Neutra's Kaufmann House To Be Auctioned

Posted on: November 5th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Barbara AlfordNext spring's auction of Richard Neutra's famed Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Calif., may make architectural history if its price is right.

Owners Beth and Brent Harris, who are divorcing, decided to sell the house they restored at a Christie's auction on May 6, 2008, to make a statement.

"It's an odd thing, but the more money this house goes for, the better it is for preservation in my point of view," Beth Harris told the New York Times. ... 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: November 5th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

Lower 9th Ward, New OrleansThe arts continue to find their inspiration in the New Orleans post-Katrina experience while providing inspiration and encouragement to long-suffering residents. This weekend a production of Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for Godot” was presented in the streets of the Lower 9th Ward. Next week it moves to the streets of Gentilly. The production is a New Orleans version of a June 2007 production in New York by the Classical Theatre of Harlem. (NPR produced an interesting audio piece about this production for Weekend Edition Saturday.)

Also this weekend, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to present “A Tale of God’s Will (a requiem for Katrina),” a series of pieces based on his and his band’s compositions for the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s documentary “When the Levees Broke.”

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.

Baltimore's Arabbers Are Fading Away

Posted on: November 2nd, 2007 by Preservation magazine 1 Comment

 

Arabber selling watermelon (Scott Kecken)On the streets of Baltimore, it is getting harder and harder to hear the holler of arabbers. These street vendors, peddling produce and seafood on horse-drawn carriages, have been a part of Baltimore life for decades. But with less than a dozen arabbers on the street today, along with new city regulations on their horses and the potential loss of the stables they use, the cries of the arabber may be a thing of the past.

The word "arab" was British slang for homeless youth. While no one is sure how this term translated to describing street vendors in Baltimore, the word conveys the transience of arabbers' lives.

For African Americans, arabbing is a tradition that started after the Civil War, when jobs that offered independence for African American men were hard to find. Selling food from a cart was one of the few self-sufficient trades. Yet arabbing didn't become a distinctly African American trade until World War II, when industrial jobs opened up for white vendors.

"Today, they are living history, a reminder of Baltimore's past and the fact that horses built our cities and did the work that is now being done by machines. They are a reminder of a different time when people helped people," says Scott Kecken, who directed the 2004 documentary We Are Arabbers. ... 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.

No Thanks, I'll Walk

Posted on: November 2nd, 2007 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Anyone who knows me is aware that I wouldn't trade my Capitol Hill neighborhood for a bigger piece of real estate out in the 'burbs, and a friend recently sent me a link to a website that illustrates one of the reasons I like where I live: I can get almost everything I need without ever getting into a car. Walkscore.com uses Google Maps to plot the amenities within walking distance of any address, and provides a numerical score.

It's no coincidence that my vibrant, historic neighborhood scores well -- with an award-winning Main Street program, I am lucky enough to live in a place where preservation has truly made an impact. My current apartment scores an 86 out of 100, and my former home, just one block from Barracks Row, scored a whopping 97. For purposes of comparison, I plugged in my brother's address in the DC suburbs, and it scored a 29. 29!

Historic and walkable -- that's the recipe for a great neighborhood. Sorry, bro.

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.

Rescuing an Icon, Part One

Posted on: November 1st, 2007 by Barbara Campagna

 

A story of how a typical business trip turned into a tale of disaster management of national importance...

(Editor's Note: Originally written in August for her personal blog, Barbara Campagna has agreed to share the story of her experience at the Farnsworth House in Plano, IL, as the floodwaters from the Fox River approached.)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

The Farnsworth House, Plano, ILMy day began like many others since I joined the National Trust - board a plane for another city, actually leave and arrive on time (not the norm), rent a car and soon find myself driving out of a city and across the plains and sprawl of middle America. This time briefly passing through Chicago en route to Plano, Illinois, the location of one of the world's most famous and influential modernist icons - Mies van der Rohe's vacation home for Edith Farnsworth. I arrived on time at 1pm for a day of project review with the new Site Director, Whitney French.

It was sunny and humid, not unlike my home in Washington, DC. A week of massive rains in the Midwest had left the Fox River, next to which the Farnsworth House lies, full and rising. Thirteen inches of rain left spots of minor flooding on the 7 acres adjacent to the house, mostly evident along the quarter mile trail from the Visitor Center to the House. These patches caused the tour groups to detour to the house via a ride along Fox River Drive to the rear garage entrance - not the best scenario because the preferred trail brings the visitor up and around the house, giving you that "ah ha" moment when you come around a copse of trees and suddenly see the white steel and glass cube that changed the way architecture is made. But a rear entrance is preferable to no entrance - people literally come from around the world to pay homage to one of the 20th century's grandest yet simplest architectural gestures.

... 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.