Tagged: Chicago

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 A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the news.

Prentice Hospital Could Become Modern Architecture’s “Penn Station Moment” – Next City


Prentice Hospital, designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, opened in Chicago in 1975. Image via Next City

The campaign to save Chicago’s mid-century Prentice Hospital, set to be demolished this week, brought preservation into the forefront of the national urban design discussion in way not seen for a long time.  Though the Prentice campaign ultimately failed, it may not be for naught.  In the 1960s, the demolition of New York City’s Penn Station ignited the preservation movement. It was the catalyst for new laws and it raised awareness for the importance of our built heritage. The author of this Next City article hopes that,  “The fall of Prentice offers a similar fulcrum in the wide public appreciation of modernist architecture, and in the renewal of a movement that must show its relevance to the challenges cities face in the 21st century.”

The 4,500 Year Old City of Mohenjo Daro Is Crumbling And No One Is Stopping It – Smithsonian Magazine


Image via Smithsonian Magazine

“Mohenjo Daro likely was, at its time, the greatest city in the world. Roughly 4,500 years ago, as many as 35,000 people lived and worked in the massive city, which occupies 250 acres along Pakistan’s Indus river.  Mohenjo Daro sat beneath the soil for thousands of years, a preserved relic of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. But excavation exposed the city to the elements, and now, says the Telegraph, the ruins may have as little as 20 years left.”

The Architecture of Sunlight – Preservation Journey


The Icelandic Opera House. Image via Preservation Journey

“By late summer, you may have found an understanding for the sun, or you may be longing for winter’s clouds to return. August, with its grass brown from heat and sun, leads much of the world to rediscover their porches, the cooler spaces in their homes, and the welcome cross-breeze that can be created by opened windows. An ever-present force that guides lives by its presence or lack there of, the sun has played a role in architecture for thousands of years. Perhaps the first thing you think of is a place like Stonehenge: a monument rumored to capture certain angles of the sun. But the sun goes much further than this. The sun has been a construction aid in places like the southwest United States, it has necessitated front porches and breeze ways in places like the South, and in countries like Norway its varying presence has influenced design to maximize light.”

Ten Tips on How to Support the Adaptive Reuse of Historic Buildings – Preservation Nation


This former toy warehouse in downtown LA was converted into loft apartments. Image via Preservation Nation

This tool kit from the National Trust’s blog includes ten tips for promoting reuse in your own community and lots of examples of successful reuse projects.  The tips range from using social media to supporting businesses that use adapted buildings.  Check out all the tips  and see five great projects by clicking through !


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.

10 Forgotten Lessons of Mid-Century Design– Build


Image via Build

I don’t know that these principles are necessarily forgotten or that they existed only in mid-century design, but they are definitely rare these days. You don’t see many mcmansions with small cozy bedrooms, naturally scaled proportions, or interiors that really invite the outside in.

Breaking Bad’s Reality – Four Dirty Paws


Aaron Paul (as Jesse Pinkman) in a photo mash-up outside the Dog House in Albuquerque. Image via Four Dirty Paws

The hit AMC series Breaking Bad builds a highly textured and believable reality by using real sites in and around Albuquerque, NM.  The blogger at Four Dirty Paws tracked down some of the places featured in the series, including the unique mid-century car wash owned by Walt and Skylar and the quirky Dog House Drive Thru. If you are a fan, check it out!

Reversal of Fortune – 99% Invisible

“I fell in love with architecture on the Chicago River. It provides a beautiful vantage point to take in all the marvelous skyscrapers. Unlike other cities that cram you on the sidewalk between looming towers.  The Chicago River pushes buildings apart, giving you the opportunity to really take in the city’s glory in glass, steel, and concrete. But Chicago’s biggest design achievement isn’t a building at all—it’s the Chicago River itself.” The REVERSED it’s flow!

Rare Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed at University of Iowa – Colossal


Image via Colossal

“A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.”

GHF 2.0 – Time Tells

time tells

“Wanna lose a million dollars a year? Take a general store and turn it into a house museum.” Image via Time Tells

“Now of course I screamed and shouted to save buildings, but for over thirty years I have understood preservation/conservation to be an economic strategy. I recognize the distinction between the museum and the everyday to be an artificial distinction. You can raise money to preserve a museum piece, to be sure, but you need to keep raising that money – forever. I soon realized that the majority of preservation happens not by removing objects from our everyday and our economy, but by placing them at the center of our everyday economy. By exploiting their use value”

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.

Drapery Through the Ages – NYT

Capricious Fancy

Image via NYT

““If it had not been for the Parisian designer, we in the West would be hanging rags in our windows,” said the design historian Gail Caskey Winkler, author of “Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining the Historic Interior, 1800-1930.” French design ideas fired up the English and spread from there, leading to tented beds, swagged windows and portieres.”

Downton Abbey Gardens – Apartment Therapy


Downton Abbey Garden. Image via Apartment Therapy

“Garden Design has done a typically excellent piece on the gardens of Downton Abbey, or rather, the gardens of Highclere Castle, where the show is set. My favorite inside scoop is that the show was actually written with this particular castle in mind — how immensely satisfying it must be that it’s actually shot there! That must be one of the many reasons the show fits together so perfectly.”

Soul Survivor – Lee Bey

Test Kitchen

Remarkably intact Ebony test kitchen. Image via Lee Bey

The Ebony/Jet Building in Chicago was built in the 1970s to house groundbreaking Ebony Magazine. The interior was “designed with an exuberant, high-style and fearless mix of a color, texture, art, contemporary furnishings and pattern. Created by interior designers William Raiser/Arthur Elrod, the offices embodied an afrocentric modernism that was well-turned, avant garde and quite hip…”  That interior was meticulously maintained by the Johnson Publishing Company and remains mostly intact. The building was recently purchased by Columbia College, and while they plan to be sympathetic to the interior design there is no word yet on how much of the vintage interiors they will save.  Jump over to Lee Bey’s article for more photos of this groovy time capsule.  Make sure you click the link to the spread Ebony published when the building was opened for dozens more awesome photographs!

Quelle Horreur! A Starbucks in Monmartre? – NBC News


Tourists enjoy the good weather in Place du Tertre in the former village of Montmartre near the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, in May 2009. Image via NBC

“A Starbucks is coming to the Place du Tertre in the bohemian Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, where Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway once roamed the hilly streets.” How are the French reacting? Jump through to the article to find out. You may be surprised.

Olive Oil May Save York Minster Cathedral – gizmag


Image via Live Science

“York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and one of the great monuments of medieval architecture. Built in the city of York, U.K. between 1220 and 1472, it has suffered looting, vandalism, arson and a devastating fire after a lightning strike in 1984. Despite decades of restoration costing millions of pounds, the Minster still faces an implacable enemy, the air itself. In hopes of protecting the Minster from rotting away due to air pollution, Dr. Karen Wilson and Prof. Adam Lee of the Cardiff School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, along with researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that the key to saving the church may lie in olive oil.”

Preservation ABCs: L is for Landscape – Preservation in Pink

Windham County, Vermont, agricultural landscape, October 2009

Windham County, Vermont, agricultural landscape, October 2009. Image via PIP

“The word “landscape” likely triggers images of rolling hills, the coast, mountains or flat farmland. When discussing historic preservation and landscape, those images still hold true, except landscape is more aptly called “cultural landscape” by the National Park Service. Basically, cultural landscapes represent how humans have modified the environment and interacted with the land.”