Tagged: Arkansas

These Weeks

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.

I missed last week, so here is two weeks worth of HP stories!

London’s Cheeky Skyscrapers – NPR

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The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 feet, was inaugurated in London in 2012. It got its formal name when the builders adopted the term used by critics, who called it a “shard of glass” in the city’s skyline. Image via NPR

What most struck NPR’s Ari Shapiro on a recent tour of London, was “the sheer number of cheeky, irreverent names that Londoners” give the 21st-century skyscrapers that which pierce their historic city.

National Register Rap – Mary Washington Historic Preservation Students

If you’ve ever struggled to understand the National Register of Historic Places or explain it to a friend, try the National Register Rap on for size. Created by Historic Preservation program students at the University of Mary Washing, the NR rap takes us through the entire “bag of tricks” and even some of its limitations. (As much as I love this fresh take on a quintessential part of historic preservation, I do have to admit it makes me a little uncomfortable. Cultural appropriation has been a huge top of discussion recently, and I have to admit that I sometimes don’t know where the line between appropriation and admiration -as in imitation is sincerest form of flattery- is drawn exactly. Am I alone in this?)

Virginia Savage McAlester – Leading the Ultimate House Tour – New York Times

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Fit for a Queen of Historic Preservation: Neither leukemia nor a daunting number of new constructions kept the author of “A Field Guide to American Houses” from extending her life’s work. Image via NYT

Virginia Savage McAlester co-authored THE book on American domestic architecture, A Field Guide to American Houses.  On the long awaited publication of Ms. McAlester’s  revision (which catches us up from 1940, where A Field Guide left off, to today), the New York Times gives us a sneak peak into her ancestral Dallas home and into the life of the woman who literally defined the American house.

Field Guide Update Introduces Several New Home Categories – The Columbus Dispatch

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The new Field Guide to American Houses calls McMansions “millennium mansions.” Image via Dispatch

Because I’m so excited about the publication of the 2nd edition of A Field Guide to American Houses, here is an article the focuses on the content of the book rather than the author.  The new edition, written by McAlester alone, “clocks in at 880 pages — 350 pages longer than the first.  The edition not only brings American styles into the 21st century but also expands earlier sections.  The heart of the updated book, though, lies in the new categories. Some, such as ‘ranch’ and ‘split-level,’ might seem obvious, while others required new terms. McAlester came up with the phrase ‘millennium mansion,’ for example, to describe the two-story, multigabled suburban homes that many think of as McMansions.”

Timeline of the Destruction of 100 Year Old Franklin County, NC Records – Heritage Society of Franklin County, North Carolina

In Franklin County, North Carolina century old documents were discovered in the basement of the county courthouse. Anyone who has ever done any sort of historical research knows that these types of records (marriages, deeds, court dockets, ledgers, etc) are invaluable. Arrangements were made for their preservation, and almost immediately work was underway. Soon, inexplicable road blocks surfaced halting the preservation work. And eventually, the documents were incinerated despite protests from the Heritage Society and the community… Click through to learn more about this intense and disturbing story.

Melting Glaciers in Norther Italy Reveal Corpses of WWI Soldiers – The Telegraph

white war

Image via The Telegraph

The bodies, when they came, were often mummified. The two soldiers interred last September were blond, blue-eyed Austrians aged 17 and 18 years old, who died on the Presena glacier and were buried by their comrades, top-to-toe, in a crevasse. Both had bulletholes in their skulls. One still had a spoon tucked into his puttees — common practice among soldiers who travelled from trench to trench and ate out of communal pots. When Franco Nicolis of the Archaeological Heritage Office in the provincial capital, Trento, saw them, he says, his first thought was for their mothers. ‘They feel contemporary. They come out of the ice just as they went in,’ he says. In all likelihood the soldiers’ mothers never discovered their sons’ fate.

