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.

A Place Worth Living: Defending a Deeply Stigmatized Neighborhood – Rust Wire

This is part of a series on being a white person in the African-American Hough neighborhood of Cleveland. You can see the intro, why it’s like a small townMansfield Frazier’s responsehistory of the neighborhood, and @#!& black people say to white people.

“I know you can relate. We experience the Stigma of Place all through the Rust Belt. The Stigma is why I never know what to say at parties when someone asks me, “So what is it like to live in Hough?” I usually just say, “It’s a lot of things.” I find myself just telling about the good things, since I know they’ve probably only heard the bad. But sometimes I feel like they are just waiting for me to say I’ve experienced crime so they can say “Aha, I knew it” and confirm their Stigma. As a result, I’m constantly at a loss to explain my choice of place to even my family and friends because I don’t want to experience more of the Horrible Things: the look, the pat on the back, or the argument.”

Grande Central Station Turns 100 – Gothamist

Grande Central

Happy birthday, Grande Central! Image via Gothamist

On February 1, Grand Central Station in New York City turned 100!  To celebrate, Grande Central Shops and Restaurants rolled back their prices to 1913.  19¢ slice of cheesecake at the Oyster Bar & Restaurant?  Yes, please! I wish I could have been there!

Grey Gardens Estate Available as Summer Rental – HuffPost


Image via Hooked on Houses

“We just learned that you can now soft-shoe your way to the Hamptons and rent the legendary Grey Gardens estate this summer.

For just $125,000, you can reside in the home that was made famous by Jacqueline Kennedy’s cousins Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale and Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale from June to July. And if you’ve seen the riveting documentary “Grey Gardens,” don’t fret. The home, from what we can see, is cat and raccoon-free, and has been restored to its past beauty.”

Spanish Tile Still Vibrant Amid Cuba’s Decaying Streets – RPRTPhoto


Image via rprtphoto

“Most of Havana’s once stately buildings are decaying to varying degrees.  Whether built of limestone, cement or stucco, the marine environment combined with decades of neglect have taken their toll.  Crumbling facades, peeling paint, rusting iron and decaying wood mar most of these lovely structures, but each building’s character and former grace always seem to shine through, even when the exterior walls are all that’s left.  It makes for a somewhat surreal setting, and some neighborhoods have an almost postapocalyptic ambiance. At times I felt like I was walking through a movie set and not a real city.”

How the Disintegration of Naples’ Cultural History Affects You – Florence and the Historian


Image via Florence and the Historian

“It would be tactless to say that issues like poverty, unemployment, and national debt are less important than maintaining a nation’s cultural heritage. However, we are all impacted by history every day whether we realize it or not: humanity would not be where it is today without all of the past events that have shaped the world in both big and small ways. In fact, history is being created every second, though we may not think that it is a big deal at the time, and we are all a part of it. Though there are and have been many, MANY histories since the rise of the modern human, all humans are connected with one another as a species. The degradation and loss of Naples’ history is a tragedy for the world and everyone in it.”

Documentary About Muffler Men – Route 66 News

“Stone Baker soon will launch “American Giants,” a series of online films about Muffler Men — the tall fiberglass figures that graced roadside America during the 1960s and ’70s.”  How fun is this?!

Town Branch Park – Herald Leader

town branch

Image via Herald Leader

In local news, “[a] New York City firm — Scape/Landscape Architecture — got the nod from a panel of five judges over the weekend to design Town Branch Commons, a new park to run through downtown Lexington.”  The Town Branch is a branch of Elkhorn Creek that was an essential resource to early settlers, but by the mid-19th century it was buried to expand valuable downtown real estate. It now runs beneath the streets and buildings, but may soon see the light of day if Scape’s project proposal is implemented. The scale and scope of the Scape’s proposed design is ambitious, but (supposedly – I’m a little skeptical) doable.  It’s also beautiful and transforms dozens of acres of black top surface parking into downtown oases. (No word on where people will park if the series of parks are built.) Exciting times for Lexington, Kentucky!


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