Developer Damages Pennsylvania Farmhouse

Posted on: September 11th, 2007 by Margaret Foster


East Brandywine’s 200-year-old farmhouseA 200-year-old Pennsylvania farmhouse that was supposed to be incorporated into a new housing development is gone, despite a developer's promise to save the William Moore House.

Pulte Homes used a track hoe to remove part of the stone house last month, severely damaging it in the process.

Now the planning commission of East Brandywine may require Pulte to rebuild the damaged farmhouse.

Pulte's signed agreement with the township, a settlement to approve the 1,029-house development, stated that the farmhouse would have become part of a clubhouse for the Applecross golf course. In the agreement, the company said it would preserve the foundation and 35 percent of the first and second floors of the building, and the township approved the partial demolition plan.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 11th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


Developing a hotter L.A. – L.A. Times.  Why high density development could be on a collision course with efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

News to Keep You in the Know:

Northeast U.S., Europe cooling use of energy to rise -- Reuters. - Energy demand for cooling is likely to be above average in northeastern parts of the United States this week, while cooling demand in northwest Europe will also rise, forecasters Meteorlogix said on Monday.

World likely to pass dangerous warming limits --Reuters. The world will probably exceed a global warming limit which the European Union calls dangerous, scientists at Britain's MetOffice Hadley Centre said on Tuesday, presenting a new, 5-year research program.

In pure Arctic air, signs of  China's economic boom -- Reuters.  From a remote snowcapped mountain in the European Arctic you can detect China in the haze.

Blogger Joel Makower takes on two topicsCoke’s announcement that it has a goal to recycle or reuse all plastic bottles, and GE’s new Earth Rewards card – GE will invest 1% of consumer purchases in carbon offset projects. provide

More on bees … Virus Is Seen as Suspect in Death of Honeybees – NYT.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 10th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


Green Building Trend: More cities are requiring buildings to be constructed in compliance with LEED green building standards. For now, most cities exempt existing or historic buildings from the standards...but that could change.  Since LEED compliance is likely the way of the future, the National Trust and its national partners are working with the U.S. Green Building Council to ensure that LEED standards recognize the inherenet sustainaiblity of preservation -- and to make sure that the greening of historic buildings does not compromise the architectural integrity of these cultural resources.

New York announces new standards for green buildings - Dozens of state construction projects will have to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standardsd beginning next year.

Long Island Town Requires LEED Certification -- ENN. Babylon, NY - Developers and builders in Babylon, New York, are preparing to register their buildings for LEED certification to comply with a 2006 local law that goes into effect in December 2007. The law requires all new commercial buildings larger than 4,000 ft2 (400 m2) to achieve at least a LEED Certified rating.

Thoughts on Improving LEED... Use Performance-Based Transportation Credits in LEED -- Building Green.   Why the siting of buildings is so important -- and how LEED can be modified to reflect this. 

Measuring Operational Efficiency:  Measuring operational efficiency is no easy thing. New standards from ASHRAE may help.

ASHRAE Publishes Energy Performance Comparison Standard -- Environmental Protection. provides a method of energy performance comparison that can be used for any building, proposed or existing, and that allows different methods of energy analysis to be compared. This will help facilitate comparison, design and operation improvements and development of building energy performance standards.

News to Keep you in the Know:
APEC countries bolster UN climate change process - ENN: A growing economies attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit rejected attempts by Australia and the US to bypass the United Nations in negotiations to reduce climate damaging emissions, says WWF.

APEC draft climate statement seen a compromise --SYDNEY (Reuters). Asia-Pacific officials agreed on Friday to a draft climate statement which reaffirms a U.N. treaty on fighting global warming, while urging non-binding "aspirational targets" for greenhouse gas reductions, a delegate said.

Mark your calendars. PBS Documentary: The Silence Of The Bees -- ENN.  From crop fields to hi-tech labs, scientists and bee experts are investigating a rapidly unfolding ecological nightmare. The Silence of the Bees premieres on Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. eastern on PBS (check local listings). Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates the series. It was shot on high definition cameras.

Most polar bears could be lost by 2050 -- Reuters. Two-thirds of the world's polar bear population could be gone by midcentury if predictions of melting sea ice hold true, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Friday.

And Finally.... is all this just a passing fad?

Online ‘Buzz’ on Environmental Issues Sharply Up from Last Year - Green Lifestyle.   Prolonged online “buzz” (posts in blogs, boards and discussion groups) about the environmental terms “green” and “sustainability” suggest that heightened awareness of environmental issues is much more than a passing fad, the Nielsen Co. concluded in a report from Nielsen BuzzMetrics.

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.


Several months ago, the National Park Service received two reports recommending changes to the historic tax credit program.  In response to these requests, the National Park System Advisory Board (NPSAB) worked with stakeholders to develop a recommendations report.  The National Park Service has prepared a draft response to the recommendations of the NPSAB Committee.  

Don’t miss your chance to comment on the National Park Service’s response to recommendations for changes -- this is your opportunity to help improve the program.  Recommendations for change are focused in the following areas:  

·         Interpretation of the Secretary’s Standards

·         Education, training, written and web based guidance

·         Large multiple building complexes 

Time is running out – the review period for the documents ends on Friday September 14thTake a moment to glance through the documents below, and provide the NPS with your feedback. Comments should be sent to  

1. Interpretation of the Standards
Interior Treatments   
New Additions and New Construction   
Modern Day Requirements and New Technology     

2. Education, Training, Written
and Web-based Guidance

3. Very Large Multiple-Building Complexes

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.

Winging It in Buffalo: The city unveils a plan to take down its white elephants

Posted on: September 7th, 2007 by Preservation magazine


Downtown Buffalo’s gemsThere is no denying that Buffalo has seen better days. In the past 50 years, the city has lost some of its key industries, and, consequently, nearly half of its population. The result: tens of thousands of abandoned buildings.

Last July, Barbara Reed, the mother of a firefighter who was seriously injured while putting out an arson fire, wrote a letter to the Buffalo News offering a "mother's cure" for the problem: Take Down a House. She challenged the citizens of Buffalo to donate their own money to tear down the houses that the city could not afford to demolish. "I'm angry as to why this had to happen," she writes. "The equation is simple. Old houses plus fire (arson) equals potential danger and tragedy."

Reed's letter gives a voice to some residents' overwhelming sense of frustration as the city has grappled to find a solution to the problem. Since 1995, the city has demolished nearly 5,000 abandoned structures in an effort to curb blight and arson, but it estimates that there are as many as 10,000 more that need to be demolished.

Last month, the city announced a "Five by Five" program it hopes will bring its vacancy rate closer to five percent within five years by demolishing 1,000 buildings a year, a rate close to three demolitions a day.

... 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.