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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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.

Philip Johnson's Alice Ball House in Jeopardy

Posted on: November 30th, 2007 by Preservation magazine

 

Alice Ball HouseA tiny house with enormous glass walls sits on some of the priciest property in New Canaan, Conn. A town of 20,000, its proximity to New York City (about an hour's commute by train) continues to fuel a steady climb in local real-estate values. And with the current trend toward larger homes, many smaller ones face destruction—even gems.

Christened the "little jewel box" by its designer, Philip Johnson, and named after its original occupant, Alice Ball, the glass-walled house stands at the center of a controversy. But it's not simply a local controversy—it's one that touches not only New Canaan, but also many other upscale metropolitan suburbs. At stake could be the future of post-World War II architecture and the legacies of its architectural pioneers.

The Impasse

The Ball House, built in 1953 as a residence for a single woman, is a doll-sized home that the real-estate listing puts at 1,773 square feet, perched on a 2.2 acre tract of land. The one-story dwelling sports a flat roof and glass walls, all in keeping with its International Style.... 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.

Rare 18th-Century Tavern Saved

Posted on: November 29th, 2007 by Margaret Foster 2 Comments

 

DeJarnette’s Tavern A preservation group has found a new owner for one of the country's few remaining taverns, the DeJarnette Tavern, built c.1780 in Halifax County, Va.

Named after Daniel DeJarnette, son of a Revolutionary War captain, the building was a colorful stagecoach inn and watering hole. "The tavern is said to have attracted a fun-loving clientele, particularly those who enjoyed horseracing, card playing, and cockfighting," according to the National Register nomination, which APVA Preservation Virginia prepared.

The Oct. 15 sale transferred the dilapidated tavern to a Connecticut couple whose name have not been released. Using state historic tax credits, the owner plans to restore the 1,300-square-foot building to its Civil War appearance, APVA Preservation Virginia announced this week.... 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.