Celebrating Place and Heritage

Posted on: November 26th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

On Saturday, November 17th, Candice Coyan from American Express and I (along with our family members) represented Partners in Preservation (PiP) at the Pui Tak Center's community celebration. After Chinese harp music performed by students, the program began with a short video they had prepared to tell the story of how they won the popular vote and got the big award, mainly as a THANK YOU to the room full of people who had voted regularly and supported their efforts. The video was prepare by one of their students who also teaches computer skills.

Three speakers were invited to tell why they voted in support of PuiTak and why they believed the building should be preserved. Each of these were people who had "grown up" in the building attending classes or participating in social events with their parents. The first was Helen Lee, the head of the Chinese chamber of commerce and a first-generation Chinese American. The second was a gentleman who was a third-generation immigrant family member who had studied Chinese at Pui Tak every day after American school. The third was a first-generation college student who spoke in Chinese; she had taken ESL classes in the building after immigrating as a teenager with her family. Each speech was translated in segments by the outreach minister of the Chinese Christian Union Church which now owns the building. It was very moving.

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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.

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 the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: November 26th, 2007 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

The house on Clio Street, 2007.I met with Kristen Palmer (Rebuilding Together) and Suzanne Mason and Rick Denhart of MercyCorps at 1826 Clio Street, a house which will deconstructed beginning the week of November 26 . The Trust is supporting MercyCorps’ demonstration project with a $5000 grant, in which a total of 15 houses will be deconstructed, the materials will be donated to a local non-profit for re-use in rehabilitation projects, and the results documented in a Penn State-authored report. In this case, the materials from 1826 N. Clio will be sent to the PRC warehouse. We are planning a media event for Wednesday, November 28 as the deconstruction begins. We will be tying this in with the announcement of the first public weekend sale on Saturday, December 1 for the FEMA-funded salvage materials at the PRC warehouse.

The house on Clio Street, 1999.The house was elevated almost a full story on concrete blocks years before Katrina. The current owners began a rehabilitation project before the hurricane, which likely involved removing significant interior structural elements, and so the building could not stand up to the storm. The owners have agreed to donate the materials to the Preservation Resource Center as a tax write-off, and gain an lot for the construction of a new house in this Central City neighborhood.

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: November 23rd, 2007 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

City Park Carousel, New OrleansI attended a reception at City Park this past Friday evening for donors who had supported the repair of its 101-year-old carousel and pavilion. A permanent plaque was unveiled which included acknowledgment of the National Trust and the Mitchell and Favrot funds. The plaque sits immediately below the one which is a brass image of the 1989 National Preservation Award recognizing the earlier restoration of the carousel. The carousel is operating again just in time for City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks, a beloved holiday tradition which begins this week. The Favrots and Mitchells visited the carousel in May when they were here, and saw the work underway. Now, it’s complete.

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.

Giving Thanks for Carbon Offsets

Posted on: November 22nd, 2007 by Barbara Campagna

 

1911 Dutch Colonial in the Delaware District, Buffalo, NYGratitude

An article in the NY Times on Thanksgiving encouraged readers to keep a “gratitude journal” reporting that just by writing down the things that you are thankful for you will become happier. A doctor once told me if you smile as soon as you wake up, that will make you happier. I think both suggestions really are just positive reinforcements – if you think about being happy you can become happy.

I thought a lot about being happy as I drove the 450 miles from my home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington DC to my sister’s 1911 Dutch Colonial house in Buffalo, NY the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I listened to Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band and even yoga chanting to keep from going into continuous road rage. I had hoped to leave at 1pm so that the 8 hour drive would get me to Buffalo by 9 pm, getting through most of the Pennsylvania mountains in the daylight. Unfortunately, I loaded my Subaru Forester in front of my Art Deco apartment building – with luggage, wine and my cats – to then back over a sewer cover which gave me a flat tire. Leaving at 4pm then put me on the Beltway right in the middle of rush hour – and 2 hours later I had only gone 50 miles and was still in the DC Metro area. This really got me thinking a lot about the carbon impact of all those cars, every day and the 40% population increase projected for the DC area in the next 10 years.

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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.

St. Louis Suburb Fights McMansion Trend

Posted on: November 21st, 2007 by Margaret Foster 1 Comment

 

kirkwoodh.jpgIt all started with a little old lady's house and a few red signs.

In the suburban St. Louis town of Kirkwood, Mo., 80-year-old Helen Ballard's 1924 Tudor revival was being sold to a developer with plans to tear it down for a larger house.

It was the last straw for neighbors like Tad Skelton, who had watched eight houses fall for new ones in one of the town's two national historic districts. Skelton and others planted red plastic signs in their yards, protesting the teardown trend. Today 550 front yards in the town of 27,000 display the "Protect Historic Kirkwood" signs.

"They misled the woman. That's what really put people off," Skelton says. "Instead of one letter to the local newspaper, these signs were there day after day. You couldn't forget about it." ... 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.