D A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the news. Click on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.
Today’s This Week feature would be incomplete without mentioning Pearl Harbor, which was bombed 73 years ago today. This article is only tangentially related to preservation, but it is a fun read. It provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of WWII pilots and into the military in war time. As I was checking out the photos of these amazing jackets, I couldn’t help but think, “The military let them do that to standard issue clothing!?” They did, and the young men who wore them used the jackets to individualize themselves and to bond as units. These days they are highly valued collectors items.
When the accusation of “Disney-ifying” is thrown out, there are no positive connotations. It means something is false, made up, scrubbed clean. It’s fake and it is phoney. Leave it to Vince Michael to turn the term on its head after his first visit to Disneyland (which is historic itself, he is quick to point out). He casts aside the “morality” of all this fakery and instead praises “imagineers” for their skillful manipulation of nostalgia and architecture and memory. It’s a good read. I promise.
This article was brought to my attention by Preservation and Place it discusses the struggle to build additions/infill in historic districts. Is it better for new construction to look new or to blend in with it’s historic surroundings?
“I think the historic preservation movement is today in the most trouble since the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966. And it’s not just that the tax credits are now on the table for elimination, although that’s where I’ll start this morning, but a whole range of assaults on preservation.” Read this speech, given by Rypkema at the 2012 National Preservation Conference. As always, Rypkema provides insightful analysis and a provocative argument.
“A new, North Carolina-based tour company is offering a novel way to see Route 66 — by renting a classic car for the 2,400-mile trip. Blacktop Candy’s is offering an upgraded 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, or 1967 Camaro Super Sport for 18-day tours (both eastbound and westbound) from April through September in 2013. The vehicles come with Garmin navigation devices to guide travelers down the Mother Road.” How much fun would this be?! I think I’m going to spend the weekend day dreaming about spending summer vacation on THE road.
“Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550). With the advice of an international Scientific Advisory Committee, the leaders of the project decided that A.D. 320 was the best moment in time to begin the work of modeling. At that time, Rome had reached the peak of its population, and major Christian churches were just beginning to be built. After this date, few new civic buildings were built. Much of what survives of the ancient city dates to this period, making reconstruction less speculative than it must, perforce, be for earlier phases. But having started with A.D. 320, the Rome Reborn team intends to move both backwards and forwards in time until the entire span of time foreseen by our mission has been covered.” How do you think 3-D modeling can help us understand the past? How do you think it can aid in historic preservation?
In Fife, Scotland rather than restore the sites of former surface mines, the city council has elected to approve the creation of a major land art project. Massive landforms will replace the surface mines. Visit Education Scotland for more info on the creation of these massive works of art. Coming from a state that relies heavily on the coal industry, the concept of turning the stripped earth into art is interesting to me. What do you think? Would it be better to follow a more traditional restoration or do you like the idea of public art taking the place of coal mines?