President Bush Announces Poster Program for Schools

Posted on: February 26th, 2008 by Preservation magazine


Bush at Picturing America event, 2/27/08For students across the country, American history will soon get a whole lot easier to envision. That's because the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) has launched its new "Picturing America" program, which will provide large, high-quality reproductions of 40 different works of art by American artists—including paintings, photographs, and architecture—to any school or library across the country that applies.

President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, who is a former teacher, and NEH Chairman Bruce Cole announced the campaign at the White House today. "At their best, arts and humanities express the ideals that define our nation," said President Bush. "We are defined not by bloodline, race, or creed, but by character and convictions."... 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.

Group Asks Billionaire To Spare 1920s Inn

Posted on: February 25th, 2008 by Margaret Foster


Coast Inn, Laguna BeachSupporters of the oldest gay bar in the country—the oceanfront "Boom Boom Room," which opened in Laguna Beach, Calif., in the 1940s—have hope this month that the building's new owner might want to offload the controversial property rather than razing it for a new hotel.

Steven Udvar-Hazy, who bought the building in 2005 for $12.9 million, took it off the market on Feb. 1. But the "for sale" signs are still posted, and two potential sellers viewed it last week, according to Fred Karger, who is leading a grassroots effort to save the club.

"Some people are discouraged, but a lot of people have new hope that good will will prevail, that he will come around and do the right thing," says Karger, who last month launched "Operation Postcard," a asking Hazy to lower his price of $20 million or donate the building to the city. "I'm not suggesting he'd take a loss, but I'm hoping he'll be more reasonable in light of the history of this bar."... 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.

Cottage Offers Visitors an Insider Look at the Life of President Lincoln

Posted on: February 22nd, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation


President Lincoln’s CottageOf all the things we know about Lincoln’s Second Inaugural—it was the occasion in which he laid out his "with malice toward none, with charity for all" vision of Reconstruction—a little known side note is that, at the reception following his inauguration, Lincoln chose to serve his guests Mumm champagne. I gleaned this fact at an event last Wednesday evening at Lincoln’s Cottage, the National Trust’s newest Historic Site, at which, appropriately, the champagne being served was none other than Mumm.

The Cottage is being unveiled after a years-long, $17 million makeover that restored it to the look-and-feel it had when Lincoln and his family spent time there during his presidency.

President Lincoln’s CottageIf you’re expecting Versailles, or even the relative splendor of the White House, think again. Though quite large, the home is modestly appointed, and the spare furnishings placed intermittently throughout—a few chairs, some books, a checkerboard table—speak to a man seeking a bit of solitude amidst simple things. The Lincoln family transported furniture between the Cottage and the White House each season, a practice that probably encouraged them to pack lightly and furnish sparingly. A Washington Post article last week noted that Lincoln breakfasted at the Cottage on an egg and coffee before setting off on his daily commute to the White House, and after spending an evening there, that Spartan meal seems perfectly suited both to Lincoln and to the elegantly simple Cottage itself.

... 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.

New Orleans Projects Paint the Town Green

Posted on: February 22nd, 2008 by Preservation magazine 1 Comment


ICINolaNew Orleans has never been known for its strong environmental conscience. Until five years ago, the city measured the success of each Mardi Gras by the number of tons of trash generated, and for many, recycling meant reusing the plastic cups caught at parades. In some neighborhoods, curbside recycling programs struggled due to lack of participation. Today, two and a half years after Katrina, residents and social and environmental activists are sweeping away old notions, but some say too much is being lost in the process.

Seeds of Change—and Dissent

Actor Brad Pitt and his Make It Right project have snagged media attention recently, debuting plans to replace 150 Lower Ninth Ward houses with sustainable, eco-friendly dwellings. The project has generated a positive buzz, in part because the targeted area is a Katrina-created wasteland with little, if any, remaining historic character. Other projects around the city are sowing seeds of green hope in some cases, but red-faced anger in others.

In Bywater, a 200-year-old, National Register and local historic district with very little Katrina flooding, a mixed-use loft project is digging a deep rift. New Orleanian Cam Mangham and her partner, Shea Embry, are developing ICInola, which Mangham says will be the city's first LEED-certified, mixed-use development. Plans for the development, anticipated to open in spring 2009, involve partially deconstructing, renovating, and rebuilding a historic manufacturing plant and recycling much of its materials. The plant and a second, new building will be developed with eco-friendly features like roof gardens and solar panels. Two more structures will come later; a total of 105 lofts and 50,000 square feet of commercial space on 2.76 acres.

Neighbors opposed to the project have formed the Bywater Civic Association to fight it. "The project is completely out of scale and context, and the design is too modern for such a historic neighborhood," says BCA organizing committee member Blake Vonderhaar. Vonderhaar says that hundreds of people have committed to boycott any store that leases space there. "They keep saying we can't have replica buildings because they don't want to turn New Orleans into Disneyland. But there has to be a reasonable solution that is appropriate to an historic neighborhood," Vonderhaar says.... 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.

California Silk Mill in Limbo

Posted on: February 21st, 2008 by Margaret Foster 4 Comments


Petaluma Silk MillResidents of Petaluma, Calif., north of San Francisco, are hoping another developer will step forward to renovate its 1892 silk mill after 26 investors backed out of a condo project late last year.

Designed by San Francisco architect Charles Havens and renovated in 1922 by Brainerd Jones, the Georgian revival factory is on the market for $7.5 million. In October, the city stymied investors when it said that the project couldn't proceed until the city adopts a new general plan that addresses water conservation--probably sometime in April, according to the city's mayor, Pam Torliatt.

"It was a timing issue," Torliatt says. "The status of our general plan not only affected this development project; it has affected many development projects. We've been in a de facto building moratorium, and legally we weren't able to do anything."... 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.