A Brief History of Palm Springs’ El Mirador Tower

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

Since it opened in 1928, El Mirador Hotel and its iconic tower have been a Palm Springs landmark.
Since it opened in 1928, El Mirador Hotel and its iconic tower have been a Palm Springs landmark.

Think of Palm Springs, and you’re likely to envision a desert oasis dotted with sleek, Midcentury Modern buildings. But as you’ll read in the Fall 2014 issue of Preservation, the city has no shortage of buildings dating back to the earlier part of the last century.

These buildings from the 1920s and ‘30s tell the stories of Palm Springs' earliest days. But perhaps the structure with one of the more interesting, winding tales is the El Mirador Tower.... 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.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

Update: Colonial Williamsburg Landmark Carter’s Grove Sold

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 12 Comments

 

The stately 1755 mansion is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States.
The view of the Georgian-style mansion, completed in 1755, from the James River.

Late last week we were informed by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation that it has successfully sold Carter’s Grove Plantation, a National Historic Landmark located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The estate was sold to a group formed by well-known preservationist Samuel M. Mencoff.

When we last visited Carter's Grove in 2012, it was privately owned and undergoing various repairs for interior maintenance issues that had been deferred. Below is a press release from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which outlines the next chapter in the rich history of Carter’s Grove.

Colonial Williamsburg Announces Sale of Carter’s Grove Plantation

National historic landmark protected in perpetuity by conservation easement; new owner to assure preservation in close collaboration with the Foundation

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – On Sept. 11 the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation sold Carter’s Grove Plantation, including the Georgian-style mansion and 400 acres of land that are subject to a conservation easement, as well as an additional 76 acres adjoining the property. The buyer is Carter’s Grove Associates LLC, a Delaware limited liability company formed by Samuel M. Mencoff, a well-respected preservationist from Chicago who has restored properties in the Midwest and in Newport, Rhode Island.

The conservation easement, which was placed on the property in 2007, is co-held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The easement protects the site’s historic, architectural, visual, archaeological and environmental resources in perpetuity.

Colonial Williamsburg recently regained ownership of Carter’s Grove at the conclusion of the bankruptcy filed in 2011 by the limited liability company that acquired the property in 2007. Working with the court-appointed trustee during the bankruptcy process, the Foundation funded and oversaw repairs to the mansion that restored it to its previous condition.

The Carter’s Grove Plantation site, located on the James River eight miles southeast of Williamsburg, is a historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. The mansion is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the country.

“Sam Mencoff is superbly qualified to be the steward of this important property,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation. “His commitment to historic preservation, demonstrated through his completion of a number of important restoration projects, is well known in the preservation community.”

“Carter’s Grove is a treasure, in many ways chronicling the history of the New World,” said Mr. Mencoff. “My family and I are honored to embrace the stewardship of this remarkable place, fully recognizing the privilege it is and the responsibility it confers. My team and I look forward to working closely with Colonial Williamsburg to preserve this important piece of our national heritage for generations to come.”

Media contact:

Joe Straw
757-220-7287
jstraw@cwf.org

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.

[Retro Roadmap] Derby Racers, Carousels for Thrill-Seekers

Posted on: September 19th, 2014 by Beth Lennon

 

Graduating from the sedate carousel to the thrilling Derby Racer is a rite-of-passage across the decades at Rye Playland.
Graduating from the sedate carousel to the thrilling Derby Racer has been a rite-of-passage across the decades at Rye Playland.

The merry-go-round -- clinging to the brass pole with the horses gliding up and down to the tinkling sounds of the band organ -- is probably the one of the first amusement ride memories one has as a child. With their gentle appeal to riders of all ages, carousels remain a staple at any amusement park or carnival.

But there was a time at the beginning of the twentieth century when a “grown up” version of the carousel was available to the more adventurous. Sometimes thought of as inverted carousels since the poles and mechanisms were tucked underneath the quickly spinning track, they gave riders the opportunity to experience the rush of horse racing. Flying along at speeds twice as fast as the more sedate carousels, these hand-carved horses raced against each other to an imaginary finish line.... 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.

[Historic Bars] The Holler House in Milwaukee

Posted on: September 18th, 2014 by Katherine Flynn

 

Preservation Nation continues its tour of historic bars as we slide (or stumble) our way into the musty dugouts that have served as the home bases for sports fans across the nation as they ride the bench and cheer their favorite teams. Next up for America’s historic sports bars: the Holler House in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s Holler House is home to the nation’s oldest certified bowling alley.
Milwaukee’s Holler House is home to the nation’s oldest certified bowling alley.

Speaking as a Midwestern native, I can tell you firsthand that the farther north you drive out of Chicago, the harder-pressed you’ll be to find a fancy watering hole. Wisconsin bars in particular pride themselves on their sticky floors and loud, bone-rattling jukeboxes; they’re spots to commiserate with friends and neighbors over pitchers of beer and baskets of greasy onion rings fried to perfection. Milwaukee’s Holler House, located in the city’s historically Polish South Side and owned by the Skowronski family since 1908, perfectly embodies the grittiness -- and greatness -- of this uniquely Midwestern variety of tavern.... 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.

Saving the Home of Oklahoma’s First Congresswoman

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by Guest Writer 2 Comments

 

Written by Kristi Eaton

This shows the home at the time it was purchased in April 2014.
The Alice Robertson home at the time it was purchased in April 2014.

Only two women have represented the state of Oklahoma in Congress over the years: current Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, and more than 80 years before, Alice Robertson. Robertson, who was the first woman elected to Congress after women received the right to vote, was a supporter of Native American rights, soldiers, and the underprivileged.

A pioneering Oklahoman, Robertson’s name isn’t as well known as some of her fellow crusaders. But now a group of preservation enthusiasts and community members are working to preserve and restore the last home Robertson ever lived in, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to raise awareness about who she was and what she did for the people of the state. “Alice Robertson is Muskogee’s most significant individual as far as what she accomplished in her life. But she also has state and national significance as well,” said Jonita Mullins, a local historian, author, and preservationist who is leading the grassroots effort to restore and preserve the 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.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.