This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the news.

Historic Preservation Efforts in Myanmar

Painting of the Strand Hotel. Considered one of the finest accommodations in Asia when it opened in 1901, it fell into disrepair before being restored in the 1990s. Image via ABC News

Myanmar’s economy is looking up after decades of isolationists politics that depressed the economy.  One positive of a depressed economy, from an HP perspective, is the preservation (not that they are all in good shape, but they do still stand) of hundreds of ornate colonial era buildings in Myanmar’s capital city, Yangon.   As PRI’s The World reported, an influx of foreign money could spell the end for many of these buildings as the demand for downtown real estate surges and developers begin demolishing older structures to make way for modern high rises.   Recently, Yangon Heritage Trust was formed by a group of architects, historians and businessman to protect Yangon’s colonial cultural heritage. The Trust is currently lobbying for protected heritage status for Yangon’s historic structures.

Drill and Build: Environmental Protection in American Politics

Tom King, in typical Kingian style, lambasts today’s political leaders for their approach to the preservation of our pristine public lands.

Colors of the 1950s

Pink Formica Kitchen ca 1953 via Apartment Therapy

Color stories can be a powerful clue when trying to date an interior or a piece of furniture. Hop over to Apartment Therapy to check out some of the unique colors prevalent in the 1950s, which just so happen to be pretty hot again.

Assassin’s Creed

The Old State House. Image via Kotaku

This story was brought to my attention by a reader. Video games meet architectural history in the newest edition of Assassin’s Creed.  Set during the Revolutionary War, the creators of the game painstakingly recreated some famous historic structures to give their digital landscape some authenticity.  I’m not a gamer, but this is a fun instance of two worlds colliding!

50 Things that Define Lexington

Paris Pike. Image via Lexington Herald Leader

If you liked my post, Preservation Adventure: Lexington, KY, you will probably like this article from the Lexington Herald Leader.  Columnist Cheryl Truman asked Lexingtonians to help identify the things that define Lexington, and the list that resulted includes some great historical places and stories.

And while we’re on the topic, a special thank you to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for giving Bricks + Mortar a shout out on their Facebook page yesterday!  If you haven’t liked the National Trust on Facebook yet, go do it. Right now! You won’t be sorry.



  1. Preservation and Place

    What’s neat is that the video game also allows one to see the stripped away environments of those buildings too, so no skyscrapers behind the Old State House, just sky. They did a really great job.
    The Apartment Therapy article brought me back to this house museum I visited in Ohio, built in the mid-1800s with a marble Gothic Revival/Greek Revival exterior, but all 1950s on the inside from when it was acquired by new owners: pink rooms, green rooms, and a gray room too.

    • bricksandmortarpreservation

      You’re exactly right! When I was looking at the images the article provided, I wondered if they are using maps/drawings/paintings etc to digitally recreate the streetscapes as they were during the Revolution. And if so, I wonder what we could learn from studying the digital recreations?

      The Gothic/Greek Revival sounds like a trip! Do you remember if the museum’s administration planned to retain the 50s interior or if they were planning to take it back to the mid-1850s?

      • Preservation and Place

        The house museum opened in the late 1990s and they tell the story of the 1950s owners (who owned the house until it became a museum), so definitely no plans to change it, yet the house is referred to by the original owner’s name, which makes for an interesting mix.
        The graphics kind of make me want to play the game, but that would just be silly as I’d lose staring at the built environment, and I doubt that is the point of Assassin’s Creed. 🙂

  2. bricksandmortarpreservation

    I love that they are going to keep the 50s interior! It shows how houses are changed over time by their occupants. But maybe they should hyphenate the name with the original owners and the 1950s owners?

    I thought the same thing! I have no idea what kind of game Assassin’s Creed even is, but curiosity is certainly peaked!

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