Welcome to Weekend Reads at the PreservationNation blog, wherein we share a handful of the most interesting preservation-related stories we've come across over the course of the week.

Howard Johnson's in Lake George, New York
Howard Johnson's in Lake George, New York

"He believes in it because he's lived it, starting as a dishwasher three decades ago. And now he's running the business, 'which is something I never thought I would do in a million years. But here we are and we're doin' it. And I'm glad.' He's painstakingly preserved authentic details. 'It still feels like the original restaurant,' said Johnson." CBS Sunday Morning -- ​Visiting the last surviving Howard Johnson's

"Now, I have one more reason to love [my house]. On Friday, June 26, 2015, Sally Jewel, Secretary of the Interior, along with the National Park Service designated the “Henry Gerber House” at 1710 N. Crilly Court in Chicago’s Old Town Triangle a National Historic Landmark—only the second LBGT-related property to achieve this distinction. The Stonewall Inn in New York is the other one." Chicago Now -- My Old House ... 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.

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.

 

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501 Route 57, Mansfield, New Jersey

Property with Crazy Quilt Past Seeks an Imaginative Buyer

501 Route 57 -- Mansfield, New Jersey

You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve transformed into. I’ve sheltered families as a residence. I’ve posed as a retail shop. I even ran a stint as a loft studio. And those are just the uses that have been recorded.

At heart, though, I’ve always been faithful to my original architectural design as a stone barn from the 1760s. But my three levels, open floor plan, and spacious rooms (complemented by two kitchen spaces and two full bathrooms) tend to make potential owners’ imaginations run wild with all the versatile possibilities that my flexible space offers. So, the question is ... what do you want me to be?

Already have an idea? Start planning here.

Curious about buying a historic property, but not sure where to start? Read our toolkit series The Buyer’s Guide to Historic Homes and The ‘New Old House Starter Kit’ for Older and Historic Homes.

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.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

[Historic Bars] Chicago’s Southport Lanes

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by David Weible No Comments

 

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Southport Lanes sits less than a mile from Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side.

If this blog is any indication, the bar enthusiast of today exists in a world of nearly boundless choice. Trendy speakeasies, prim and proper cocktail lounges, back yard biergartens, and the deep confines of dives beckon in an endless siren song of booze-sodden bon humour.

But if you ask me, there’s nothing better than a corner bar where the beer is cold, the bartender knows your name, and you call the next game of pool by stacking your quarters on the edge of the table.

And while sanctuaries like this have largely gone the way of the affordable apartment in places like New York and D.C., Chicago may still be the capital of the genre.

If you’re looking for an example, Southport Lanes (SPL) is a good place to start.... 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.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

[Summer Concert Series] Talking Heads at the Pantages Theatre

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn No Comments

 

Summer is concert season, and as part of our own summer concert series, we're putting the spotlight on places that have witnessed some of the most memorable musical performances in American history. Some are traditional venues, and others… well, not so much. But they all have two things in common: terrific music and fascinating history.

Liner Notes

Performers: David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth, Ednah Holt, Lynn Mabry, Steven Scales, Alex Weir, Bernie Worrell

Venue: Pantages Theatre

Location: Hollywood, California

Date: December 1983

Memorable moment: The concert film Stop Making Sense was filmed over the course of a four-night stand by the Talking Heads at the Pantages Theatre. Director Jonathan Demme wanted to shoot additional scenes on a soundstage made to recreate the Pantages, but the band thought the lack of audience response would hinder their performance’s energy.

Show vibe: Stop Making Sense was shot during the Talking Heads’ tour in support of their fifth studio album, Speaking In Tongues, when the band was arguably reaching the peak of their fame. Audience members are featured briefly in only a few of the movie's shots, but to this day, filmgoers dance in the aisles at public screenings.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

The True Story Behind Those Giant Concrete Arrows

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by Lauren Walser 7 Comments

 

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Giant concrete arrows were first installed by the Department of Commerce around 1927 to guide commercial pilots. (Photo courtesy Dppowell, Wikimedia Commons)

In the days before high-tech navigation systems, pilots flying across the country had slightly simpler tools to point them in the right direction: a network of beacons and giant concrete arrows.

Some of those arrows still exist today -- huge, mysterious, brush-covered artifacts, generally in remote reaches of the country. To an unsuspecting hiker, it might be a startling discovery. But together, these beacons and arrows tell the story of how the country’s earliest airmail and commercial airline pilots navigated the skies.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Preservation Glossary] Today’s Word: Reconstruction

Posted on: July 15th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson 2 Comments

 

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The Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg was reconstructed in the 1930s.

In our last few posts we’ve covered restoration and rehabilitation. Today, we round off the three “R’s” of preservation with reconstruction.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards’ Four Approaches to the Treatment of Historic Properties defines it as:... 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.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.