Volunteer Opportunity in New Orleans

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Walter Gallas 6 Comments


Two years after Hurricane Katrina, the need for volunteer help in New Orleans remains strong, and one of our local partners, Rebuilding Together, is seeking assistance to rebuild houses for low-income elderly and disabled residents.

Volunteers may be performing tasks such as painting, scraping, landscaping, dry-walling, taping, cleaning, installing appliances, and tiling. Instruction is given for unfamiliar tasks, and no volunteers are expected to do any job they are uncomfortable performing. All work is supervised by skilled Rebuilding Together staff members and water, refreshments and first aid kits are always onsite.

All volunteers must be 18 or older. Click here to see a schedule, which includes dates and participation costs. If you are able to help out, please contact Sean Vissar by email at svissar [at] prcno [dot] org or by phone at (504) 636-3076. Click here for information for low-cost volunteer accommodations.

Updated to add the schedule link.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


Green Home Remodeling  -- Blogger Emerson Lockwood discusses green home remodeling as "a thinking process, not a contest to see how many green things you as a homeowner can incorporate into your home."  He notes that reusing as much material from your existing home is a key part of green remodeling, and that it can save you money.   

In the coming weeks, the National Trust will be offering preservation-sensitive tips for greening your existing home -- I'll keep you posted.

News to Keep you in the Know...

Environment Takes Its Place on Board's Agenda - Washington Post.  Greater Washington Board of Trade sees stewardship of the enviroonment as a unifying cause for the region that makes good business sense.   

 Eating Less Meat May Slow Climate Change - AP. Eating less meat could help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, scientists said on Thursday. 

Global warming may cause world crop decline - Reuters.   Global warming could send world agriculture into serious decline by 2080 with productivity collapsing in some developing countries while it improves in a few rich nations, a study reported on Wednesday.

World Conservation Union:16,300 species threatened  - Reuters.  From the lowland gorillas of Africa to corals of the
Galapagos Islands, more than 16,300 species are threatened with extinction, the World Conservation
Union said on Wednesday in its annual Red List.

Can YouTube Save the Planet? – The Scientist.com.  Pooling videos can provide instant evidence of global environmental problems

Small Businesses and Congregations Honored by EPA for Energy Savings - EPA. EPA announced the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations. Together, the winners saved more than $1.2 million in annual energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 1,600 vehicles annually. .

New Guidelines to Help Improve Accounting for Energy Sector Carbon Offsets - Environmental Protection. Quantifying the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions benefits of renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects is now easier with the release of new accounting guidelines by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

Energy efficient appliances should be made compulsory, says UN expert – International Herald Tribune.  Governments should make energy efficient appliances and building materials compulsory because that is the smartest way of controlling greenhouse gas emissions, a U.N. expert said Tuesday. 

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.

Omaha Goes to the Mattresses

Posted on: September 12th, 2007 by Margaret Foster 1 Comment


Omaha’s Old Mattress Factory Bar and GrillWhen the artists moved out of a 124-year-old warehouse in Omaha, a restaurant moved in. The Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill, under restoration now, will open in the two-story building in November.

“Watching it transform into the bar and grill has been fascinating, and it will hopefully be a popular destination for Omaha residents and visitors as well,” Jenny Peters, spokesperson for the investors, said in an e-mail.

The 16,000-square-foot building began as a 3,500-square-foot grocery store in 1883, when Omaha was still a growing railroad town. Stabrie Grocery closed in 1894, and several bars and saloons inhabited the building until 1915, when the building became a wholesale grocer's warehouse. The Central Mattress Co. occupied the building from 1945 to 2001, when it housed an art studio.

Its new owners, local investors, hope to get the building listed on the National Register, which would help finance the $1.8 million project with tax credits. A hearing with the state historic preservation office is scheduled for Sept. 21.

"There is a surge of redevelopment in urban areas across the nation that have been neglected since the 1960s, especially in the Midwest," says architect Chris Jansen of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, which is overseeing the project.

The restaurant will have a warehouse look. "The building will keep its heavy timber framing and masonry, and even the original signage will remain," Jansen says. - Leah Webster

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 "American Idol" of Preservation

Posted on: September 12th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern


Last week, the Trust and American Express announced the 25 Chicagoland sites that will be competing to win a million dollars in preservation funding though the Partners in Preservation program. While the sites participating in the contest were determined by grant applications, the winner -- or winners -- will be determined by public voting. (If it works for pop singers, it can work for historic buildings, right?)

