This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.

White House Holiday Slide Show


The White House decorated for the holidays. Image via Preservation Nation.

Sarah Heffern, the social media strategist for the The National Trust, was lucky enough to visit the White House “all tricked out for the holidays” this year. Jump over to Preservation Nation (the Trust’s blog) to see her favorite snapshots from her visit.

Grand Central in Danger from Midtown Rezoning? – NYT

Grand Central

Rendering via NYT

Rezoning in Midtown could result in a skyline and streetscape that not only dwarfs Grand Central Station, but that obscures it from view.  Check out Justin Davidson’s article to learn more about the historic important of the terminal (born out of a train disaster) and how rezoning might effect it.

4 Reasons Retailers Don’t Need Free Parking to Thrive – The Atlantic

“A major rationale for the supply of parking spaces in city shopping centers is that customers won’t come without them. The anecdotal argument makes sense — retailers believe that most consumers arrive by car and believe free or cheap parking plays a major role in choosing a destination — but the actual evidence is scant at best. A new review of commercial centers in Greater London, released late last month (via David King), concludes that retailers vastly overestimate the role free parking plays in their success.”

A Real Life Santa’s Workshop – NPR


Lou Nasti in his workshop. Image via Gowanus Lounge

In the past, retail stores went all out during the holiday season decorating their display windows with elaborate holiday scenes and/or displays of their wares.  These days it seems to be a tradition that is falling to the wayside.  But for almost 44 years, Lou “Geppetto” Nasti has been working to keep it alive.    ” Nasti has created holiday-themed displays for department store windows and shopping malls, the kind featuring animatronic elves wrapping presents, sweet-faced reindeer bowing their heads and Santa snoring, perhaps with a tail-wagging puppy at his feet.”



    • bricksandmortarpreservation

      I’m with you 100% (especially about parallel parking ha!) Paying for parking has never been a problem. Walking through a downtown that’s disjointed bc of an over abundance of surface parking is a deterrent, though. It doesn’t create a nice atmosphere.

      • Preservation and Place

        I feel the same about disjointed downtowns. Give me parking behind buildings and the occasional strategically placed lot. I’m more bothered by Free 2 Hour parking; yes, it’s free, but if I’m going downtown, I’m likely going to be there for more than 2 hours and I don’t want to have to worry about having to move my car and hoping to find a new spot that’s close by.

      • bricksandmortarpreservation

        In downtown Frankfort, KY, a company did a creative “facadectomy” to create more parking without leaving a giant hole in the Main St streetscape. Basically, they left the main elevation of a building intact, demolished the rest of the building, and built a parking garage behind the original facade. From the street the change in function is barely noticeable. On one hand I love the concept because it spares everyone the sight of ugly surface parking punched into the middle of the block, but on the other hand is the loss of architectural integrity and historic material etc. I never can decide quite how I feel about the project. What do you think? Have you seen this type of thing before?

      • Preservation and Place

        I haven’t seen one, but I have heard of them previous to your example. I think if parking structure must be put on Main Street or in a downtown area, then this is the most acceptable way to go about it. I like not having holes in the streetscape. On the other hand, I don’t like the loss of historic fabric and can only hope that some of it went to architectural salvage places and that the buildings were extensively documented before demolition occurs. Sadly, I know that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, but at least by not fully destroying the building, part of the context survives and it keeps the context of the Main Street more intact than the average parking garage’s facade would.

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