Change You Can Upload

Posted on: December 8th, 2008 by Jason Clement

 

Use our policy platform for the incoming administration to make a case for preservation on President-Elect Barack Obama's new Web site, www.change.gov.

Use our policy platform for the incoming administration to make a case for preservation on www.change.gov.

"What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you."

That was the booming call to action delivered by President-Elect Barack Obama in his election night acceptance speech - an event that was attended by thousands and experienced by many, many more through Twitter alerts, Facebook updates, a live Web feed and podcast, a Flickr slideshow, and a follow-up YouTube video that has been streamed 3,942,523 times and counting.

Really, if this election taught us anything, it's that having a strong web presence has become an indispensible component of American politicking - right along side of appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, photos ops in local bowling alleys and diners, and rallies where John Mellencamp is turned up just a little bit too loud. So, as politicians and the strategists who love them continue to tinker with widgets and feeds, how can we best use these new avenues to advance our mission to protect and preserve? To quote President-Elect Barack Obama, how is the Internet our "chance to make...change?"

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has developed a policy platform for the incoming administration that outlines how preservation - when integrated into economic, energy and climate change policies - can not only protect the places that matter most, but also lead to more livable, sustainable and economically viable communities. As our public policy department works hard to get this document front and center with members of the transition team, we invite you to explore the online version and then take our message to www.change.gov, where President-Elect Barack Obama is soliciting stories and policy ideas from the many millions of people he engaged throughout the election.

Now is the time for our voice and our ideas to be heard, and one of the keys to our success can be summed up by tweaking an infamous election-season sound byte: It's the Internet, stupid.

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.

 

Preservation and Development in New York City: A recent Times article examines the "delicate dance" between those who are looking to preserve buildings like those in Greenwich Village's Historic District and the developers who are looking to address practical, current issues. [New York Times]

Pinon House Renovation: A Modern Home that Conserves: "One of the best ways to have a green home is to renovate– and by reusing as much original material as possible, you can reduce the amount of virgin material necessary for construction." [Inhabitat]

Is the UK Failing to Adequately Preserve World Heritage Sites?: "The UK has drawn fire from UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural agency, for failing to adequately protect seven of its 27 World Heritage sites from the effects of development." [Architectural Record]

The Future of Greensboro's War Memorial Stadium: Before Greensboro's historic landmark can be saved, deterioration to its concrete structure must be addressed. In order to do this, cutting edge "ground penetrating radar" technology may be employed. [Greensboro's Treasured Places]

Three Civil War/Lincoln-Related Anniversaries: are coming up. Take the President Lincoln's Cottage online poll to let them know which one you are looking forward to. [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

Hiding in Plain Sight - Matsumoto's Lipman Residence: " Located in Richmond, Virginia, it was built in 1957. This “split-level” was included in the book Contemporary Houses Evaluated by Their Owners (1961)." Check out the pictures found by MidCentury on Flickr. [MidCentury]

Ocean Pools: “Rock pools,” we read, “are one of Sydney’s defining characteristics, along with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, though not as well known...Each pool has its own colorful history. Some were built by wealthy individuals in the 1800s, when Victorian-era morals banned daytime swimming at the beach, a concept hard to fathom in a country where going to the beach seems to be required. Some pools were built by convicts, others during the Depression. They come in all sizes and shapes, from 50 meters long (roughly 55 yards) and many lanes wide to much smaller boutique pools." I once visited the river-pool in Berlin, something tells me the Spree has nothing on the Southern Pacific. [Pruned]

LEED Changes to Benefit Existing and Historic Buildings: Our own Barbara Campagna is the featured author in this month's AIA KnowledgeNet newsletter, bringing her broad understanding of LEED and its relationship to historic buildings to her peers in the architecture community. [AIA KnowledgeNet]

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.

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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.