Behind-the-Scenes Tour Shows Critical Needs at Union Terminal

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Sarah Heffern 3 Comments

 

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On my first-ever visit to Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, I found it impossible not to be impressed from the moment it came into view. The enormous half-dome shape, stunning Art Deco details, and striking resemblance to the Super Friends’ Hall of Justice (readily obvious to someone like me who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 1970s and '80s) combined to wow me before I even walked in the front door.

Upon entering the building, though, it continued to amaze. I hardly knew where to look first. The massive, arched ceiling sports possibly the boldest paint job I’ve ever seen -- arcs of bright yellows, oranges, and greens that somehow work together to be gorgeous, rather than garish. The glass-tile murals along the back walls are beautiful and clearly tell a story about the city. And every door (and there are many) is labeled in a cool Art Deco font, which made my inner design nerd very happy.

But, because my reason for coming to Union Terminal was as part of our National Treasures efforts to help local preservation advocates to pass a small sales tax increase dedicated to raising funds to save it, my attention quickly focused on one thing: It didn’t look threatened. At 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.

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.

Historic Real Estate: Halloween Edition

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Geoff Montes

 

Infamous former guests and whispers of paranormal activity and are just some of the mysterious elements featured in this week’s Halloween-themed edition of Historic Real Estate.

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The original honeymoon suite where Poe stayed with his new wife in 1836 remains intact.

Poe’s Honeymoon Suite -- Petersburg, Virginia

Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his stories involving mystery and the macabre, such as The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Cask of Amontillado. This historic mixed-use property in Petersburg, Virginia, has the distinction of being the spot where he spent his 1836 honeymoon with new wife Virginia Clemm, who was also his first cousin. The property consists of two buildings connected by a covered alley, and includes the established retail tenant Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House, which was named after Poe’s longtime friend and fellow poet. Options for the rest of the property include conversion to a private residence, office space, or bed-and-breakfast. Poe’s honeymoon suite remains intact but in need of restoration. Price: $325,000... 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.

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. He enjoys Art Deco architecture, any activity that can be done at the beach, and cotton candy.

Widening the Preservation Lens

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Stephanie Meeks 4 Comments

 

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Left: Stephanie Meeks, speaking to architecture students at Hampton University about the need to preserve more historic places that represent the diverse history of our nation. Right: Stephanie Meeks and Germonique Ulmer, vice president of Public Affairs, at the Emancipation Oak on Hampton University's campus.

On a recent visit to Hampton University, one of our nation’s oldest and most esteemed historically black universities, I took part in a fascinating conversation with architecture students about what preservation means to them, and how we can work together to ensure the places we save reflect the diverse stories of all Americans.

We began our discussion with a visualization exercise. Take a moment to picture a place that matters to you. It may be your home, a park, a church, a school. What has it meant to your life? Does it connect you to your community? What does it say about who you are?... 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.

Stephanie Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks

Stephanie K. Meeks is president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

[Historic Bars] The Owl Bar in Baltimore, Maryland

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Beth Lennon

 

Fans of the giggle water get to celebrate hooch in a big way this month as Preservation Nation covers blind pigs and juice joints -- a.k.a. speakeasies -- as part of our historic bars series. Next up: The Owl Bar in Baltimore, Maryland.

The nursery rhyme above the bar is a clue into the speakeasy past of Baltimore’s Owl Bar.
The nursery rhyme above the bar is a clue into the speakeasy past of Baltimore’s Owl Bar.

A wise old owl sat in an oak / the more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard / why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

First-time visitors to the Owl Bar may be amused by the appearance of a nursery rhyme embedded in stained glass above the antique backbar at Baltimore’s landmark Belvedere Hotel. More than a quaint decoration, however, the rhyming couplet is actually a nod to the Prohibition-era legacy that the bar’s feathered mascots played a major part in.... 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.

 

Written by Daniel Ronan, Site Projects & Public Engagement Coordinator, National Public Housing Museum

Muralist Hector Duarte in front of his Pilsen home and studio, with "Gulliver in Wonderland" mural.
Muralist Hector Duarte in front of his Pilsen home and studio, with "Gulliver in Wonderland" mural.

“Morally, there needs to be a defense of public art,” says Hector Duarte, an accomplished Mexican-American muralist and painter sitting in his Chicago home and studio of fifteen years.

Pilsen, his neighborhood, has been squarely Latino since the mid-1960s, and has been a haven for exploring the mural as an artistic medium. With murals up and down the community’s main thoroughfare of 18th Street, it’s hard not to spot several towering masterpieces depicting cultural, political, and religious themes exquisitely painted over 150-year-old masonry.

Originally a German and Irish neighborhood, and later Czech, Pilsen’s vibrant street life -- now filled with taco joints, bodegas, and thrift stores -- masks a broader struggle. With higher-than-average crime, increased development, and changing demographics, many consider the neighborhood ripe for gentrification. Moving south and west in the city, many Latinos have planted new roots in Little Village, affectionately called “La Villita” by the locals.

Broader demographic and neighborhood changes place the future of historic mural art into question. Can Pilsen hold onto its legacy of mural art given the increased pressures of development, the ephemeral nature of artwork exposed to the elements, and a shift in thinking of younger generations away from the lasting relevance of mural art?... 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.