvious importance to the plaintiff, the court’s decision also removes a jurisdictional hurdle in another lawsuit involving Clinton-era national monuments. In January, the National Trust and several conservation organizations claimed in a lawsuit over the final resource management plans for Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermilion Cliffs National Monuments that BLM had failed to comply with several directives of the monuments’ proclamations.

This new decision should pave the way for that lawsuit to proceed to the merits stage.

>> Download the National Trust's Amicus Curiae Brief
>> Download the Federal District Court's Final Opinion

Ti Hays is the public lands counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

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