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.

Abandoned Walmart Now America’s Largest Library – Web Urbanist


Image via Web Urbanist

Big box stores abandoned by corporate entities are difficult to reuse because of their large square footage. In McAllen, Texas an unused Walmart was transformed into the largest single story library in the US! It is now a vibrant community hub, and the city saved a bundle on infrastructure. What other uses can you think of for adapting big box stores for new uses? Schools, Fitness Centers, Lazer Tag, Indoor skate park!?!

The Strangest Neighborhood in New York City – Scouting New York

Harding Park began its modern life in the early 1900s as a summer resort community for New Yorkers looking to escape the city. After WWII, they became permanent residences. Many of the tiny bungalows remain untouched, while others have been expanded. The neighborhood is charming and totally uncharacteristic of the Bronx. There are chickens!

If You Build It, They Will Come: How Cleveland Lured Young Professionals Downtown – The Atlantic Cities


Image via Atlantic Cities

“When the Maron family decided to redevelop an entire city block in downtown Cleveland, the area was so blighted no restaurateur would lease space there. A decade later, the East Fourth neighborhood is home to Food Network personalities, a House of Blues, and free Saturday yoga classes. Café-style seating spills into the pedestrian-only street. Apartments on the block are fully leased, and a 100-unit building under construction across the street has already reached full capacity.” Click through to learn more!

Dredging South Carolina’s River’s for Long Forgotten Lumber – NPR

In South Carolina, logging crews are cruising rivers in the hopes of finding old growth wood preserved in the mire deep below. Using old railroad maps as guides to find the sites of former saw mills and sonar technology they are able to harvest logs long buried in the muck. These old growth trees with tight growth rings and distinctive patterns are highly prized by carpenters, because they are rare. Long ago, most of South Carolina’s (and the US’s) old growth forests were logged.  A single log dredged from the river can fetch more than $800 on the market!

Eco-goats to Take Over Congressional Cemetery – Washington Post

A herd of more than 100 goats will be grazing at Congressional Cemetery — where luminaries including J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa repose — as part of a demonstration project to show off the animals’ ecologically friendly landscaping skills – “eliminating vines, poison ivy, ground cover and even fallen debris all the while fertilizing the ground,” promise the organizers of the event, the nonprofit Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery and Annapolis-based Eco-Goats. I would also think that using goats is more preservation friendly – using large equipment to mow the lawn, clear debris, etc always has the potential to damage monuments!  What a great idea!


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