Notes from New Orleans: Volunteers Rebuilding in Broadmoor

Posted on: May 6th, 2008 by Walter Gallas


Volunteers at the project site in Broadmoor.

Seventeen National Trust for Historic Preservation volunteers were in town this past week to participate in rebuilding efforts in the Broadmoor neighborhood. This was part of the nationwide HGTV/Rebuilding Together events that had kicked off on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl. Kevin Mercadel of the field office gave them an overview of our work here in New Orleans and later led a tour of the city for them. On Friday, I met the group in Broadmoor as they were finishing up on N. Tonti Street. Without exception, the volunteers—a mix of all ages and from all parts of the country—were enthusiastic about their experience. I encouraged them to take the message home about what they saw and heard in New Orleans and to come back again as a visitor or volunteer. The next New Orleans volunteer team sponsored by the National Trust is being organized for the week of June 23.

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.

The Green Life at Lyndhurst, A National Historic Landmark

Posted on: May 4th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna


Lyndhurst, a National Trust Historic Site, in Tarrytown, NYI never anticipated when I started working at the National Trust, that I would be able to integrate my love for fashion, preservation and sustainability into the requirements of my job. But Saturday night, May 3rd, I found myself at Lyndhurst, one of our historic sites in Tarrytown, where their “Green Life” eco-friendly fashion show benefit allowed me to do just that by welcoming 200 people to the newest kind of fundraiser!

We have 29 historic sites across the country. And we are working to make all of our sites greener, by using greener housekeeping products, buying renewable energy, and trying not to throw materials out if we can reuse them elsewhere on the site. Lyndhurst is one of our sites that is ahead of many places with its hard work changing maintenance practices to help make a difference. For over a year they’ve been dedicated to raising awareness about sustainable practices and The Green Life is a fabulous and unusual example of that. With a very exciting program that included eco-friendly fashions (lots of hemp, organic cotton and even an evening gown with recycled plastic bottles), a presentation by the National Wildlife Federation, food and beverages that were organic and/or local, a silent auction of mostly sustainability-related items and vendors of sustainable products, The Green Life opened a lot of eyes to the fact that every change you make in your lifestyle can help stop global warming. So when you buy an eco-friendly dress, a hybrid car, or stay in your old house instead of building a new one, you’re making a choice to stop climate change. Many attendees stopped me to say that hearing about the National Trust’s Sustainability Initiative had opened their eyes considerably. And a lot of people were talking about repairing their windows and installing insulation in their attics and basements. One man apologized to me for building a new house…A hemp and plastic bottle evening gown at The Green Life

Through our Sustainability Initiative, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is focusing the nation’s attention on the importance of reusing existing buildings and reinvesting in older and historic communities as critical elements in combating climate change. Americans already embrace as common sense the need to recycle aluminum cans, glass and newspapers. We advocate applying that same common sense to our built environment.

... 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

Happy RSS Awareness Day!

Posted on: May 1st, 2008 by Sarah Heffern


RSS Awareness DayWhat is RSS? No, not some scary anti-preservation legislation -- it's Really Simple Syndication, and it will change the way you use the Internet. The folks putting on RSS Awareness Day have created a handy page where you can watch a video about what RSS is and how it works. In a nutshell, you choose a newsreader site (like netvibes or iGoogle), sign up for syndication feeds from the sites you like, and whenever there is new information posted it comes to your personal page. It's the easiest way possible to know when something is new in PreservationNation.

We offer several options for feeds here on the blog, including a feed for the entire site, as well as specialized feeds our most popular topics, sustainability/green preservation and Gulf Coast recovery. On the main PreservationNation website, you can subscribe to Today's News from Preservation magazine; Preservation in the News, a daily roundup of media stories about preservation; or a listing of current job opportunities with the National Trust for Historic Preservation -- or all three!

There are several other blogs within the PreservationNation family that also offer RSS feeds:

Oh, and though you can't use RSS to do it, you can also become a subscriber to PreservationNation's brand-new YouTube Channel and learn about our new videos as soon as they are posted.

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.

Notes from the Field: Preservation & Redevelopment of Historic Fort Monroe

Posted on: April 29th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation


Fort Monroe is scheduled to close in 2011. (Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park)Fort Monroe is an early 19th century stone fortress with moat located on Hampton Roads at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The 570-acre military post has served the nation as a coastal defense work and artillery school, and is active today as the home of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Fort Monroe played a key role in hastening the end of slavery, as the first refuge for escaped “Contraband” slaves. Like Mount Vernon and Monticello, Fort Monroe is a one of our country’s 2,500 designated National Historic Landmarks.

In 2011, the Army will vacate Fort Monroe, pursuant to the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Fort Monroe will automatically revert to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Since 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been intensively engaged in advocacy and historic preservation planning for Fort Monroe. The National Trust has participated as a member of the City of Hampton’s master plan steering committee and the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority’s historic preservation advisory group. We also participate as a consulting party to the Section 106 review process pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act, which is ably led by the Army and Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and many others are working now to envision a bright future for Fort Monroe and to explore the most effective historic preservation strategies for the benefit of the public. To that end, the National Trust has joined with four statewide and national preservation organizations to express our shared perspective on the future of Fort Monroe. Our shared position is described in an April 18, 2008 letter to the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority from the National Trust, APVA – Preservation Virginia, Civil War Preservation Trust, and National Parks Conservation Association.

There is an active debate about the preservation of Fort Monroe. We welcome your comments on our shared letter and the future of Fort Monroe.

-- Rob Nieweg

Rob Nieweg is the Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Southern Field Office

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Notes from New Orleans: Upholding Traditions

Posted on: April 28th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment


Mardi Gras Indians probably best represent the complexity of New Orleans culture, a tradition with Native American and African roots that flourishes in a city which more often looks to the Carribean than to North America and Europe for its creative inspiration. A few of the Mardi Gras Indians paraded a few Sundays ago, from Bayou St. John down Orleans to Claiborne Avenue by the Lafitte housing development. Their Uptown counterparts paraded last month in the vicinity of the C. J. Peete housing development. The Indian suits are vibrant works of art, made of complex beadwork and feathers which in bright sunlight are almost blinding in their brilliance.

Mardi Gras Indians

The tradition is said to harken back to the 19th century, when African Americans began costuming as Indians as a way to honor the Indians who had provided shelter to run-away slaves. The powerful influence of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show could also have had a part.

The day proved that the city is alive and well when it comes to upholding some of its most strongly entrenched traditions.

Mardi Gras Indians

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.