Women’s Heritage

 

By Sophia Dembling

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Esther Gordy Edwards established the Motown Museum in 1985.

Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, has called his big sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, “bossy” and he knew in 1958 that borrowing money from the family savings club she had established wouldn’t be easy.

“She had power and influence,” Gordy wrote in his autobiography, To Be Loved. “She was a strong businesswoman, and very careful with money. The family depended on Esther to keep these things together.”

Gordy got the fight and the words he’d expected to hear from his sister -- If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich? And, she continued, “You’re 29 years old and what have you done so far in your life?” In the end, though, Edwards approved an $800 loan -- provided Gordy sign a contract with future royalties as security.

The rest, of course, is music history -- still preserved in Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit. The museum founded by Edwards in the modest house where some of the greatest hits of the 1960s were recorded by some of the era’s most iconic acts: the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a who’s-who of others.... 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.

 

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The Julia Morgan-designed Chinese YWCA of San Francisco was built in 1932 and now houses the Chinese Historical Society.

Though many people know Julia Morgan as the architect of iconic Hearst Castle, she also designed buildings on more modest budgets. One of her best is the Chinese YWCA (1932) in San Francisco, now the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA).... 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.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.

[Preservation Tips and Tools] The First Step for Putting Women Back in History

Posted on: June 9th, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 10 Comments

 

By Karen Nickless, Field Officer, and Heather Huyck, President at National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites

Gerda Lerner, a pioneering scholar of women’s history, looked back on several decades of research in women’s history and divided it into four phases, each building on the other to reach a complex understanding of the history of women. Lerner saw historians of the 1960s doing what she called “compensatory history" -- that is, looking for women and inserting them into male-dominated history. She compared historians of that period to Diogenes with his lantern, seeking simply to find the women.

Today, many historic sites are still wandering with their lanterns, trying to find the women’s stories represented there. Here are some suggestions to help you illuminate the lives of women at a historic place that matters to you, whether it is a historic site or your own 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.

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.

Saving Savannah: The Preservation Legacy of Anna Colquitt Hunter

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Guest Writer

 

By Sophia Dembling

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The proposed demolition of the Isaiah Davenport House was the catalyst that spurred Anna Colquitt Hunter to fight to preserve Savannah's historic relics.

Savannah is so closely identified with its gracious architecture and elegant squares, it's hard to believe that at one time, all that was at risk. If it weren't for the energy and savvy of Anna Colquitt Hunter, who set preservation in motion in Savannah, the city today might have a lot less charm and a lot more parking lots.... 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.

 

Written by Sophia Dembling

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Kate Clifford Larson is the author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.

Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D., was intrigued by Harriet Tubman when her daughter studied the famous abolitionist in elementary school. But when she looked for a biography of Tubman written for adults, the most recent one Larson could find was from the 1940s.

Thus began her career as a Tubman scholar.

Larson's book Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero came out in 2003, and she has since become a go-to scholar, consulting with Eastern seaboard states developing Harriet Tubman sites and, recently, with HBO about a miniseries co-produced with and starring Viola Davis.... 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.

 

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Villa Lewaro, home of self-made female entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker.

March is Women’s History Month, a time when we as a nation reflect on the contributions, stories, and struggles of American women. It seems a bit strange -- given that we are over half the country’s population -- that women get just one month, but this is actually an improvement: Originally, it was Women’s History Week, and before that, only a few short decades ago, the only women whose stories made it into textbooks tended to be First Ladies.

Even now, twenty-eight years after Congress made Women’s History Month official, strides for women’s equality and recognition across the spectrum continue to lag behind. Preservation is no different. Over the years, we have not always done what we could to highlight and preserve places that tell the rich, diverse stories of American women.

So here at the National Trust -- where I am proud to serve as the first woman president and CEO -- we are working hard to save places that tell these stories, and help us to better understand who we are as a nation. And there are plenty of remarkable ones to be told!... 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.