A year and a half after receiving preservation grants from the state of Louisiana, Bobbi Rogers is faced with having her home demolished... by the state of Louisiana. This unusual turn of events is due to a proposed VA/LSU hospital complex will cost lower Mid-City residents the homes they have been restoring since Hurricane Katrina. Bobbi, a volunteer who helped rebuild homes in what is now the neighborhood where she lives, is left scratching her head at this turn of events, "A year and a half ago the state gave us $45,000 in preservation grants to restore our home. But today they want to demolish it. It doesn’t make any sense to me."

We don't get it either, and -- along with Louisiana residents and concerned citizens nationwide, we're asking the decision-makers to reconsider and save Mid-City. Please join us in taking action now!

Learn more about our efforts to save Mid-City 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.

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.

Holiday Cheer — with a Side of History

Posted on: December 15th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Every year, our National Trust Historic Sites put on a variety of events during the holiday season. The types of offerings vary widely, but they always share one important common thread -- they all draw upon the rich, diverse history of the site itself. A selection of this year's offerings is below.

Please note: Times, prices, and availability for these events should be verified by visiting the website provided and following any instructions found there.

 	  Home and Studio living room.  (Photographer: Hedrich-Blessing. Collection of FLWPT.)

Home and Studio living room. (Photographer: Hedrich-Blessing. Collection of FLWPT.)

Chicago, Illinois
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Family Fun Days featuring Victorian Christmas Tours
Saturday, December 20, 2008

For kids, by kids. Free tours of Wright’s Oak Park home decorated for the holidays. Led by Junior Interpreters, specially trained 5th through 10th grade students, the tours focus on Wright family celebrations of the Christmas holidays. An adult must accompany children under 8.

Click here for more information (last tour on the page).

Can’t make it? Try some holiday shopping at their online museum store.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Brucemore
Douglas Family Christmas
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This specialty holiday tour features interpreters portraying the Douglas family and staff as they prepare for Christmas. Visitors will meet the Douglas family and their house staff circa 1911, in period attire, as they explain their respective roles in the Christmas celebration. Each family and staff member has a unique story to tell, from the cook, Johanna, planning the Christmas meal to special house guests, Walter and Mahala Douglas, sharing their excitement for their upcoming voyage aboard the Titanic. Visitors will delight in the family’s holiday traditions and surprises.

Click here for more information, including reservations number (final listing).

... 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.

Notes from New Orleans: Making a "Moral Investment" in the Lower 9th Ward

Posted on: December 15th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

We've spent a lot of time lately talking about the threat to lower Mid-City, but not everything in New Orleans is so grim. The story below is an example of the ongoing good work happening there.

I want to introduce you to Anne Van Ingen, Wes Haynes, Joe Loya and their web site: www.5516dauphine.com.

Wes Haynes (right) chatting with Calvin Alexander, a Holy Cross resident who is helping with the project.

Wes Haynes (right) chatting with Calvin Alexander, a Holy Cross resident who is helping with the project.

In January of this year, Ann, a National Trust for Historic Preservation advisor from New York, and Wes attended a meeting of the National Trust’s Trustees and Advisors in New Orleans. During the meeting they participated in a tour of historic neighborhoods where our New Orleans Field Office and our local partner, the Preservation Resource Center, have been actively working to restore homes and aid families in returning through the HOME AGAIN! New Orleans program.

Moved by what they saw and learned, they decided to use their experience as historic preservation professionals to contribute to the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans. The method by which they are making this contribution is as exciting and non-traditional as the city of New Orleans.

They have purchased a Katrina-damaged single family shotgun house in the Holy Cross Historic District, part of the Lower 9th Ward. They are renovating it with their own labor and that of their friends. The New Orleans Field Office of the National Trust will provide on-the-ground assistance and local contacts as Holy Cross is a neighborhood where we have been concentrating our efforts. Then, they will sell it to a former resident of the neighborhood for only the costs that they have incurred, no profit. They call it their “moral investment” in the city.

Cleaning salvaged barge board from a house slated for demolition.

Cleaning salvaged barge board from a house slated for demolition.

