New Plans for Pennsylvania's 1872 Star Barn

Posted on: December 19th, 2007 by Margaret Foster 2 Comments

 

Star BarnOne of the most memorable barns in Pennsylvania has a new owner who plans to move the 1872 Gothic revival structure to a rural site and restore it as an "agricultural expo center."

Seven years ago, to protect the Star Barn and its ancillary buildings from encroaching development, the nonprofit Preservation Pennsylvania bought its 3.6-acre property, listed it on the National Register of Historic Places, and waited for the right owner.

On Friday, the Star Barn property will be sold to Agrarian Country, a nonprofit based in Middletown, Pa., three miles from the barn.

"The Star Barn is just part of a larger plan for Agrarian Country to establish a showcase for agriculture in Pennsylvania," says company president Robert S. Barr, who has restored other historic buildings in the area. "When we move it and convert to a commercial building, we'll fix it up so it'll be available for shows, dinners, banquets, and community theater groups," Barr says. "From the outside, it'll look identical."... 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.

Lost: Las Vegas Casino

Posted on: December 18th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

New Frontier HotelIn typical Las Vegas style, a 1942 casino was imploded last month after an extravagant fireworks display.

Thousands of tourists watched the 2:00 a.m. demolition on Nov. 13, cheering the demise of the New Frontier Hotel, where Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut in 1956 and the Supremes made their final performance in 1970.

The 16-story hotel, located on the Strip, will make way for the Plaza Las Vegas resort, a replica of New York's landmark hotel.

In May, El Ad Properties, an Israel-based company that bought the Plaza Hotel two years ago, paid a record $1.2 billion for the 986-room hotel and its 36 acres. The New Frontier closed in July.

Watch a video of the implosion >>

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.

Coppola Topples "Unsightly" 1970s Building

Posted on: December 17th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Inglenook ChateauNapa Valley residents called it an eyesore and a monstrosity. And now a 1970s building is on the way to disappearing from a historic winery in Rutherford, Calif.

Last week, Francis Ford Coppola, who owns the 235-acre Rubicon Estate and its buildings, began the six-week process of demolishing its concrete barrel cellar, which he calls "huge and unsightly."

The Heublein Corporation, Inc., the former owner of the estate, began building the $3 million barrel building in 1973, blocking roadside views of winery founder Gustave Niebaum's 19th-century mansion.

"Over the 32 years of our ownership, I've often thought to myself when I had to make an important decision, 'What would Gustave Niebaum do?'" Coppola said in a Dec. 13 statement. "I find the heritage of this estate a constant source of inspiration as we move forward."... 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 the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: December 17th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

I spoke at the meeting of the Housing Conservation District Review Committee, which was considering the demolition applications for three of the four public housing developments—C.J. Peete. B.W. Cooper and Lafitte. HUD and the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) representatives and the developers of the three housing authorities appeared before a jammed room of boisterous housing activists and protesters. I spoke about the limited amount of serious consideration that was given by HUD and HANO to alternatives to demolition during the Section 106 consultation process. A representative of Louisiana Landmarks Society also spoke about their concerns and why their organization also did not sign the Memoranda of Agreement.

In the end, the committee deadlocked 3-3 on the application of Lafitte, which meant they denied the application. On the applications for C. J. Peete and B. W. Cooper, however, the committee granted approval to demolish in a vote of 4-2. The two steadfast votes against the demolitions were cast by Stephanie Bruno, who sits as a community representative on the committee, and Eleanor Burke of the Historic District Landmarks Commission. The one vote which swung to deadlock the committee on Lafitte was cast by the representative of the city health department.

This coming week the public housing demolition issue will return to the City Council, which learned that it does indeed need to approve demolition plans for public housing developments according to the City Code. Positions are hardening. In an effort to get a more moderate message to the media, I participated in meetings arranged with the news director of the local NBC affiliate and with the local office of the Associated Press. The news editor at the Associated Press told us that the national office considers Iraq and New Orleans to be the two top stories for them to watch in 2008. Each in its own way is at a crucial tipping point.

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.

Arizona Man Has Plan for 1913 Harvey House

Posted on: December 13th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Harvey House, Seligman, Ariz.An Arizona hotel might have a shot at seeing another year.

When the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad announced its plans to demolish the 1913 Havasu Hotel, which it abandoned in 1989, locals publicized the threat to one of the last historic buildings in tiny Seligman, Ariz., 80 miles west of Flagstaff. The Arizona Preservation Foundation put the Harvey House on this year's list of the state's most endangered places.

A "Harvey House," the hotel is one of an 80-building chain of railroad hotels and restaurants that entrepreneur Fred Harvey built throughout the West. ... 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.