In the continuing discussion about the future of Charity Hospital, the firm of RMJM Hillier responded last week to a letter released on October 24 by Angele Davis, Commissioner of Administration for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. In this Ms. Davis attempts to refute the RMJM Hillier feasibility study commissioned by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Foundation asked RMJM Hillier to address point-by-point the issues raised by Ms. Davis. Click here to see the entire RMJM Hillier response.

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Learn more about our ongoing struggle to save Charity Hospital, one of 2008's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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.

 

The Washington D.C. Office of Planning’s Historic Preservation Office presented winners of the Sixth Annual Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation at the historic Carnegie Institution of Science Auditorium on Thursday, November 6th. The event was co-hosted by the DC Preservation League.

Highlighting the event were the Historic Preservation Review Board Chairman’s Award for Law and Public Policy to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and the Individual Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime Dupont Circle resident and preservationist Charles J. Robertson, III. A total of 12 awards were presented to individuals, businesses, and local organizations for exemplary work and commitment to historic preservation.

Excellence in Design – Restoration and Renovation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation received an Excellence in Design Award for Restoration and Renovation for the restoration of the President Lincoln’s Cottage and the renovation of the former Soldier’s Home Administration Building into the President Lincoln’s Cottage Visitor Education Center. The National Trust was honored for its authentic restoration of the Gothic cottage back to the era when President Lincoln and his family summered at the site and the President penned the early drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Special commendation was given to the National Trust for its sensitive rehabilitation of the administration building into the Staff Offices and Visitor Education Center integrating the best of preservation standards with sustainability practices. The Visitor Education Center is on target to receive LEED Gold and is also being considered as a pilot project for LEED 2009’s new Alternate Compliance Path for Life Cycle Assessment of Building Assemblies.  Final LEED certification was submitted last week for the project.  Look for a future story on this project - a great example of the intersection of historic preservation and sustainability.

Also honored for their involvement in the project were:

The Christman Company; RMJM Hillier; Mona Electric Group; Oak Grove Restoration Company; and Strickland Fire Protection.

This has been a good month for the National Trust's Historic Sites.  Last week, Decatur House, also in Washington, DC received a Design Excellence Award for the restoration of the Entry Hall & Stair Hall from the AIA DC.  Interestingly, Decatur House also received a Mayor's Award for Restoration three years ago for the restoration of the Kitchen.

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 bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

Veterans Day 2008: They're Also Heroes on the Homefront (Video)

Posted on: November 11th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

The second in a series of videos highlighting the winners of the 2008 National Preservation Awards.


 

In towns all over the Sunflower State, the National Guard Armory is a prominent landmark and a symbol of local pride. Because of the Kansas Army National Guard’s commitment to good stewardship over the past decade, these historic structures can continue to play a vital role in community life.

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.

Veterans Day 2008: Update on the Historic Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery

Posted on: November 11th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington Cemetery

On this day when we honor the sacrifice of the men and women of our military, there now is hope that the authentic Tomb of the Unknowns will be restored rather than discarded and replaced -- thanks to the intervention of Congress, historic preservationists, and the American public.

Marble conservation experts agree that the monument’s cracks are cosmetic, nonstructural, and – most important – can be repaired to be virtually invisible to the millions of annual visitors to the Tomb of the Unknowns.

On November 7, 2008, Arlington National Cemetery convened a meeting, pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act, to begin planning for what Cemetery officials call the “possible repair” of the 1932 Tomb Monument. Following this meeting, the National Trust for Historic Preservation can report that:

  • Arlington National Cemetery has agreed to consider conducting the high-tech tests and analysis necessary to understand the cause of the cracks and to design the most effective restoration techniques.
  • The Cemetery has agreed to invite a blue-ribbon panel of marble conservation experts to help select the marble conservator, if the repair project moves forward.
  • If the Cemetery agrees to repair the marble monument, the conservation work likely would be conducted in late Spring or early Summer 2009.
  • Cemetery officials expressed concerns on November 7th that the repair project would disrupt the visitor’s experience of the Tomb of the Unknowns. (On the contrary, preservationists believe the repair project would present an opportunity to educate visitors about the historic significance and proper treatment of the monument.)
  • Replacement of the Tomb Monument with a replica would cost $2.2 million, while preservation-based repair would cost $65,000.
  • Finally, Arlington National Cemetery has not committed to repair the marble monument and has not abandoned the Cemetery’s long-term plan to discard and replace the authentic monument with a replica.

Government agencies participating in the November 7th meeting included the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Arlington County Historic Preservation Office, Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, National Center for Preservation Technology & Training, and U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

The nonprofit historic preservation community was represented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation.

-- Rob Nieweg

Robert Nieweg is the Director of the Southern Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Learn more about our ongiong efforts to save the authentic Tomb of the Unknowns.

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.

Abraham Lincoln — and His Horse — Arrive in Washington, DC

Posted on: November 10th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Abraham Lincoln and his horse.

Abraham Lincoln and his horse arrived at President Lincoln’s Cottage today—in bronze form, that is. The 2500 pound sculpture, commissioned through the generosity of Robert H. Smith, commemorates Lincoln's bicentennial and will be dedicated in February 2009.

Lincoln and his family lived at the Cottage for one quarter of his presidency -- it was the place where Lincoln plotted Union wartime strategies, worked on the emancipation proclamation and determined to include the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the Republican platform of 1864.

The sculpture, designed by StudioEIS in New York, took one year to create from sketches to final cast. To render an historically accurate likeness of the 16th president and his horse, StudioEIS conducted extensive research, including: examination all of the known photos of Lincoln, plus the lifecasts of his face and hands; taking measurements of his top hat and coat at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; and, working with equine experts and photos of the president's favorite horse, "Old Bob."

Overall, the sculpture measures 84 inches tall and 88 inches long. Unlike the many formal depictions of Lincoln, this one is informal and highlights a moment at either the beginning or the end of Lincoln’s daily commute from the Cottage to the White House.

The Cottage opened to the public February 19, 2008, following a 7-year, $15 million restoration. To find out more and to reserve space on one of its multimedia, state-of-the-art tours, visit: www.lincolnscottage.org.

-Caroline Barker
-Video by Matt Ringelstetter

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.