The oil spill cleanup in New Orleans continues.

The oil spill cleanup in New Orleans continues.

Traffic on the Mississippi River was started, then stopped, then started again this week as efforts continued to both clean up the massive 400,000 gallon oil spill along 100 miles of the lower Mississippi, but also to raise the barge which held the oil. Latest reports from the Coast Guard investigation indicated that the captain of the tugboat guiding the oil barge wasn’t even on the tugboat at the time of the collision with a tanker. Estimates are that almost 140,000 gallons of spilled oil mixed with water have been collected as of Saturday morning.

Some more figures: over 2,000 people are working the spill, using three tugs, 159 work boats, four barges, 20 skimmers and 13 vacuum trucks. About 155,000 feet of containment boom and absorbent boom are being used.

The levee near the Toulouse Street pier shows the oil damage.

The levee near the Toulouse Street pier shows the oil damage.

Sunday morning, clean-up traffic on the French Quarter riverfront was crowded, showing the intensity of the time-consuming effort. The rip-rap (boulders used to line the earthen levee) near the Toulouse Street pier showed the oil damage as the river level has fallen over the last week.

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.


Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Pentagram Architects

Milwaukee's New Harley-Davidson Museum and the Creation of Public Space: Built within a reclaimed industrial area along the Menomonee River, the design of the Harley-Davidson Museum seeks to "integrate the site back into the city; respect and reflect the site's history; make the water an important recreational element and plan for future development." With these goals in mind, Pentagram Architects have "developed an urban design that essentially restored the area's lost street grid and, by doing this, connected the site to the surrounding city by giving it a scale and 'grain' that felt like a neighborhood within the city." The design of the Museum and its surrounding area offers a public space fit for the street-level rally atmosphere of places like Sturgis—whose weeklong rally begins today—and widespread amongst bike culture. [Wheels: The New York Times Blogs]

Sustainability and Historic Resources: Sustainability is all about using the resources we already have in a smarter, more efficient manner. Did you know that 48% of US greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction, operation and demolition of buildings? Preserving our existing built resources can be an effective way to help with climate control. The city of Boulder, Colorado has recently revised its Green Building code, acknowledging the link between preservation and sustainability. [PreserveNJ]

Montpelier Restoration Update: The "Father of the Constitution's" Orange, Virginia estate continues its restoration project. Included in this update is a video of architectural research director Gardiner Hallock installing rosettes in the Drawing Room, and photos of the recreated "Madison Road" leading up to the mansion. [Montpelier Restoration Updates]

Las Cruces, New Mexico--The Museum of Expensive Mistakes in Downtown Revitalization: Pedestrian Malls, Historic Teardowns, plenty of surface parking lots--common revitalization processes like these have the ability to create a ghost town, rather than a revitalized downtown. Place Economics examines these common mistakes, along with the potential for downtown improvement within the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico [PlaceEconomics]

DVD Landscape Tours Available at Drayton Hall: Drayton Hall in Charleston is offering an exciting new way to engage visitors within their mid-eighteenth century plantation grounds. Using tried and true interpretive methods coupled with new technology that allows visitors to receive audio/visual information on specific areas of the site, historical themes related to the historic site, and the preservation efforts necessary to maintain the grounds. [National Trust Historic Sites Weblog]

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.


Staying cool in Key West.

Staying cool in Key West.

So I treated myself to almost an entire month of vacationing in the less humid parts of the country than DC can be in the summer. And everywhere I went, I noticed several things: 1. Everyone wants to tell me what they are doing to be “green”. 2. People apologize for their air conditioning, gas guzzlers and driving and 3. Seems like a lot more people are thinking about how to use their windows and shutters in the way they were intended. (Note: I'm having trouble importing photos on our new and improved blog site - hopefully I'll have it resolved over the weekend, so check back for more pretty pictures!)

Heat and the City

First, that awful humidity and heat in DC. I moved to Seattle in 2003 after 20 years in Manhattan primarily to live in a more temperate area of the country (and those gorgeous mountains and the Space Needle didn’t hurt either). And now I find myself back on the East Coast, in probably one of the worst cities for weather I could ever imagine. Now, full disclosure, I grew up in Buffalo . But hey, you can always put more clothes on when it’s cold, but what to do when it’s 100 degrees and 90% humidity? Well, the answer is, leave the city!! Which I did for most of July. But now I’m back and that humidity is still here.

... 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.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at

PreservationNation Blog Maintenance

Posted on: July 29th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern


Today, July 29, the PreservationNation blog is getting a much-needed software upgrade. We expect that, once it is complete, everything will function as it should. However, there are often unexpected surprises with software updates, so please bear with us if things are slightly wonky for a day or two. And, in the event that you stop receiving updates via RSS, please visit the site to re-subscribe.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding -- we really appreciate it!

Update: The upgrade went (mostly) without a hitch. The only thing we seem to have lost is our categories, which means navigation is a bit scarce at the moment and we've had to temporarily eliminate the topic-specific RSS feeds. We're working on getting these back as quickly as possible. Thanks again for your patience.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Notes from New Orleans: Oil Spill Cleanup

Posted on: July 29th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment


Oil spill cleanup in New Orleans.Clean up of this past Wednesday’s 400,000-gallon oil spill in the Mississippi River continued as limited river traffic resumed based on shipping priorities. The Port of New Orleans estimated revenue losses of as much as $101 million per day. A 100-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed as environmental contractors scrambled to corral and collect the oil with containment booms, skimmer boats and “pom-poms” tied to lines to soak up the mess.

The dock of the Algiers ferry along the French Quarter riverfront became one of the staging sites for boats, personnel, and equipment.

Oil spill cleanup in New Orleans.Early Wednesday, the Tintomara, a Liberian-flagged tanker collided with a barge carrying fuel oil that was being towed by the Mel Oliver, a tug boat. The Coast Guard determined that the tugboat operator had only an apprentice license, and no one else on the tug had the appropriate license either.

The operators of New Orleans popular Natchez steamboat had been looking forward to a busy week of customers. The 2,000-passenger Carnival Fantasy cruise ship had planned to dock in New Orleans on Saturday, but was diverted to Mobile, Alabama.

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.


President Lincoln's Cottage Blog Turned 100 This Week: 100 posts, that is. To mark their centennial, the folks at the blog are listing off One Hundred Things to Know About President Lincoln's Cottage. [President Lincoln's Cottage Blog]

Ballpark Development: Planetizen takes a different look at the effects of stadium development upon neighborhoods and employment. [Planetizen]

Saving Wood Windows Means Saving Money and Energy: The Landmark Society of Western NY discusses the advantages of saving your old-growth wood windows. [Confessions of a Preservationist]

Montpelier Restoration Update: With their Grand Opening just around the corner, Montpelier's restoration team has been hard at work in and around James Madison's estate.[Montpelier Restoration Updates]

Turning Preservation into Art: Warehouses that store materials saved from historic properties can preserve key elements of architectural history. Two artists put their talent to use on items recovered from Spartanburg's Architectural Salvage store. [Preservation Trust of Spartanburg, Inc.]

Guthriesville General Store is Saved--For Now: The 140 year old building that once housed a Chester County, Pa. general store has been given 75 days to find a buyer before convenience store chain WaWa will take over and begin demolition. [Preservation Magazine]

New Historic Site Directors Appointed: Woodlawn Plantation and Pope-Leighey House--both located in Virginia--along with Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Ma. have appointed new directors. All three are National Trust Historic Sites. [National Trust Historic Sites] [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.