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.
Then Historic Places Saved This Year – Huffington Post
“Every year, The National Trust for Historic Preservation highlights 10 places saved in the past year, as well 10 places that were unable to be saved from demolition or similar fates. Here are 10 historic places that you’ll still be able to visit in the years ahead thanks to preservationists.”
A Brooklyn Church Uncovers a Long-Hidden Celestial Scene – New York Times
“At Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, long-hidden stars have been uncovered in the ceiling of the building, a 165-year-old Episcopal church at Hicks Street and Grace Court, under a $5 million renovation that includes a new copper roof, new insulation, new lighting, new wiring and a much-needed cleaning of many of the 3,200 organ pipes. What had looked until a few months ago like a dull ceiling of plain wood planks turned out to be a dazzling celestial extravaganza of eight-pointed stars in gold, yellow and red — so lacy they might be taken for snowflakes — set in an expansive vault of royal blue.”
“Preservationists in search of good news this month can turn to Memphis, where the city council voted unanimously to shell out $15 million in local, state and federal funds for the Crosstown Redevelopment Project. The vacant Sears Crosstown building, constructed and expanded in phases between 1927 and 1965, will be transformed into a $175 million mixed-use project. Sears stopped retail operations there in 1983 and the building has been abandoned since the company closed its distribution center in 1993. Blight has marred the neighborhood, now one of the poorest in Memphis, ever since.”
X is for X-Ray – Preservation in Pink
“X-rays are not just for people in hospitals or luggage in airport security; x-ray technology provides non-destructive testing techniques to aid in building forensics as well as art and object conservation. Non-destructive testing allows for greater exploration without unnecessarily harming historic fabric. X-rays can detect voids in building materials as well as leaks, cracks, and other signs of deterioration. Part of this is to understand the structure and ensure the safety of the researchers/contractors.”
A Conversation with Bob Vila – Preservation Nation
Ever wonder how Bob Vila came to love old houses? About his work with Ernest Hemmingway’s house in Cuba, Finca Vigia? Or what people do to their old houses that makes him cringe? Click through for a lovely interview with America’s favorite handy man.
Six Stories – 99% Invisible
“Elevators are old. History is full of things that lift other things. In ancient Greece, and China, and Hungary, there were systems of weights and pulleys and platforms designed to bring nobility–or their meals–to new heights. And somewhere below were draft animals, or even people, tasked with turning wheels to bring these early elevators up and down. These elevators were dangerous. Ropes would snap, and then anything getting raised or lowered would plummet to the ground. Fall one story and you break your leg–fall two stories you break your neck. And this fear of falling kept building heights low. People only wanted to ascend as high as they could walk. The tallest buildings at the time were churches and lighthouses–buildings made up primarily of empty space.
And then came Elisha Otis…”