St. Paul, City of Lights

Posted on: October 3rd, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

St. Paul CathedralThere’s something about St. Paul that makes me feel like I’m in Paris. Maybe it was the rain blurring my vision, but driving the span between the dome of the 19th-century capitol and the deliberately taller dome of the Cathedral of St. Paul reminded me of a Parisian bridge. And then, take a left at the cathedral and head down the city’s grandest street, its residential Champs-Elysées, and wow, you forget all about Paris and just gape at those mansions. (Thursday night: Candlelight tour of Summit Avenue houses.)

I got a glimpse of Grand Avenue today—a friend told me not to miss it—and while I’d like to spend hours in the classic Main Street, with Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn tucked neatly into early-20th-century brick storefronts, my credit card would prefer not to. I’ll spend my nickels at the farmer’s market in Lowertown, a funky, New Urban mecca in an 18-block historic district on the waterfront.

I admit to knowing little about St. Paul before I stepped off the very delayed plane other than the fact that it’s the hometown of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who left town and rarely returned, busying himself with revelry in Paris and all.... 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.

From Gateway to Greenway

Posted on: October 2nd, 2007 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Marquette Plaza, Minneapolis, MNI spent my day today on a tour called "From Gateway to Greenway: Modernism in Downtown Minneapolis." The weather wasn't ideal for a day outdoors, so I'm soaked from the rain in addition to worn out from walking, but I can say honestly that I think I am a little in love with Minneapolis. I found it to be an incredibly cool city, with a nice mix of historic and modern buildings, lots to do and see, and more green space than any city I have ever visited. It's also very pedestrian-friendly, with paths and footbridges making it easy to get around. (As a person who doesn't own a car, I have a soft spot for cities that like those of us who travel by foot.) Tour leaders Liz Gales and Todd Grover, along with several guest guides, did a fantastic job of sharing both their knowledge of the city's history and architecture and their enthusiasm for the place they call home.

... 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.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: October 2nd, 2007 by Patrice Frey

 

The Morning Round-Up is on break this week while I'm attending the National Trust's annual conference in St. Paul, MN. Pls check back for postings later this week on some exciting sessions we'll be hosting on sustainability and preservation.

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.

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.