LISTEN LIVE: Partners Discuss Charity Hospital/Mid-City on WRKF Radio

Posted on: December 5th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Our partners at the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Sandra Stokes and Mark Upton, are on the the Jim Engster show on WRKF right now -- Friday, December 5 at 9:15 a.m. CST. They'll be talking about the ongoing crisis situation in Mid-City New Orleans. It is a call-in show, so if you want to be part of the discussion, there is an opportunity to participate. Information on live streaming and contacting the show is available at www.wrkf.org.

Update: The program is now over, but archived audio is available 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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.

Newsweek Learns that Preservation is Green

Posted on: December 5th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Newsweek magazine recently published a letter from our Local Partner the Landmark Society of Western New York defending the case for sustainability when paired with responsible preservation practices. The letter was in response to an earlier Newsweek article, The Bad News About Green Architecture by Cathleen McGuigan, which focused on the negative impacts of the growing "fad" of building new sustainable buildings, but failed to identify the benefits of adaptive reuse to the sustainability movement.

"Our goal was to hopefully offer an alternative perspective (to which some people likely hadn’t been previously exposed) as they consider the issues of 'green building/construction' raised in the article," said Director of Marketing, Laura Zavala. The Landmark Society initially commented on the Newsweek article on their blog, but thought it important to voice their opinion on the article to the editors of Newsweek, as well. "Although they edited our letter for length, they successfully preserved the main points we were attempting to communicate. As we look for alternatives and focus on sustainable living as a nation, our talking points will have hopefully resonated strongly enough to stick with some folks."

And they did so quite well. In less than 500 words, the Landmark Society was able to put front and center in a reader’s mind the fact that new construction -- no matter how green or cutting edge -- uses new resources and energy, and creates waste. As we continue to make the case for preservation in sustainable development, we must all take every opportunity to impart this simple fact: preservation has been, and always will be, green.

-- Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is the program assistant for the Statewide & Local Partners office at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

***

Learn more about:

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.

 

On Tuesday, we learned that LSU is going to desperate lengths to control information and prevent a transparent airing of facts about Charity Hospital. A state legislative sub-committee scheduled a tour of the historic building this week, a development which gave us hope that the legislature would grapple head-on with the question of financing for a public health care and medical education facility for New Orleans.

Our hopes rested on the presumption that the legislators, on their tour, would have the benefit not only of hearing LSU's side of the story about the condition of the long-shuttered hospital, but that they would also hear from a representative of RMJM HIllier, which had made its own extensive study of the Charity building. Released in August, the Hillier study was commissioned by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana at the direction of the state legislature through a resolution passed unanimously in 2006. The study concluded that the Charity building is eminently suited to support a 21st-century hospital within its sturdy shell, at a cost savings of 22% and at least two years faster than building a new hospital on the Mid-City site. These findings cast serious doubt on the decision announced by LSU on November 25 to build a new hospital, and thus the study has been the target of repeated attempts by LSU and other state officials to discredit or minimize it.

Tuesday's action -- LSU spokesman Charles Zewe vociferously objecting to the presence of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and RMJM Hillier, and preventing their participation in the tour -- seemed a desperate act. Later that evening, Governor Bobby Jindal, when asked whether the public and media ought be to able to get inside the Charity Hospital building to see it for themselves, said, yes, he agreed -- and would talk to LSU. We hope the state's chief executive does not need LSU's OK to make this decision final.

Local television coverage of this development can be found here.

***

Take action now -- write to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and other decision-makers and ask them to save Charity Hospital and its surrounding neighborhood.

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.

Breaking News: BLM Announces Lease Deferrals in Nine Mile Canyon

Posted on: December 4th, 2008 by Jason Clement 1 Comment

 

Left in the dust? Industrial truck traffic caused by lease sales threatens rock art in Nine Mile Canyon.

Left in the dust? Industrial truck traffic caused by lease sales threatens rock art in Nine Mile Canyon.

Plans change, and yesterday they started to change in our favor.

In a blog post on November 7, 2008, we reported that the Bureau of Land Management was reviving plans to sell oil and gas leases in wilderness areas in eastern Utah before the end of the year - a project that could include tens of thousands of acres in and around Nine Mile Canyon. As many of you know, Nine Mile Canyon is an unparalleled cultural resource with over 10,000 rock art images on more than 1,000 panels. Projects like these threaten the canyon's irreplaceable resources due to the ever increasing dust, chemical suppressants and vehicle emissions associated with industrial truck traffic.

Despite the fact that the December 19 target date for the lease sale is inching closer and closer, an important announcement yesterday demonstrates that it is not too late to take a step in the right direction.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation both commends the Bureau of Land Management for deferring eight of the approximately twenty leases planned for sale in and near Nine Mile Canyon, and urges the agency to continue to make decisions that protect the at-risk resources. The deadline for objections to the lease sale is today, and, as noted in a Salt Lake Tribune article that ran yesterday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be filing an official protest (which will be available online soon) arguing for deferrals for the sensitive tracts below the canyon's rim that remain on the lease list.

The lease list will be finalized by December 12. As we continue to monitor this sale and report on critical changes, we invite you to visit our Nine Mile Canyon page to learn more about our work in the resource-rich region and to download a lease sale map released yesterday by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

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.

 

Back in May, before we were aware of the danger the nation’s economy was truly in, we named California’s State Parks to our annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places when the state’s budget woes led to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recommending drastic cuts that would have closed 48 parks. Changes to the state’s budget, along with increased user fees, kept the parks open, but California’s woes have proven, sadly, not to be unique. Over Thanksgiving weekend, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois announced that earlier-suggested closings of seven parks and a dozen historic sites would go forward, and our local partner, Preservation New Jersey, has posted updates to their blog about site closings in the Garden State.

Yesterday, in his remarks at a governor’s conference in Philadelphia, President-elect Barack Obama made it clear that the risk the economic downturn poses to our country’s heritage has not gone unnoticed – he included the closure of historic sites in a list of the difficult choices being made on the state level. (The mention comes at 2:27 in the video below.)

California, Illinois, and New Jersey are not alone in having their state parks and historic sites threatened by the economic downturn – it’s a nationwide situation. Share what’s happening where you live below.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class.