Walgreens to Replace Rare Wisconsin Barn

Posted on: January 7th, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

Beloit, Wisc.This could be the last winter for one of the last 19th-century cobblestone buildings in southeast Wisconsin.

Last month, the owner of the 1846 structure sold the site to Walgreens for a new store in Beloit, Wisc. The city issued a condemnation order to owner Mark Finnegan on Nov. 29, three weeks before the Dec. 18 sale, saying it was unsafe and too expensive to repair. ... Read More →

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Notes from New Orleans: Permit Moratorium

Posted on: January 4th, 2008 by Walter Gallas

 

Overlooked by many at the City Council meeting approving the public housing demolitions on December 20, was the passage later in the day of a moratorium on all permits—building permits as well as demolition permits—within the boundaries of the proposed LSU and VA medical complexes in the Mid-City National Register historic district.

Ostensibly, the moratorium is "...to enable the study and development of a zoning classification appropriate for a Regional Medical District...." It is to remain in effect for one year "...or until implementation of permanent land use measures in conjunction with the planning and development of the Regional Medical District...." If someone wants to get a permit, they must appeal to the City Planning Commission staff and then the applicant must go before the City Council. Demolition applications in this area would no longer go before the Housing Conservation District Review Committee; they would go through the same appeal process.

This places a new burden and disincentive on a property owner to repair his property in this neighborhood—and places everything under the authority of the City Council. The lead on the moratorium was Councilwoman Stacy Head.

This affects 71 acres of land, some of which have been repopulated by residents repairing and returning to their homes, as well as local institutions such as Deutsches Haus, a long-standing German society.

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Standoff in Philadelphia

Posted on: January 3rd, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

plicoh.jpgThe city of Philadelphia is expanding its convention center, and three historic buildings stand in the way.

At 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, two days after the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Society ruled against the demolition of the structures, the city's department of general services removed the cast-stone facade of a 1962 modern addition to the Philadelphia Life Insurance Co. Building.

A court date is set for Jan. 8. In the meantime, the agency must "save and preserve" the dismantled facade, according to the Dec. 24 order by Commonwealth Court Judge Bonnie Leadbetter.

The demolition violated a 2004 agreement between the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to incorporate the three connected buildings into the new complex in exchange for demolishing several others.... Read More →

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Storm Causes $2 Million in Damages to Historic Astoria, Oregon

Posted on: January 2nd, 2008 by Margaret Foster

 

astoria.jpgAstoria, Ore., is still picking up the pieces after a storm pounded the Pacific Coast city of 10,000 last month."I was proud of this town," says John Guttenberger, former president of the Lower Columbia Preservation Society. "The storefronts were blown out, and rather than looting, people were putting things back in stores. It was really quite sweet. It was a nice bonding experience in its own strange way … It was like waking up in Who-ville."

With winds topping 100 miles an hour, the Dec. 2 storm caused $14 million in damages, according to a preliminary report the city sent to the state historic preservation office on Monday.

"Our preliminary estimate for historic properties is around $2 million, and there would be approximately 99 damaged properties," says Brett Estes, the city's community development director. ... Read More →

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Notes from New Orleans: End-of-Year Rankings

Posted on: January 2nd, 2008 by Walter Gallas 2 Comments

 

Amid the celebrations ringing in the new year, and the lead up to the Sugar Bowl and BCS championship games, a look back at the city’s year in law enforcement shows that New Orleans once again will rank in either first or second place as the nation’s murder capital in 2007. It will be the second year in a row that the city will carry this distinction. Depending on which estimate of the city’s population is used, New Orleans will be the top contender or Gary, Indiana, will take the prize. New Orleans’ rate per 100,000 is either 67 or 71, depending on whether the population figure is 312,000 or 295,450. The higher figure from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center uses postal delivery data to make its estimate. The lower figure from GCR & Associates uses residential resettlement and voting activity to make its estimate.

Off the record, police officials expressed alarm at the high rate of assaults, including all non-fatal shootings, which is on track to exceed even the two years prior to Hurricane Katrina, when the city’s population was much greater. Long-festering problems of high poverty, poor schools, and broken systems of public housing, criminal prosecution and imprisonment are cited as the root causes.

Ranking behind New Orleans and Gary, Ind., are Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham, Ala., and Flint, Mich.

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.