Wall of Roosevelt Island's Smallpox Hospital Collapses

Posted on: January 22nd, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Smallpox HospitalAbandoned since the 1950s, a hospital built on New York City's Roosevelt Island in 1856 is falling apart.

Last month, the north wall of the smallpox hospital partially collapsed, forcing groups that are trying to create a park on the island to come up with an emergency plan to stabilize the building.

"It's really in bad shape," says Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, "The brick interior walls are coming away from the stone. If nothing is done in the next few months, that whole wing will just come down."

All of Roosevelt Island's six historic buildings have been restored except the hospital, designed by James Renwick Jr., the architect of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The collapsed wall is located in a wing that was built in 1905. ... 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.

Farnsworth House Featured in Kenny Chesney Music Video

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Country music star Kenny Chesney features Farnsworth House, a National Trust Historic Site in Illinois, in his video, “Don’t Blink.” Although not identified, it represents the home of a family whose fast living jeopardizes the enjoyment of everyday life (the oft-repeated lyrics “One hundred years goes faster than you think” and “Life goes faster than you think” suggests a potential historic preservation message). Over the past four months, this music video has been viewed nearly one million times, giving tremendous (but anonymous) exposure to a National Trust Historic Site.

-- Max van Balgooy

Max van Balgooy is the director of interpretation and education for National Trust Historic Sites.

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.

11 Most Endangered Update: H. H. Richardson House Has a New Owner

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by Preservation magazine

 

H.H. Richardson HouseMore New Orleans than New England, a 204-year-old house with a two-story veranda stands out in suburban Boston. The house at 25 Cottage Street in Brookline, Mass., is not one that a casual observer might link with the work of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), one of America's most important 19th-century architects. It was in this Federal-style house that Richardson spent the most productive years of his career, from 1874 to his death in 1886, designing masterpieces such as Boston's Trinity Church, which he could see from the house.

After being on the market for seven years, the house found a new owner last month. "I don't like to think what damage the house would incur if it were left unprotected another year," says Allan Galper, chair of the three-year-old Committee to Save the H.H. Richardson House. "We're glad a buyer has been found."

On Dec. 5, the H. H. Richardson Trust bought the property for $2.2 million. "It is an honor to have this opportunity to restore a precious piece of American history," said Michael Minkoff, a spokesman for that trust and owner of Washington, D.C.-based National Development Corp., in a statement. Minkoff has restored historic buildings in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., according to the Jan. 10 statement.... 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.

Notes from New Orleans: FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Posted on: January 17th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

Today, FEMA formally announced the opening of a 60-day exception period during which property owners who have completed or begun work that might qualify for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds will be reviewed and evaluated. This is a rare case of the feds allowing money to go to someone after the work is done and without review of the work at the front end. It’s a necessity, though, under the circumstances.

Many homeowners wanted to get ahead of the game as they repaired their homes, by retrofitting them for future storm protection, elevating outdoor AC compressors, or more ambitiously, elevating the entire house. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and other parties wanted to make sure that there would be a strenuous public outreach and education effort during this period to try to minimize really harmful effects upon historic properties. In preparation for this effort, FEMA drafted news releases and information sheets, which all of us reviewed. The Trust and the PRC will be working with FEMA on a workshop or two to offer to interested property owners between now and March 16, the close of the exception period.

No one knows how many properties this will affect.

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.

Apollo Theater To Expand

Posted on: January 17th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Apollo Theater interiorThe Harlem theater where Ella Fitzgerald got her start needs an infusion of millions to complete the final phase of its restoration and expansion.

Yesterday the nonprofit Apollo Theater Foundation, launched in 1991, announced a campaign to raise $45.5 million for the theater's restoration, which has been under way since 2001.

Built in 1914, the Apollo was closed to blacks until 1928. Today, with 1.3 million annual visitors, it's Harlem's most popular tourist attraction and New York City's third-most visited site.

So far, the nonprofit has spent $37 million to restore the Apollo's marquee and terra cotta exterior and upgrade its systems. For the last phase, architects from New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle will focus on the interior: widen the lobby, add a grand stairway and 4,000 square feet of space, and restore ornate details in the auditorium. ... 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.