Weekend Reads from Citinerary, Curbed, Forward, and More

Posted on: August 14th, 2015 by Sarah Heffern No Comments

 

Welcome to Weekend Reads at the PreservationNation blog, wherein we share a handful of the most interesting preservation-related stories we've come across over the course of the week.

Joseph McGill at South Carolina's Magnolia Plantation, during one of his early slave cabin stays.
Joseph McGill at South Carolina's Magnolia Plantation, during one of his early slave cabin stays.

"So far, Mr. McGill, whose ancestors were enslaved in Williamsburg County in South Carolina, has slept in more than 70 slave dwellings in 14 states, alone or in groups as large as 30, with the descendants of slaves sometimes lying alongside descendants of slave owners. This weekend, he is doing his first overnight stays in New York State, bedding down on three historic properties on eastern Long Island, in some of the region’s most beautiful (and expensive) resort areas." New York Times - Confronting Slavery at Long Island’s Oldest Estates

Note: Joe began his Slave Cabin Project while working in the National Trust's Charleston Field Office, and documented the experience here on the PreservationNation blog.

"So not only are the spaces rad, the tenants they have are equally as awesome. As I spent more time photographing their spaces, and getting the know the tenants, I realized that First + First is doing more than just renovating abandoned buildings, they’re making space for people, like myself, to pursue their dreams and passions." Citinerary - Giving abandoned buildings a creative purpose - First + First... 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.

 

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10612 Old Court Rd. -- Woodstock, Maryland

Converted Granite Schoolhouse Seeks Learned Buyer Willing to Be Tutored in Fun

From the looks of me, you might think I was built as a mini mansion or a small villa for some rich historical figure. You probably wouldn’t believe that I was originally constructed as a school in the late 19th century from locally quarried granite. Sixty-odd years later, my doors closed to pupils and instructors and I was lovingly converted into a snazzy, upscale dwelling.

Even though I’ve been made over, I haven’t lost my scholastic touch. The astute buyer will see that each room holds a lesson or two. For example, you can learn new culinary skills in my updated gourmet kitchen. Or improve your choral skills in the shower of any one of my four bathrooms. Or enjoy recreational time and host recess in my beautifully manicured, one-acre backyard.

Sound like fun? Want to learn more? Educate yourself with this video tour and check me out here.

Curious about buying a historic property, but not sure where to start? Read our toolkit series The Buyer’s Guide to Historic Homes and The ‘New Old House Starter Kit’ for Older and Historic Homes.

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.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

Explore These West Coast Asian-American Heritage Sites

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn No Comments

 

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Seattle’s Panama Hotel has continuously operated as a hotel since it was first constructed, and the first floor holds a tea room that’s open to the public.

What makes the six-story Panama Hotel in Seattle, one of our National Treasures, so special? We could start with the fact that, despite being built in 1910, it's remained remarkably intact over the years, and its basement houses the best surviving example in the U.S. of an urban Japanese-style bath house, or sento. It was designed by Sabro Ozasa, thought to be the first Japanese-American architect to practice in Seattle. And perhaps most powerfully, it still holds the belongings, like trunks, suitcases, and boxes, of Japanese Americans incarcerated in “relocation centers” during World War II.

While Asian American/Pacific Islander historic sites can be found all over the country, we’re taking cues from the National Park Service and highlighting a few West Coast examples that tell the story of centuries of Chinese-American and Japanese-American history. We hope that if you’re ever in that neck of the woods, you’ll take the time to experience the powerful stories they have to tell.  Make your way down from Seattle to Fremont, California, and check out these sites along the way.... 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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

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Tiya Miles is the author of two books, a monograph called The House on Diamond Hill and a novel called The Cherokee Rose.

“Whenever I visit antebellum homes in the South, with their spacious rooms, their grand staircases, their shaded back windows that, without the thickly planted trees, would look out onto the now vanished slave quarters in the back, this is invariably my thought. I stand in the backyard gazing up at the windows, then stand at the windows inside looking down into the backyard, and between the me that is on the ground and the me that is at the windows, History is caught.” -- Alice Walker, quoted in The House on Diamond Hill

In 2011, Tiya Miles was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for her work connecting the histories of African and Cherokee people in Colonial America. I heard Miles speak this past spring at the National Council on Public History annual meeting in Nashville where she described the challenges of translating her historical monograph (a book that is based on a single subject) on the Chief Vann House into a fictional novel.

The monograph, The House on Diamond Hill, examines the racial and social complexities of Cherokee Chief James Vann’s plantation in Diamond Hill, Georgia, from its construction in the 19th century, through Cherokee removal in the 1830s, and  up to its transformation into a historic site in the 1950s. The second book, The Cherokee Rose, is a fictional account of a similar house.

The novel uses the home and its history to make connections between individual’s different interpretations of the past. Both books serve as a means to emphasize that history is not linear or finite. That multiple perspectives shift the way race, gender, and politics interact with one another on the ground.

In both books, “history is caught” and translated deftly by Miles in a way that is at times both recognizable and strange -- but also important to telling the whole story of this period in American history. I recently interviewed her to learn more about her work and her process in writing The Cherokee Rose.... 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.

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya is Associate Manager for Online Content, Preservation Resources at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A public historian at heart, she sees history wherever she goes and believes that it is an important part of the American identity.

 

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Wildwood’s iconic and photogenic Caribbean Motel was the perfect location to host a gathering of vintage-loving guests.

Retro Roadmap hosted the first of what is hoped to be more Vintage Weekends, showcasing the mid-century motels and more of the shore town of Wildwood, New Jersey with a sold-out crowd attending from up and down the East Coast.

From the base camp at the iconic Caribbean Motel (built in 1957 by Lou Morey and listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the tiki-themed event combined vintage-inspired activities with modern social media sharing to increase awareness of and interest in the many facets of 1950s and ‘60s culture that still exist in this popular beach town.... 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.

Beth Lennon

Beth Lennon is the creator of the website RetroRoadmap.com. As "Mod Betty," she delights as the retro travel "hostess with the mostess," scouting out cool vintage places and sharing them with the world.

After Remarkable Relocation, Historic Gay Head Lighthouse Shines Again

Posted on: August 12th, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

By Jenna Sauber

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The Gay Head Lighthouse was triumphantly reopened on August 11, 2015.

After 160 years of sea cliff erosion, the Gay Head Lighthouse in the town of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard was literally a few dozen feet away from being lost forever to the Atlantic Ocean.

Two years of planning, paperwork, heavy labor, and $3.5 million later, island residents and visitors alike can sleep easily again under the sweep of the familiar Gay Head light. After an extensive relocation campaign this spring, the lighthouse reopened on August 11, a safe 130 feet farther inland where its red and white beacon is shining brightly once again.

A journey of 130 feet, however, required the help of an entire community. Here are just a few of the local preservationists who made this vision a reality.... 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.