Not sure which site gets your vote? If you're in the Chicago area, there's a special Partners in Preservation open house this weekend (September 15-16), where staff and volunteers will be available to talk about the sites and their preservation needs. And if you're not, the information is, of course, on the web.

Voting is open until October 10, and anyone who has registered online can vote daily for their favorite site. Winners will be announced in November.

And many thanks to Chicagoist, for covering the competition!

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 12th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


Green and Cheap: A New Identity for Affordable Housing – The Sustainable Cities Blog. Discusses Eneterprise Community Partner’s Green Communities program, which will provide more than half a billion dollars in the next 5 years to create more than 8,500 affordable homes. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference in St. Paul, MN (October 2-6th) will include a panel on green, affordable, and historic housing – featuring a representative from the Enterprise Community Partners who will discuss efforts to include building re-use in the Green Communities program. It's not too late to register - we hope to see you there!

News to Keep you in the Know...

The 17-Year Progress Report On The Environment – The Daily Green. The Daily Green Looks at the Gains Made by the Green Movement, and Challenges That Remain. Includes reports on acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, water pollution, and world population.

Titans of Ecology - Washington Post. T.C. Williams Among Rising Number of 'Green' Schools certified by U.S. Green Building Council.

Biofuels May Be Threat To Food Supply, Increase Costs - Reuters. Biofuels, championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact hurt the environment and push up food prices, one study suggested on Tuesday.

Nuclear Industry Inches Toward New Construction In US - Reuters. the U.S. nuclear industry is hoping that its troubled building history will not repeat itself as it takes baby steps toward ending a 30-year nuclear construction hiatus.

House of Representatives Plans To Go Carbon Neutral - BuildingGreen. A new report details plans to move the U.S. House of Representatives to carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2008, to reduce energy consumption in House facilities by 50% from 2006 levels by 2017, and to “make House operations a model of sustainability.”

Wal-mart, Caterpillar, Ford, IBM, Dow, and Others Prepare to Share Their Sustainability Strategies - CSRwire. - Executives from some of the country's largest corporations will gather later this month to discuss sutainability. "If we are to truly address climate change and other environmental issues we must have everyone at the table," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. 'This gathering of some of largest companies in the world is definitely a step in the right direction.

Top polluters to discuss hard climate goals - Reuters. Twenty of the world's top polluting nations have agreed to discuss binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Germany's environment minister said on Tuesday.

And some good news...

Businesses Cut Carbon on the Scale of Two Cities, Carbon Trust Reports - Edie News. U.K. businesses have cut more than 10 million tons of C02 emissions since 2001 because of work with the Carbon Trust, according to the government-funded organization.

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.

Demolition Process Begins on Ohio Codebreaker Building 26

Posted on: September 11th, 2007 by Margaret Foster


NCR Building 26The Ohio building that was the headquarters for codebreakers during World War II is coming down.

The University of Dayton is moving forward with its plans to redevelop the 11-acre riverfront site. Workers began removing crown moulding, limestone art deco details, and bricks from Building 26 last week; the university will donate them to Dayton History for a future exhibit in a nearby park. Building 26 will be gone by early 2008, according to university spokeswoman Teri Rizvi.

"When it became clear that the building was coming down, our board wanted to make sure that the story wasn't lost," said Brady Kress, CEO and president of Dayton History, in a statement. "We want people to understand, remember, and get excited about the kind of world-changing events that happened in Dayton, Ohio."

In 1943, National Cash Register Company engineers led by Joseph Desch invented the machine that broke the Enigma code.

The state office of historic preservation ruled in May that a steel facade added to the sandstone building made it ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places, paving the way for the university to move forward with demolition.

Because the National Cash Register Company's 50-acre parcel is considered a brownfield, a Clean Ohio Revitalization fund grant is funding the $2.5 million project.

According to a university-commissioned study by Martin-Beachler Architects, it would cost $3 million to demolish the three additions to Building 26 and restore its original art deco facade.

"I respect the passion of those who wanted to save the building," Daniel Curran, University of Dayton president, said in a statement. "I also appreciate the support of others who recognized that this building lost its historical integrity decades ago and know that as a tuition-driven university, UD cannot justify spending millions of dollars to save it."

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.