Hello From the Twin Cities

Posted on: October 1st, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation lands in the Twin CitiesGood afternoon from St. Paul! The wireless network is not yet operational at the River Centre, so I'm writing this from a Dunn Bros coffee shop located in a historic building a few blocks away. Dunn Bros is a really good local chain of coffee shops that does a great job of locating its franchises in historic buildings (in downtown Minneapolis they have locations within blocks of either side of the landmark Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River; if you're down there make sure to check out the "Freight House" location, next to the Milwaukee Road Depot).

Dunn Bros is also, apparently, open to some innovative partnerships--this location is one large room, half of which is occupied by the coffee shop, while the other half is an optometry shop. Weird pairing, but both businesses have been here for several years, so seems like it's working.     

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in downtown St. Paul this morning are all the banners hanging from street lamps welcoming the National Trust to St. Paul. They look great, and help to brighten up what is so far a gloomy, gray day.

Check out what the local media is saying about the conference. The Minneapolis Star Tribune article appeared in Sunday's paper and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press ran this story this morning (login required).

And keep an eye on this space: We're going to be reporting from the National Preservation Conference every day this week.

-- Virgil McDill

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.

News from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: October 1st, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

When the city of New Orleans began its demolition program early in 2006, the National Trust was among the interested parties who came to the table to help draft the procedures which would ensure that historic properties were adequately reviewed by FEMA and protected if possible. Sixteen months later, I was at the table again, this time to talk about how things have gone so far and what needs to be revised. The revisions are prompted because as of September 30, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is no longer the demolition contractor. These responsibilities will now fall to the City of New Orleans.

FEMA’s Historic Preservation staff reported that of the 9,000 properties proposed for demolition by the city using FEMA funds, 780 (nine percent) were determined to be National Register eligible. The good news is that one-third of these National Register eligible properties were removed from the demolition list as a result of the process we helped lay out to force the consideration of alternatives to demolition. Nevertheless, this still leaves 522 historic properties on the demolition list. About 100 of these have been selectively salvaged to date—again a provision of the agreement. The city is not ready to take on the demolition process, so any progress we have made so far could be stalled.

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.

Kansas Mall To Replace Last House on the Block

Posted on: October 1st, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Strasser HouseIn Manhattan, Kan., the fight to save the last house in a neighborhood lost to a shopping center soon may lose its footing.

Built in 1874, the limestone Phillipena J. Strasser House is the last in a residential area that consisted of late 19th- to mid-20th-century limestone abodes.

Last year, Omaha-based developer Dial Realty purchased the property, adjacent to Manhattan's original downtown area, and began construction on a shopping center and senior living community. Dial has leveled everything except for the Strasser House. Recently, Dial announced plans to move the house down the block.

"The Strasser House is in poor repair," says Rick Kiolbasa, partner at Dial Realty, who notes that fire and termite damage have led to the house's deteriorated condition. Kiolbasa says Dial never planned to demolish the Strasser House. "We'd always wanted to save the house in some form, but we never knew exactly what the shopping center would look like and where it could fit in." Kiolbasa adds that Dial plans on rehabilitating the house, possibly for use as office space.... 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.

Public Outcry Slows Tomb Process

Posted on: September 28th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern

 

There is some positive news to report concerning the Trust’s efforts to convince public officials to preserve, not replace, the Tomb of the Unknowns. This week—in response to public uproar—the Senate adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585) that would delay any hasty action regarding the Tomb of the Unknowns. Even though the Senate will not finalize the measure before the Army’s September 30th deadline, the outcry over the Cemetery’s plan and the resulting interest in Congress has forced the Army to delay action.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Akaka (D-HI) and cosponsored by Senator Webb (D-VA), also requires the Secretaries of the Army and Veterans Affairs to determine the feasibility of repairing, rather than replacing, the monument and to report the findings to Congress.

Click here for more information on this issue—and to find out how to lend your support to the cause to save the original, authentic Tomb, one of our most important war memorials and our only national monument to those who fought in World War I.

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.

High-Voltage Debate

Posted on: September 28th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Virginia power linesThe Northeast's longest free-flowing river, the Upper Delaware River, meanders from Hancock, N.Y., to Matamoras, Pa. Bald eagles make this a popular bird-watching spot. Abundant fish lure fly fishermen, and Class II and III rapids attract kayakers. Congress, recognizing the natural beauty of this area, set aside the Upper Delaware Wild and Scenic River for protection under the National Parks System in 1978. The area, 90 minutes from New York City, "is pristine and gorgeous," says Michael Schmidt, a kayaker and regular park visitor. "It is one of the most tranquil parts of the country I have ever been to."

But the area is just one of the many historic and scenic places that may soon have a new neighbor: a 500-kilovolt transmission line some 160 feet overhead. New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. has proposed a 190-mile line from central New York to the lower Hudson Valley to alleviate energy congestion in the Northeast. The preferred route in some sections follows a gas pipeline—a right of way that predates the park—and passes through four miles of ridge top along the river and a mile-long section of the canal.

Not surprisingly, local and national organizations have been actively opposing the line. "If someone was fly fishing on the river or recreating on the park site, they will look up and shadows will be cast down on the river and in the valley by these 160-foot towers," says Bryan Faehner, legislative representative at the National Parks Conservation Association.

Similar battles are taking place in eight eastern states. ... 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.