Museum of the Confederacy Unveils New Plan

Posted on: October 19th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Museum of the Confederacy, RichmondAlmost broke and very controversial, Virginia's Museum of the Confederacy announced a new battle plan last month for staying relevant—and in business. Formed in the 1890s, in the last decade the Richmond-based museum has teetered toward financial collapse, endangering its research archive, artifact collection, and its home, the 1818 mansion known as the White House of the Confederacy. With an emergency room as a next-door neighbor, the museum, claiming that the downtown medical complex had made its location untenable for visitors, has begun floating a plan to build a satellite system of museums at the battlegrounds of Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Fort Monroe, and a fourth naval site near Hampton, Va.

"Moving some of the museum's collection—for example, [Robert E.] Lee's boots, tent, and sword—to Appomattox, there they would be appropriate and well displayed," says Nicholas Muller, former National Trust trustee. "This may be a clever plan." Muller led a review that told the beleaguered organization it had little time and room to maneuver if it wanted to survive.

What the museum's new plan fails to address is whether its continued existence will generate controversy. ... 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.

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: October 19th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

St. Thomas Housing Development, New OrleansThis past week, I saw for the first time the renovations to the five surviving buildings of the St. Thomas housing development in the Lower Garden District. These five had been set aside as a mitigation measure when the rest of the development was demolished and redeveloped beginning, I believe, about seven years ago. The buildings were mothballed, and talk was that they might be used for offices or some other community function -- but certainly not housing. Today, the five buildings are almost ready to go -- as housing units. It appears that there might be anywhere from 40 to 50 units of housing available in these late-1930s buildings.

This is all so remarkable because the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have insisted that none of the big four public housing developments remaining in New Orleans can be renovated for housing due to the high cost and the obsolete interior configurations of the units. If nothing changes, we are about to witness the demolition of hundreds of buildings like these in New Orleans, and will await their replacement with buildings fashioned from materials not nearly as resilient as these brick structures.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans 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.

DOE Approves Two Power Line Corridors

Posted on: October 18th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Fauquier County, Va.The U.S. Deparment of Energy designated two power line corridors earlier this month, to the dismay of environmentalists and preservationists.

There are 55 national parks and 14 heritage areas within the Mid-Atlantic National Interest Electricity Transmission Corridor (NIETC), which the agency approved on Oct. 2. That area also has African-American historic sites, numerous scenic rivers and byways, and the nation's greatest concentration of Civil War battlefields. The other corridor, the Southwest Area Corridor, passes from Arizona to California.... 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 Takers for Little Manila Hotel

Posted on: October 17th, 2007 by Preservation magazine

 

Mariposa HotelAfter spending years trying to save one of the last three original buildings of historic Little Manila in Stockton, Calif., the Little Manila Foundation saw the Mariposa Hotel go to auction on Sept. 12—with no takers.

"No one has bought the building yet, and there are no current potential buyers," says Dillon Delvo, co-founder of the foundation. "Stockton has had a record number of foreclosures this year."

Completed in 1922, the 31-room Renaissance revival hotel served as a meeting place for Filipino laborers, who used the building as headquarters for labor strikes of the 1930s and 40s. ... 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.

Lost: Quantico Lustrons

Posted on: October 16th, 2007 by Margaret Foster 1 Comment

 

LustronThe largest demolition of Lustron houses began this week.

Built in the 1950s, 34 all-steel houses on the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., will soon be reduced to rubble, despite preservationists' request to salvage materials.

"I'm really disappointed. It's just a huge loss for Lustron owners across the country," says Todd Zeiger, director the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana's northern regional office. "You can't make these parts anymore."... 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.