Notes from New Orleans: Revised Building Code Enforcement

Posted on: March 28th, 2008 by Walter Gallas

 

The City Council this week passed an ordinance which reorganized portions of the City Code dealing with the building code enforcement measures. Much of it seemed like merely rearranging existing pieces into new Chapters of the Code, but in come cases the definitions of blighted or public nuisance properties were reworked to incorporate the recent “imminent health threat” categories. Most of the authority remains no different than what the city had before—but the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Development Administration (ORDA) assured the Council that this time they would get serious about hauling people before hearing officers; assessing and recording fines; and placing liens in properties for the cost of any remediation the city would step in and undertake.

My testimony to the Council asked what assurances we have that this process will be carried out as conceived, given the City’s poor record of managing and overseeing demolitions. At the same council meeting, for example, an attorney appeared on behalf of his client who had acquired a house through the sheriff’s tax sale—yet this property was placed on the demolition list—AND the property owner only learned this from private advocates monitoring the process. Further—there still is no comprehensive updated demolition list on the city’s web site—as called for months ago by the Council and by a federal consent decree.

With the assurance of the ORDA staff that “Once you pass this, it’s up and running,” the Council unanimously passed the measure.

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.

Saarinen's TWA Trumpet To Fall

Posted on: March 27th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Saarinen’s TWA “trumpet” connected the now-lost terminals.Plans to save a unique section of Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport have stalled on the runway.

The New York State Historic Preservation Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have approved JetBlue Airways' plan to demolish a 5,000-square-foot departure lounge known as "the trumpet." JetBlue demolished the other lounges and flight wings three years ago to make way for a new terminal, while retaining the iconic 1962 main terminal for future restoration.

JetBlue's decision was a surprise to some preservation groups, who met with JetBlue last year to discuss renovating the trumpet, which the Port Authority paid $895,000 to relocate last April.... 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.

New York City Nightclub Protected

Posted on: March 25th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Webster Hall, NYCA New York City nightclub has made it past the velvet ropes to city landmark status.

On Mar. 19, the New York City Landmarks Commission bestowed that designation to Webster Hall, built in 1886. The move may prevent the building from being torn down for 20- and 30-story dormitories and hotels, like several others on the same block.

"In the area where Webster Hall is, we've been losing a lot of historic buildings," says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which pushed for the designation. "On the same block, we lost a 19th-century church, St. Ann's, for a 26-story dorm. We did not want to see the same thing happen to Webster Hall."... 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.

 

Trinity Church & Copley Square, Boston, MASustainable Preservation Coalition

The National Trust for Historic Preservation created the Sustainable Preservation Coalition two years ago in order to impact further development of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Building Rating Systems. We partnered with several national organizations who were developing separate sustainability agendas including the AIA, APT International, the National Park Service, General Services Administration and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. We realized we could make a bigger impact integrating historic preservation and green building values by working together.

Our first goal was to meet with the U.S. Green Building Council, the developer of LEED, and open up a dialogue to discuss improvements to their products which would better reflect the importance of existing buildings to sustainable stewardship of our planet and its limited resources. While LEED does much to encourage more sustainable development, and historic buildings can achieve the highest LEED rating, we believed it could certainly do better because the current version of LEED (LEED 2.2):

1. Overlooks the impact of projects on cultural value;

2. Does not effectively consider the performance, longer service lives and embodied energy of historic materials and assemblies;

3. And is overly focused on current or future technologies, neglecting how past experience helps to determine sustainable performance.

Our meeting with the President of USGBC (Rick Fedrizzi) and the Director of LEED Technical Development (Brendan Owens) was quite successful, ending with Rick inviting us to help them prepare preservation metrics for the revised versions of LEED. Over the past year, our coalition has been meeting with USGBC and are delighted to announce that soon LEED 3.0 will be unveiled.
... 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.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

Windows, Part II

Posted on: March 24th, 2008 by Patrice Frey

 

An alert reader (Roberta Lane, Program Officer and Regional Attorney with the Trust's Northeast Field Office), reminded me that there is another great window study out there -- "Measured Winter Performance of Storm Windows," by Joseph Klems.  I failed to mention that in a posting last Friday about windows.

Klems -- a researcher with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- completed the study in 2002.    In short, the study finds  that low-e storm windows perform "very similarly" to replacement windows.  Happy reading.  

 

 

 

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.