WE Gets It

Posted on: December 17th, 2008 by Patrice Frey 2 Comments

 

"Most people see an old building. I see my next job. If we made these old places use less energy, we could save money and boost the economy." -- wecansolveit.org ad

Think creating "green jobs" means building solar panels and wind mills? Or new green buildings? Sure -- but that's not all. Check out this ad from WE (Al Gore's organization), which talks about how greening older buildings creates jobs and saves the environment. We at the National Trust for Historic Preservation couldn't have said it any better.

Consider these facts about why rehabbing (and greening!) historic buildings is a better job generator than new construction:

Rehabilitation generally uses about 20 percent more labor and, in turn, produces a greater number of jobs than new construction. As compared to new construction, every $1 million spent to rehabilitate a building results in:

  • Five to nine more construction jobs created;
  • An average of 4.7 more new permanent jobs created.

Furthermore, with preservation-based activities household incomes in the community increase by $107 more than through new construction. Retail sales in the community increasing by $142,000 – $34,000 more than through new construction.

And rehabbing our older and historic buildings to be more energy efficient offers two major environmental benefits. First, it directly reduces the energy needed to operate our buildings. Second, when we retrofit our existing buildings rather that constructing anew, we avoid the negative environmental impacts associated with new construction -- e.g. all that carbon that we send up into the atmosphere when we extract resources from the earth's surface and turn them into building materials.

Learn more about our sustainability initiative.

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.

Faces in Preservation

Posted on: December 16th, 2008 by Jason Clement

 

On Friday, we introduced you to Dubuque, Iowa Mayor Roy D. Boul, one of the first people profiled in our new Faces in Preservation series. We've created this series as a supplement to the policy platform we've created for President-Elect Barack Obama, to showcase preservationists who are amazing examples of the kind of work we're hoping to see more of in the future. It's not just change we can believe in -- it's change that we can actually see.

For the first week of the series, our focus is on sustainability. In addition to Mayor Boul, we have profiled two other preservationists whose adaptive use projects have won recognition for merging preservation principles with green building.

John Greer
Schools build a community's character and bring daily life and activity to its streets. So then, why are so many of them being built on the outskirts of town? For John Greer, that wasn't an option when he decided to turn a historic newspaper plant into a K-12 charter school in Downtown Little Rock, proving that incentives that encourage adaptive reuse are not only good for the environment, but good for our neighborhoods.   >> Read More

Jonathan F. P. Rose
Repair the fabric of existing communities while preserving the open space around them. That is Jonathan F. P. Rose's vision and the marching order of his New York-based green real estate development company, whose recent rehabilitation of Seattle's Joseph Vance Building is a example of what could become a national standard with the right federal policies and incentives. >> Read More

Learn more about our preservation platform for the new administration.

Sarah Heffern, blog editor, contributed to this story.

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.

 

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.