Betting on Saratoga's Future

Posted on: September 20th, 2007 by Preservation magazine

 

Saratoga Springs FoundationThe racehorses may be finished for the season at Saratoga Race Course, but the ordeal regarding the future of the famous racetrack is far from over.

The Saratoga Race Course, which opened in the city of Saratoga Springs in 1863, is the oldest organized sporting venue in the United States, and track attendance and profits increase each season. Will its good fortune last?

Although the state owns the buildings and tracks, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) currently owns the franchise to run thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course. Because that contract ends in December, many wonder what will happen to the 350-acre racing complex. With talk of possible renovation and modernization, Saratoga residents fear the racecourse is in danger of losing its historical charm.

For the past two years, an extensive proposal and bidding process has gone on between NYRA and other contenders in anticipation of NYRA's soon-to-expire contract, and after reviewing all proposals, Gov. Spitzer decided to recommend that NYRA receive the franchise for the next 30 years. The final decision, expected in December, is in the hands of state legislators, who must determine whether to take the governor's recommendation or choose a different company.

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Supervisor Joanne Yepsen thinks the state and its legislators should consider residents during the decision-making process, as the upcoming year could mean big changes.

"We don't want to see the relationship between the residents and NYRA deteriorate due to lack of zoning or planning. There needs to be a partnership, as opposed to the residents just taking what they can get."

- Jeesoo Park

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.

Tomb Remains Threatened

Posted on: September 20th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 5 Comments

 

Truman at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (Harry S. Truman Library & Museum)The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier remains at serious risk and, unfortunately, the Army is rushing to finalize its agreement to replace the historic monument by September 30th.

On September 13th, however, we understand that staff to the Senate Armed Services Committee met with Mary Oehrlein, a preservation expert and author of the Cemetery’s 1990 study of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument.

Ms. Oehrlein told congressional staffers:

  • “Although there is separation in the stone along the naturally occurring fault lines of the stone … i.e. the cracks ... the monument is in no danger of falling apart and poses no danger to the public or cemetery personnel. A very significant external force, similar to an earthquake, would be required to cause the stone to slide apart.”
  • “The existing monument can easily be repaired, as was done 17 years ago, using conventional conservation methods to re-grout the cracks. Once repaired, the fault lines would be virtually invisible from the public viewing areas.”
  • “There is no way to stop the deterioration of the surface of the existing stone or any newly quarried and carved piece of stone, unless it is placed out of the weather in a controlled environment.”
  • “The idea that a new piece of stone can be quarried that will not contain faults is unrealistic. The chance of quarrying three flawless pieces of stone is zero. It really is a question of how quickly the faults will appear when the replacement stone is quarried, carved or as the stone weathers.”

Contributed by Robert Nieweg, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Southern 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.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 20th, 2007 by Patrice Frey

 

Going 'green' in Glens Falls – The Saratogian. Barton Mines Co. unveiled its new corporate headquarters Wednesday, that combines environmentally trend-setting design with historic preservation.

EPA Adds Seven Sites and Proposes 12 Sites to the Superfund List -- EPA Press Release. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding seven new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the list for investigation and clean-up. The list, known as National Priorities List (NPL), sets priorities under the federal Superfund program that addresses complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

China’s Policy of Returning Farmland to Forests Must Be Upheld -ENN. China is witnessing a dangerous trend. The country’s policy of returning farmland to forests is faltering, and many areas are opting out of this activity in a push to protect local farmers. They are recklessly expanding farmlands that should have been replaced with forests under the policy, or they have simply allowed farmers to continue cultivating steep hillsides.

CO2 emissions could violate EPA ocean-quality standards within decades - ENN. In a commentary in the September 25, 2007, issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), a large team of scientists state that human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will alter ocean chemistry to the point where it will violate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Quality Criteria [1976] by mid-century if emissions are not dramatically curtailed now.

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.

Miss. Says No to Condos on Natchez Bluff

Posted on: September 19th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Natchez, Miss.The town of Natchez, Miss., is on shaky ground. Its historic district was built on a water-soluble bluff, and over the years, sinkholes have devoured entire streets.

For the last two years, the town has been debating a five-building condominium complex on the site of a 1946 pecan factory, which town officials tore down last year to clear for a private developer.

Last week, however, a state body put its foot down and denied developer Worley-Brown a construction permit. Citing safety reasons, on Sept. 6 the board of trustees of the state's department of archives and history voted unanimously against the permit.

"In the final analysis, I think it came down to the uncertainty of the site and whether the load of the new construction would endanger that landmark [Natchez Bluff] property," says former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, chairman of the board.... 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.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: September 19th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

It announced this past week that a house in Holy Cross, which is receiving one of the Lieutenant Governor’s Historic Building Recovery Grants, will be renovated in the 2007-08 season of the PBS series “This Old House." The National Trust for Historic Preservation has been instrumental in lobbying with Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu for these grant funds, which for Louisiana total over $20 million.

The ten New Orleans “This Old House” episodes will air in early 2008. Since the series will also include segments about the context of the house renovation, viewers can expect to see other work going on in Holy Cross, like that of the PRC’s Operation Comeback and Rebuilding Together and the Trust’s Home Again! New Orleans program.

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.