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.

Drapery Through the Ages – NYT

Capricious Fancy

Image via NYT

““If it had not been for the Parisian designer, we in the West would be hanging rags in our windows,” said the design historian Gail Caskey Winkler, author of “Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining the Historic Interior, 1800-1930.” French design ideas fired up the English and spread from there, leading to tented beds, swagged windows and portieres.”

Downton Abbey Gardens – Apartment Therapy


Downton Abbey Garden. Image via Apartment Therapy

“Garden Design has done a typically excellent piece on the gardens of Downton Abbey, or rather, the gardens of Highclere Castle, where the show is set. My favorite inside scoop is that the show was actually written with this particular castle in mind — how immensely satisfying it must be that it’s actually shot there! That must be one of the many reasons the show fits together so perfectly.”

Soul Survivor – Lee Bey

Test Kitchen

Remarkably intact Ebony test kitchen. Image via Lee Bey

The Ebony/Jet Building in Chicago was built in the 1970s to house groundbreaking Ebony Magazine. The interior was “designed with an exuberant, high-style and fearless mix of a color, texture, art, contemporary furnishings and pattern. Created by interior designers William Raiser/Arthur Elrod, the offices embodied an afrocentric modernism that was well-turned, avant garde and quite hip…”  That interior was meticulously maintained by the Johnson Publishing Company and remains mostly intact. The building was recently purchased by Columbia College, and while they plan to be sympathetic to the interior design there is no word yet on how much of the vintage interiors they will save.  Jump over to Lee Bey’s article for more photos of this groovy time capsule.  Make sure you click the link to the spread Ebony published when the building was opened for dozens more awesome photographs!

Quelle Horreur! A Starbucks in Monmartre? – NBC News


Tourists enjoy the good weather in Place du Tertre in the former village of Montmartre near the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, in May 2009. Image via NBC

“A Starbucks is coming to the Place du Tertre in the bohemian Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, where Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway once roamed the hilly streets.” How are the French reacting? Jump through to the article to find out. You may be surprised.

Olive Oil May Save York Minster Cathedral – gizmag


Image via Live Science

“York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and one of the great monuments of medieval architecture. Built in the city of York, U.K. between 1220 and 1472, it has suffered looting, vandalism, arson and a devastating fire after a lightning strike in 1984. Despite decades of restoration costing millions of pounds, the Minster still faces an implacable enemy, the air itself. In hopes of protecting the Minster from rotting away due to air pollution, Dr. Karen Wilson and Prof. Adam Lee of the Cardiff School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, along with researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that the key to saving the church may lie in olive oil.”

Preservation ABCs: L is for Landscape – Preservation in Pink

Windham County, Vermont, agricultural landscape, October 2009

Windham County, Vermont, agricultural landscape, October 2009. Image via PIP

“The word “landscape” likely triggers images of rolling hills, the coast, mountains or flat farmland. When discussing historic preservation and landscape, those images still hold true, except landscape is more aptly called “cultural landscape” by the National Park Service. Basically, cultural landscapes represent how humans have modified the environment and interacted with the land.”


  1. bricksandmortarpreservation

    Hi Riverhouse! Are you referring to preservation (dear to my own heart as well!) or one of these topics in particular? You can find my contact details in the About section. Or better yet, like Bricks + Mortar on Facebook!

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