Demolition in the Name of Preservation

Posted on: May 30th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna

 

roman-theatre-sagunto.jpgI was banished to my sofa this week by an Emergency Room doctor who declared that my overtraveling had taken a toll on my health (hence my visit there when I fainted in the middle of one of the busiest avenues in DC! oops).  Deciding that I would use the time to catch up on the many piles of magazines surrounding my apartment, I came across a very curious news article in March's Architectural Record about a ruling that a 1993 "restoration" (really an interpretive recreation) of the Roman theatre in the coastal city of Sagunto must be removed because it violated Spain's Law of Historic Patrimony, which forbids the reconstruction of listed structures except to assure their stability and maintenance. 

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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.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: May 29th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

img_1038.JPG1205-07 Felciana is a double shotgun house in a section of the Bywater National Register and local historic district. It is considered a contributing building in the district, but has serious roof damage and other structural damage, which have placed it on the city's demolition list. Its demolition was approved at the staff level by the Historic District Landmarks Commission in September 2007 for structural reasons and because it posed a health hazard. This is one of the first properties to be demolished by the new city-hired contractors as part of the continuing agreement under the National Historic Preservation Act, whereby "selective recoupment of character-defining elements" must be done before a historic contributing property is demolished.

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Recently, the two of the FEMA historic preservation staff (pictured here from the left, Gail Lazaras and Adrian Seward) spoke to the contractor about the procedures for the selective recoupment and how they will monitor the process for the upcoming 200 or more properties. In this property, the chief items removed were door frames and a few windows. These will go to the Preservation Resource Center's warehouse for resale at reasonable prices, or for use in PRC or National Trust-supported projects. What was painfully obvious, though, was that the intact bargeboards and beaded boards which make up so much of the house's construction would not be saved under the definition of "character-defining elements." Neither is the city requiring salvage in any of the demolitions it initiates. We therefore began discussions with the contractors, who seem to be willing at least to talk about the possibility of crews from the Preservation Resource Center's Rebuilding Together program stepping in and removing more reusable building materials prior to total demolition. This would be a big step.

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.

Upcoming Sustainability & Preservation Events in the East

Posted on: May 28th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna

 

If you're looking to participate in the Green Building/Historic Preservation dialogue this month AND collect some much needed Continuing Education credits, here are a few upcoming programs (a couple have already been posted in my previous blog).

The Preservation Maryland conference is this week in Hagerstown, Thursday and Friday, May 29th and 30th.  The Preservation New Jersey conference is next week Wednesday and Thursday, June 4th and 5th in New Brunswick, NJ.

Next week, the Cornell University Historic Preservation Planning Program, with a series of partners, will be presenting four short courses on the topic.

Presented by Cornell University Historic Preservation Planning Program & Cornell Cooperative Extension-NYC

Preservation:Sustainability - a series of four one-day shortcourses addressing a different aspect of sustainability—green building, environment, equity and economics— through the strategies, tools and ethos of historic preservation. Classes are limited in size to facilitate site visits and interaction. Courses can be taken individually.

AIA continuing education units are available for this program. Each class provides 6.5 CEUs. The classes on June 2 and June 4 also provide HSW units.  $500 full program/$150 single course, government agency, non-profit, and student discounts available. 

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.

 

Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, Manhattan

May 27 Update:  I've just been informed that this symposium has been postponed until the Fall.  Sorry if you were hoping to attend.  In the meantime, both Maryland and New Jersey have statewide conferences in the next week with Sustainability tracks.

The Preservation Maryland conference is this week in Hagerstown, Thursday and Friday, May 29th and 30th.  The Preservation New Jersey conference is next week Wednesday and Thursday, June 4th and 5th in New Brunswick, NJ.

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GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Region, in co-sponsorship with the New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will host a symposium at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City to catalyze the exchange of ideas between the historic preservation and sustainability communities. This forum will address current challenges to improve building performance while strengthening sustainability of historic landmarks.

The panel will include experts representing the U.S. Green Building Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other public and private entities. Panel members are:

  1. Barbara A. Campagna, AIA, LEED AP, Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust, Stewardship of Historic Sites, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  2. Melissa Gallagher-Rogers, Manager, Government & Higher Education Sectors, U.S. Green Building Council
  3. Jean Carroon, FAIA, LEED AP, Goody Clancy
  4. Amanda Lehman, LEED AP, Cook + Fox Architects
  5. Donald Horn, AIA, LEED AP, Sustainable Design Program Expert, U.S. General Services Administration

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If you're in NY then and would like to participate in more discussion regarding the impact of LEED v.3 on existing and historic buildings, this would be the place to do it. It's a chance to visit one of GSA's most important buildings - the Alexander Hamilton Custom House designed by Cass Gilbert - and for $10, it's quite a bargain! Read more about this event on GSA's website.

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.

2008's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places Announced

Posted on: May 20th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Not surprisingly, we spend a lot of time here at the National Trust for Historic Preservation thinking about threatened sites and how we can play a role in saving them – especially at this time of year, when we announce our annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Budget cuts, deferred maintenance, road construction, and development are among the dangers faced by sites on 2008’s list, which includes California’s State Parks, Charity Hospital and adjacent neighborhood in New Orleans, and New York’s Lower East Side.

The History Channel has prepared a great video, posted below, that describes the places listed this year, and why these places matter. You can also learn more -- and take action -- at the special 2008 11 Most Endangered section of our website.

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.