This Place Matters

Posted on: May 13th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

May is National Preservation Month, and to celebrate, we're kicking off a new campaign called "This Place Matters." We're asking you to tell us about places that matter -- large and small, nationally significant and personally priceless. We're collecting photos and stories on our website and videos on our YouTube channel.

We've already heard about some great places that matter, including:

Learn more -- and submit your favorite place on our website.

And if pictures just aren't enough, consider sharing a video about your favorite place, like the two below:

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.

 

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation is offering a half-day session on increasing the energy efficiency of historic homes while maintaining historic integrity.    Learn more about the May 17th program.

From CT website:  Searching for ways to save money on energy costs AND maintain the integrity of your historic house?

Then you will not want to miss this program! Hoffner Residential Conservation Services will perform an energy audit for the circa 1827 Eli Whitney Boarding House for Working Men which will include a demonstration of blower door and infrared testing.  Jay Bright, AIA, Architect, certified by the State Historic Commission, will discuss ways to increase the energy efficiency of the building while maintaining its historic integrity.


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.

Richard Moe Interviewed on "The Q & A Cafe with Carol Joynt"

Posted on: May 9th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Yesterday, National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe was interviewed for Washington, DC's The Q&A Cafe with Carol Joynt. The 45-minute conversation covered a variety of topics -- from the changing role of the vice president (Moe was chief of staff to Vice President Walter Mondale), to the newest National Trust Historic Site, President Lincoln's Cottage, to the importance of Main Street communities. He discussed endangered sites in DC -- most notably St. Elizabeth's Hospital and the Smithsonian Arts & Industries building, both of which have been listed on the 11 Most Endangered list in recent years. Moe also fielded questions on the relationship between historic preservation and sustainability, the ongoing restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast, and the National Trust's first international project, Finca Vigia in Cuba.

If you happen to be in the DC area, the program will be repeated several times over the weekend:

  • Friday at 8:00 p.m. on Washington, DC Cable/TV-16,
  • Saturday at 6:00 p.m. on Washington, DC's NewsChannel 8, and
  • Sunday at 11:00 p.m. also on NewsChannel 8.

For those of you outside the capital city, there's YouTube:

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.

 

Downtown Seattle from Kerry Park in Queen AnneLike my colleague Patrice, I have been traveling around the country the past 6 months discussing our Sustainability Initiative and showing those same scary slides she referenced in her blog posting – “Is There Any Hope For Us?” At the Green Life Fashion Show at Lyndhurst last week, several people came up to me and said, “I had no idea that buildings were responsible for 48% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US. That was sobering.” Like Patrice, I am convinced that we can save the world if we all work hard and start making better choices and we use our voice to impact the political will. What I tell everyone in my presentations is that in 25 years of being an architect, I’ve never experienced such an exciting challenge and such a scary time too. I’ve never felt before like I do today - what I’m doing every day can make so much difference.

Talking About Global Warming in Seattle
I was invited to participate in a 2 day Symposium/Workshop in Seattle April 14-15. Called “New Pathways – Historic Preservation & Sustainability”, it was sponsored by the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, the Northwest Region of GSA, the City of Seattle and the Washington Association of Building Officials. Now I admit I’m biased (I lived in Seattle for 3 years before moving to DC, and loved every minute of it), but this was one of the most informed and productive sustainability events I have had the fortune to participate in. And beyond just expressing my admiration to the organizers, I wanted to report on many of the things I learned here – some of which I am sure can help you in your work or personal lives.

First, I want to think the organizers for giving me an hour to pontificate on global warming, the impact on buildings and buildings’ impact on climate change, and why preservation needs to be part of any discussion on how to solve and halt it. I won’t report on my talk (you can my read my previous blogs, especially those about our work with the USGBC and the revisions to LEED, and the Trust’s Sustainability webpage), but I will share the information that my learned Northwest colleagues presented. After I gave the keynote, I spent the first day taking notes so I could be the rapporteur (and provocateur) at the end of the day.

... 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 bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

Is there any hope for us?

Posted on: May 7th, 2008 by Patrice Frey

 

In recent weeks I've done quite a bit of traveling to speak on the subject of preservation and sustainability -- and I’m always interested in hearing what people ask at the end of the session.

Inevitably, there are questions about windows and solar panels, tax incentives and the costs of going green. But there was one question I received recently -- this time in Knoxville, TN -- that really threw me for a loop: “Is there any hope for us?”

Now why would you ask that?

Maybe it was the first few slides of my presentation, which focus on this whole global warming mess. Perhaps it was the slide that says that if everyone in the world consumed as much as we do in the United States, we would need six planets to sustain that level of resource consumption.

Or maybe it was the slide with the map of per capita carbon emissions in the United States that helps us visualize the massive demographic shift that has taken place in recent decades, as folks flee the northeast and midwest for points west and southwest.

Notice all that red and orange on the map above? That’s the mark of particularly atrocious carbon emissions in areas of the country where sprawl has run particularly rampant. And keep in mind that this demographic shift leaves disinvestment and destruction in its wake, as urban centers in the rust belt empty out. Think of all those old cities -- many of which were built in a traditional, compact form -- and the infrastructure and buildings that are utterly wasted, now replaced with mind-numbing sprawl that ravages another part of the country.

So back to our question. Is there any hope for us? With cautious optimism, I vote yes and refer you to a piece written by Michael Pollan (of Omnivore’s Dilemma fame) in the New York Times. The global warming crisis, he points out, is “nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences.”

Ah-hah. We have identified the cause of our problem, and that cause is us. I think that means we’ve also identified the solution. The solution has a name, has a face, has a wallet, and (in this country anyway) a vote. It’s you, and it’s me. The decisions we make every day matter – whether it’s bringing your commuter mug to Starbucks rather than taking a to-go cup, or deciding that perhaps you don’t need to demolish your 1200 square foot house to replace it with a McMansion. All those decisions can and will make a difference.

And that’s cause enough for hope. Pass it on.

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.