Indian Vice President Helps Launch INTO

Posted on: December 5th, 2007 by David J. Brown 1 Comment

 

Simon Molesworth (far right) and I listening to Vice President Shri M. Hamid Ansari, give his address. (http://vicepresidentofindia.nic.in/)Monday, December 3rd, was a remarkable day in India as our local host, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), brought both the Prime Minister and the Vice President of India to events celebrating historic preservation and heritage conservation. After the morning presentation by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to launch the 12th International Conference of National Trusts, the feeling among the almost 300 delegates was exceptional. Fiona Reynolds, General Director of the English National Trust, and I were commenting that all of us who care about heritage had just seen how an event like a conference - which our western cynicism often sees as simply a chance to network and learn about the work of others - can be used by skillful local advocates in the developing world such as S.K. Misra of INTACH to dramatically raise the profile for heritage in their country in the span of a few days.

Mr. Misra pulled his magic again in the afternoon when Indian Vice President Shri M. Hamid Ansari spoke at the official launch of the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) at the Ashok Hotel in Delhi. At an earlier plenary, I joined members of the INTO Steering Committee in presenting the charter to the group and in answering questions. Groups such as UNESCO were represented and spoke of their support for the creation of INTO, which helped give us strong credibility in the international and developing world. It was easy to see that there was a great deal of excitement about the creation of INTO, and I spoke briefly about how conversations and dreams of almost 20 years had finally been turned in a charter, budget, location - but most importantly a vision for this international group. The English National Trust has really stepped up by providing the office space at their London headquarters, instantly providing INTO with the prestigious address and backing of the world's largest National Trust. If any of you are interesting in a posting to London, here's your chance!

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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.

Historic Seattle Restores 1907 House

Posted on: December 5th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Dearborn House, SeattleOn Sunday, a Seattle preservation group celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Dearborn House, which it has restored as its offices.

Historic Seattle bought the Henry H. Dearborn House 10 years ago, thanks to a large donation. The exterior was restored in 2003 with a grant from the Washington State Historical Society Heritage Fund.

Last year Historic Seattle began the interior work, removing false ceilings and replacing original doors and windows in the National Register-listed building, which became a city landmark in May.... 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.

 

Darko Babic (left) and David Brown ride atop an elephant in Jaipur, India.After three wonderful days touring the Golden Triangle of India to visit Agra Fort, the incomparable Taj Mahal, the beautiful Fatehpur Sikri, and intriguing city of Jaipur, our driver Supe and my traveling companion Darko Babic from the University of Zagreb in Croatia headed north on Sunday morning to return to Delhi. Supe provided commentary along the way on the camps of gypsies, the rural poverty, the beautiful yellow fields of mustard, and the value of water buffalo (he owns two). As we entered Delhi on a new highway Supe saw something that surprised even him - a speed trap! Traffic laws in many parts of the country where we traveled are non-existent, so the presence of the police ticketing people shocked us all after three days of assuming that speeding was a birth right.

But I'm glad we made it back, because it began an extraordinary two days in which I was privileged to have speaking roles on programs with both the Prime Minister of India and the Vice President of India as part of the International Conference of National Trusts.

Banners announcing the 12th International Conference of National Trusts.We arrived safe and sound at the historic Ashok Hotel which is located in the diplomatic enclave of Delhi, where they do have traffic laws and many historic and beautiful neighborhoods. It was apparent from the massive sign and banners at the hotel welcoming the National Trusts that this was going to be a special few days. I was met by representatives of our host National Trust for the conference - the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) - and taken immediately to a press conference with the international press. This 12th International Conference of National Trusts is a historic one, in that we're launching an new international group of National Trusts. Let me backtrack a bit and explain.

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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.

Lost: Mid-Century Modern House in Texas

Posted on: December 3rd, 2007 by Preservation magazine

 

Carousel HouseTexas lost a mid-century modern house last month.

Once called the "Carousel House," the circular house in Meyerland was designed and built in 1964 by Robert Cohen, who constructed the house out of wood frames and steel.

In 1987, the elderly Cohens moved out, and the house remained empty until June 2004, when Texas lawyer John O'Quinn purchased it for his classic car collection's manager, Zev Isgur. When Isgur went to jail, the house was deserted.... 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 3rd, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

The Housing Authority of New Orleans approved nearly $31 million in contracts for demolishing the four largest housing developments, with a HANO spokesman saying demolitions will begin December 15.

I spoke to the deconstruction program manager of Mercy Corps, who told me he was waiting for another meeting with a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State Historic Preservation Office to find out whether there will be any salvage of the mountains of material. Mercy Corps has looked at all four developments and of course there is plenty to save—windows, doors, terra cotta tile roofing, not to mention millions of bricks. No one has answered our questions about where the demolition materials might go.

I joined some public housing activists on the steps of City Hall, who vowed they would stop the demolitions.

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.