To me, it is yet another remarkable example of the heroic commitment of the hundreds and thousands of preservation volunteers that have been coming to the city since the levees broke; giving their time, their labor, and their financial support. New Orleans is in your debt. Please visit their web site and read the truly exciting story of Ann, Wes and Joe and their adventure in a flood damaged historic neighborhood of New Orleans post-Katrina. If it moves you as I think it will, Ann and Wes tell me that there’s room for more volunteer workers during their December-January build.

-- Kevin Mercadel

Kevin Mercadel is a program officer in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's New Orleans Field Office.

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.

 

Stadtschloss Berlin, by Francesco Stella, courtesy of anArchitecture

Stadtschloss Berlin, by Francesco Stella, courtesy of anArchitecture

Kein Schloss in Meinem Namen: We recently featured anArchitecture's post surrounding the deconstruction of the East German cultural center and the plans to rebuild a Prussian-era Stadtschloss in its place. More news from this sector of the Preservodome as Berliners are speaking out against the new plans. At kein-schloss-in-meinem-namen.de (no palace in my name), citizens can express their feelings surroundings the rebuilding of the palace. Es ist nur auf Deutsch, but the point here is the discussion of which history a society is choosing to remember and represent. For a society and history that is obsessed with how remembrance and forgetting should work into its culture, the debate of what building should be placed on the site only makes sense, and fits nicely into the field of preservation. For spaces and places that have played a role in more than one era or historical moment, how do we go about deciding what should be preserved, restored, and interpreted to the public? An example here would be the restoration of James Madison's Montpelier. Although lacking the political nature of the German situation, the home of our fourth President was recently deconstructed, and rebuilt to reflect its Madison-era appearance. The building's post-Madison history is still on display in a visitor center exhibit, but not in the building itself. The Stadtschloss-reconstruction debate is far from over, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. [anArchitecture]

Metro Solutions: A lot of us here at the National Trust use D.C.'s Metro system every day, and often realize the challenges this system faces on our daily commute. "Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich thinks he might have found a way to let the suburbs grow without putting more cars on the roads: Build a rapid bus system that can speed past traffic. If his efforts succeed, Montgomery could become a leader in the region and one of only a dozen or so jurisdictions in the nation to embrace the low-polluting, high-end bus systems that can move thousands of riders at fairly high speeds, often in their own lanes." Could Elrich have the solution to the archaic system's problem? [Washington Post]

Midtown Mall and Revitalizing Rochester: It's Christmastime and to many Rochesterians that means one thing; the Monorail at Midtown Mall. While the monorail, the colorful clock tower and the decorations may all be gone, the discussion over what to do with this indicative place in Rochester history is still around. "Midtown Plaza, particularly the atrium, is a significant and unique historic resource that potentially presents a wealth of opportunities for reuse as part of a revitalized city core with a distinctive character. Our preference would be to see the atrium integrated into a creative reuse of this site." [Confessions of a Preservationist]

OnnenKenka Monument, Tuuri, Finland, courtesy of Virtual Tourist

OnnenKenka Monument, Tuuri, Finland, courtesy of Virtual Tourist

The Top Ten "Ugliest" Buildings: This is just one website's interpretation, as I find some of these buildings to be extremely cool (the Lucy Shoe Monument in particular) and we've even featured the number one listing here at the Trust as an example of Brutalism in the debate over preserving the modern. “Some of these picks have all the charm of a bag of nails while others are just jaw-dropping in their complexity. Love them or hate them, the list is certainly entertaining.” [Virtual Tourist]

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.

 

Though she clearly worries that it may be a losing battle, New Orleans homeowner Barbara Dillon -- with her husband Larry at her side -- talks about wanting to "fight to the last" to save the home they have been restoring since Hurricane Katrina. At this time, the Veteran's Administration and Louisiana State University are still planning to tear down the Dillon's home, along with more than 150 others, to build a new hospital complex.

Other sites are available, however, and continued pressure may help to change the minds of Governor Bobby Jindal and others involved. Please take action today!

Learn more about our efforts to save Mid-City 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.

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.