DSP Alumni

Racing to Save Japanese-American History at Historic Wintersburg Village

Posted on: February 19th, 2014 by Lauren Walser

 

Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission and manse (parsonage), with congregation, in March 1910. Credit: Wintersburg Presbyterian Church
Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission and manse (parsonage), with congregation, in March 1910

Six early-20th-century buildings on a five-acre parcel of land known as Historic Wintersburg Village in Huntington Beach, Calif., tell the story of early Japanese immigrant life in the United States -- and local preservationists are racing against the clock to save the structures from demolition.... 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.

Melissa Jest Reveals Preservation’s Best-Kept Secret to Saving Places

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Written by Brent Leggs, Author, Preserving African American Historic Places, and Field Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House. Credit: Melissa Jest
Melissa Jest in front of the John Coltrane House

Sitting in the beautiful and historic St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., sipping on a gimlet, preservation advocate Melissa Jest admires the space:“This place is a wonderful example of preservation in action.”

As we began to sip our drinks and discover the layers of history around us, Jest said: “The tools used to save St. Regis shouldn’t be kept a secret. What if local developers [from diverse communities] had the tools to bring life to vacant and fragile historic resources?”

To Jest, preservation has the potential to go to scale and increase its impact. She says cities with years of disinvestment can recover when preservation tools are used by developers at every level. As we continued to chat about preservation’s potential, I posed four questions that begin to reveal her thoughts for sustaining community character.... 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.

Young Preservationist Sara Delgadillo on Why Preservation Needs Diversity

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Aria Danaparamita

 

Preservationists from different backgrounds gather for the National Preservation Conference Diversity Scholars program. (L. to r.: Rosalind Sagara, Sara Delgadillo, Manuel Huerta.) Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Preservationists from different backgrounds gather for the National Preservation Conference Diversity Scholars program. (L. to r.: Rosalind Sagara, Sara Delgadillo, Manuel Huerta.)

Preservation can mean a lot of different things to different folks. For Sara Delgadillo, it’s about authenticity, community, and inclusivity. The 28-year-old San Fernando Valley native is a graduate student at the University of Southern California’s Heritage Conservation program, but she’s excited about what potential preservation has for her predominantly Latino community and for America’s diverse communities at large.

We met Sara at the 2013 National Preservation Conference that she attended as a Diversity Scholar, a program that seeks to support community leaders in preserving diverse historic sites and heritage. We asked Sara what she thought about being a young preservationist and where she thinks preservation is going. Here’s what she said.... 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

 

Daniel Ronan graduated from the University of Oregon Planning and Public Policy program and is now based in Chicago. Credit: Daniel Ronan
Daniel Ronan graduated from the University of Oregon Planning and Public Policy program and is now based in Chicago.

As a young person in preservation, Daniel Ronan has heard laments of how the field struggles with meeting modern demands. But he sees it differently.

The 24-years-old Portland, Ore., native was a Diversity Scholar at the 2013 National Preservation Conference and a planning and public policy graduate of University of Oregon. Now pursuing his path as an emerging preservation professional, he sees a bright potential, an energetic momentum for preservation. Millennials, he thinks, have the opportunity and ingenuity to bring the past forward. The key? Thinking of it in multifaceted terms, being open to innovative approaches, and refocusing on saving the local, community places that matter.

We caught him in the conference afterglow and got inspired by his excitement. Here’s what he had to say.... 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.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

 

Written by M. Rosalind Sagara

After nearly three and a half years of legal proceedings, the 4th District Court of Appeals of the State of California recently issued a final judgment invalidating the City of Riverside’s approval of an office development that would have destroyed a National Register site -- my community’s historic Chinatown.


Left: Author Rosalind Sagara in front of the archaeological site. Right: Built to honor the Chinese settlers who came to Riverside in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this Chinese Pavilion is located in front of Riverside's Downtown Library.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, Riverside’s historic Chinatown dates back to 1885 and is considered to be one of our nation’s best-preserved early Chinese settlements. The lawsuit to protect the historic archaeological site centered on the validity of the purchase sale agreement and whether or not the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state’s regulations protecting historic sites threatened with demolition.

A panel of judges ruled that the city failed to consider reasonable alternatives to the proposed building plans and location. The Court also found that the EIR contained insufficient analysis for the City to consider the environmental and cultural impacts of the proposed development. The final judgment sets aside the City’s certification of the EIR, its statement of overriding considerations, and approval of the project.

The legal ruling is a victory for the Save Our Chinatown Committee and our network of allies -- educators, preservationists, community groups, students, archaeologists, and countless individuals who’ve rallied to give voice to our preservation campaign. We also share this victory with those who believe citizens must have a say in how their communities grow and develop. We look forward to providing city officials with guidance in using preservation principles as an equal component in future planning processes related to the historic site.

This preservation campaign has taught me that engaged citizens -- who are willing to speak up, write letters and emails, organize and attend meetings, contribute money and ideas, learn and listen to others -- are as important as legal tools and good luck. Preservationists must be willing to pull out all stops because we believe a place is worth it. But it’s about more than just saving places, it’s about people, building community and creating a sense of place.

M. Rosalind Sagara is a community organizer and filmmaker. She is a co-founder and board chair of the Save Our Chinatown Committee

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.