Lost: Chicago's 1959 Lake Meadows Tennis Club

Posted on: February 7th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Lake Meadows Tennis ClubWeeks after a Chicago-based developer announced plans to redevelop its 1950s apartment complex, the company demolished the complex's 1959 tennis club, designed by Gertrude Lempp Kerbis, the first female architect in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Chicago office.

Draper and Kramer began demolishing the Prairie-style Lake Meadows Tennis Club last week.

"There was a private restaurant on the site that was abandoned for 20 years. The structure had deteriorated to the point of being unrepairable and an agreement was reached with the City to demolish the structure," according to an e-mail from Kim Dooley, Draper and Kramer spokeswoman.

Draper and Kramer, which built the Lake Meadows apartments on the razed site of a run-down neighborhood, wants to clear the 100-acre site again over the next decade, tearing down almost all of the 10- and 20-story towers and replacing them with new, higher-density housing.

Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy at Landmarks Illinois, says Draper and Kramer has an outstanding track record. In fact, last fall, Landmarks Illinois presented Draper and Kramer with its annual Real Estate and Building Industries Council award for its restoration of Chicago's Palmolive Building.... Read More →

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Casablanca Hangar Facade Moved to Safety

Posted on: February 6th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

casablanca posterOf all the hangars in all the towns in all the world, they bulldozed this one.

But the facade of Hollywood's most famous hangar—if such a thing exists—was saved in December, when a hotel bought the 1928 structure that appeared in the final scene of "Casablanca."

On Jan. 29, the hangar, which almost completely demolished last month to make way for development, was moved to another site at California's Van Nuys Airport.

"It's a twofer: It's a victory for preservation of the original hangar at Van Nuys Airport. And it's a tribute to the movie industry of Southern California," Airtel Plaza Hotel CEO Jim Dunn told the Daily News.... 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.

Leavenworth Debates 1930s Jail, High School

Posted on: February 5th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Leavenworth County JailLeavenworth, Kan., is perhaps best known for its penitentiary, but it's also the state's oldest town, founded in 1854. This month, locals are trying to save two of Leavenworth's buildings: a former high school and a jail.

Yesterday the city's preservation commission conducted a tour of the 1933 school and 1939 jail, closed eight years ago.

"This is the time to get the discussion going," says Sally Hatcher, chairman of the commission. "I realize that it's the responsibility of the owner of the building to justify demolition, but you need to help them see the light." ... Read More →

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Notes from New Orleans: The Other Super Tuesday

Posted on: February 5th, 2008 by Walter Gallas

 

While much of the country will be focusing on the nation-wide primaries, we here in New Orleans will be celebrating our own Super Tuesday. Happy Mardi Gras!

The Krewe of Babylon rounds the bend from St. Charles onto Canal Street.
The Krewe of Babylon rounds the bend from St. Charles onto Canal Street.

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.

Notes from New Orleans: Modernism at Risk

Posted on: February 4th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 2 Comments

 

Former State Supreme Court Building, New OrleansI participated in another Section 106 consultation meeting about two state-owned buildings in downtown New Orleans near City Hall, which the state proposes to demolish and replace with a new state office building. Both are 1950s era buildings—one served as an office building until Katrina; the other as the State Supreme Court until the Court’s move to the French Quarter in 2004. The state has no intention of saving either building. I would like to keep pushing for them to try to incorporate the Supreme Court building in the plan somehow, but this probably won’t happen. State facilities planning officials are miffed that they need to go through this consultation.

Louisiana State Office Building (left), New OrleansA locally organized group of DOCOMOMO, the international movement to save and document modernist buildings, submitted a plea to save the buildings, and we are hoping they might come in as a consulting party. Some next steps include having a conservator examine a mosaic tile mural in the Supreme Court building to see how it is attached to the walls and what it would take to move it. The state hadn’t even bothered to determine who the artist was or get any documentation about its likely significance. Mostly the state facilities people complained about how difficult and expensive it would be to save and reuse the richer materials of the Supreme Court, such as its wood paneling and marble.

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.