Couple Celebrates 66th Anniversary with a $15 Room at the Waldorf Astoria – HuffPo

A Staten Island couple’s love story just got even sweeter, thanks to a saved receipt.  On Sunday night, Tony and Jo Fioravante celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, the same place they spent their wedding night, ABC News reported.  The octogenarian couple even paid the same hotel rate that they did in 1948 — $15.75.  They were able to snag the deal due to a tradition the hotel has of honoring the original rate paid by couples who spent their wedding night there and are now celebrating an anniversary of 50 years or more, according to Conde Nast Traveler.

A Black Church’s Dilemma: Preserve A Building, Or Our Identity? -NPR

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Centennial Baptist Church. Image via NPR

Heritage tourism is a growing industry but in smaller towns like Helena, Ark., finding the resources to save lesser-known landmarks is a challenge. Inside Centennial Baptist, pigeons roost along the hardwood floors and pews where parishioners once worshiped.This isn’t just an endangered, beautiful building from the turn of the last century. Centennial Baptist Church is a National Historic Landmark. However, restoration plans have stalled because  of a clash of personalities, and age-old racial mistrust…

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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.

Retro Slim Aarons Pool Side Photos – Apartment Therapy

Lounging In Bermuda

Lounging in Bermuda. Image via photographersgallery.com

Get your weekend off to a dreamy early start by clicking through this photo gallery of  mid-century poolside snaps by photographer Slim Aarons.

Thorncrown Chapel in Arkansas – Colossal

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Image via Colossal

The Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is considered one of the crowning examples of organic architecture in the US.  Built in 1980, it was designed to be “a weightless, almost translucent structure that offers sweeping views in all directions of the surrounding Ozark habitat. In keeping with the organic design of the chapel [architect E. Fay Jones] asked that no construction element be larger than what two people could carry through the woods by hand.” Because of it’s significance in design, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 when it was only 20 years old! Now it is being threatened by a power company that has has applied to build a 48-mile high voltage transmission line through Northwest Arkansas that will cut through the woods right next to the chapel. For those interested, the Arkansas Public Service Commission is accepting comments from the public regarding the proposed power line construction. You can also read much more over on Hyperallergic.

Houses in Disrepair Have A Place in History – The Columbus Dispatch

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The Gamble House, and historic landmark in Cincinnati, was demolished earlier this year. Image via WCPO

In Ohio (and around the country),  millions of tax payer dollars are being used to demolish historic buildings in an effort to rub out blight. What this 1960s solution (that history proved with empty lots 50 years later isn’t actually a solution) neglects is that these buildings didn’t get this way on their own.  Property owners and cities allowed them to fall into disrepair. As the author notes, “A 100-year-old house in Europe is a baby. Some houses in Britain, France and Germany are three or four times older than those in our country. The point is that the houses are in bad shape not because they’re old but because they were allowed to fall apart.” And while not all houses/buildings are historically significant because someone famous slept there, they make up the historic character of neighborhoods and cities. “Without them, the character changes. And, if history repeats itself, the new character will be defined by a gaptoothed landscape of weed-filled lots.”

Epic St. Petersburg Palace – Curbed

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The Gothic Hall. Image via Curbed

A rare historic palace on St. Petersburg’s famous English Embankment has come up for sale and is sure to attract interest from some of Russia’s newly minted billionaires. The only trouble? The price is so high, it is only available upon request. Recently used as bank offices, the 18th-century palace was built for “Duke Trubetskoy, one of Peter the Great’s favourite companions” and was passed down through the noble generations until the property was nationalized in 1917. Now restored with input from conservators at the Hermitage and State Museum, the commodious house has been returned to its original use as a single-family mansion for Russia’s ruling class. The 39,000-square-foot structure features 22,000-square-feet of preserved historic interiors, including an ‘Armoury Gallery, the Hunting Room, the White Hall, the Knights Hall’ and the especially ornate ‘Gothic Hall.'”

1 Main Street, Apt. 16, DUMBO, Brooklyn – The Corcoran Group

I’ll just let this video speak for itself!

 

Happy weekend, ya’ll!