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.
Beginning in the early 1800s, air pollution produced by Pittsburgh’s coal-burning industries was a marked problem for the city’s residents. It wasn’t until after World War II, however, that anything significant was done about it. By that time, Pittsburgh was buried in a low-level cloud of smoke that blackened its skies, frequently forcing the use of street lanterns even in midday. In 1946, a grassroots lobbying effort prompted the enforcement of the city’s first effective anti-pollution legislation, limiting the output of the locomotive and steel industries, in addition to the pollution caused by residents. As a result of that legislation and a countywide ordinance that came shortly after, Pittsburgh today bears little resemblance to these photos. There’s always more work to be done to improve air quality. But these photos, republished with permission from the University of Pittsburgh Library, stand as an example of the change that can come about when a city reclaims its right to clean air.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, Robert Moses was unleashed upon the world, born in New Haven, Connecticut, on Dwight Street. He remains today one of the most powerful civic figures in American history, and obviously one of the most controversial. Because of Moses, we have the modern New York City. Many of its strengths and its difficulties can be traced, in some way, to decisions he made, from roads and housing to parks and waterways. Can you really “celebrate” Robert Moses? Of course you can. Here’s ten particular ways you can ruminate upon the changes he inflicted upon the city, from the mighty highways to the large, concrete-heavy parks.
Spite Houses Ranked by Spite-ness – Hairpin
A spite house is a house built for the express purpose of pissing someone else off. Personal comfort, adequate living space, and compliance with local zoning laws all come second to this all-important goal. Spite houses come in all shapes and sizes, but the best are absurdly small and very angry indeed. Here are a few of my favorites, ranked from least- to most-spiteful.
Celebrating 100 Years of Christmas Lights – Outside the Lines
Can you imagine celebrating the holiday season without Christmas lights? In North America, it is expected that festive strings will illuminate trees, homes, and city centers throughout the month of December. But the Christmas lights we have today have been a long time coming. Its evolution began in 18th century Germany and continues to progress each year.
Instagram Tour: A Wintery Mix of Pic of Historical Places From Around the Country – Preservation Nation
The best snowy shots from historic places from the @savingplaces Instagram feed.