Tagged: New York

Preservation Is…

Rehabilitating historic properties conserves taxpayers’ dollars, conserves our local heritage, and conserves the natural environment. Rehabilitating historic buildings and using the infrastructure that is already in place to serve them is the height of fiscal and environmental responsibility.
– Donovan Rypkema , Place Economics

Preservation Is…

How will we know it’s us without our past?

-John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath


Demolition of a historic building in Albany, NY. Image via timesunion.com

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.

The Inspiring Story of Hamburg, NY – Better! Cities & Towns


Image via Better! Cities & Towns

An upstate New York village defied the Department of Transportation and created a human-scale Main Street that restored community to a downtrodden downtown. the New York DOT proposed 12-foot travel lanes — the same width as Interstate highways — and other design details that are standard for urban arterials all across the US. The village rejected the state’s proposal and suggested an alternative. “Hamburg’s Main Street was redesigned to slow vehicles, a technique known as traffic calming. Two lanes, instead of the three that had been planned, were built, and the lanes’ width was shrunk from 12 feet — highway-size ribbons that invite drivers to go fast — to 10 feet. That created more room for trees; on-street parking, which is good for businesses; and “safety lanes,” which provide room for drivers to open car doors safely and also serve as de facto bicycle lanes.” Since the redesign, car accidents on the road of dropped by 66% and “business owners, inspired by the new road, spent a total of $7 million on 33 building projects.

Hawaii Before Statehood – Life

hawaii laundry

Washing hung out to dry, Hawaii, 1959. Image via LIFE

Fifty-four years ago this week, Hawaii was admitted into the Union. LIFE.com presents a slide show of beautiful color photographs from 1959, the year Hawaii officially became America’s 50th state. In a March 1959 article, “Hawaii — Beauty, Wealth, Amiable People,” for which these pictures were made, LIFE painted a largely rosy picture of the place.

The Stahl House photographed by Julius Shulman. Image via Modern Capital DC

The Stahl House photographed by Julius Shulman. Image via Modern Capital DC

“The Case Study Houses have finally made the National Register of Historic Places (well, 11 of them have). The modest, modern, houses–built through an Arts & Architecture magazine program launched in 1945–helped establish Los Angeles as the American center of mid-century modern architecture (participants included Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Pierre Koenig) and of mid-century futurist living (they were meant to be easily replicable, made with “new materials and new techniques in house construction,” and were of course car-centric and single-family). The newly-landmarked include Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House (aka CSH #22), which might just be the most famous house in Los Angeles, thanks to a photograph by Julius Shulman, along with the Entenza House in Pacific Palisades and Koenig’s CSH #21 in the Hills.”

‘The Las Vegas Tapes’: Remarkable footage of Sin City from 1976 – Dangerous Minds


Las Vegas post card via Danger Minds

“In 1976 Scott Jacobs and Valjean McLenighan decided to do a video documentary of life in Las Vegas, and the resultant 29-minute movie was made with the title The Las Vegas Tapes. To accomplish their goal they chose the simplest strategy imaginable—they simply went around with a video camera and asked people questions….There are no great revelations herein, merely a pungent documentation of Fremont Street before it became the “other” strip in Las Vegas, which today is dominated by Caesar’s Palace and the Luxor and that huge neon Paris balloon.”

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.

How One Family Built America’s Public Palaces – NPR


“The elaborately tiled City Hall subway station in New York City — still extant but now closed to the public, alas — used the Guastavino touch to convince wary city dwellers to head underground for a train trip.” Image via NPR

The National Building Museum’s exhibition, Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces, is an impressive display of photographs, diagrams, drawings and scale models show the beauty and breadth of the work of the Guastavino family — some one-thousand vaults and domes and ceilings in 40 states. The Guastavinos, a father and son duo, used old world techniques learned in Barcelona to construct some of the most impressive vaulted ceilings in the US including state capitols, Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall.

Banished! Historic “Don’t Tread on Me Flag” – CBS

There is a fight brewing in New Rochelle, New York over the Gadsen flag. The flag, which was once a symbol of the Revolutionary War has more recently been co-opted by the Tea Party Movement. As such, officials worried flying the flag over a governmental building might be confused as political and ordered it to be taken down. What do you think?  Was the city right to order its removal on the basis of its current association, or is it historical association more important?

Why Developers Should Heed the Lessons of Union Station – The Toronto Star


“A view from inside Union Station in August 1927, the year the country’s largest travel hub first opened. ” Image via Toronto Star

“The issue now isn’t modernism’s desire to erect the future, but its need to erase the past.  Still, heritage continues to fall victim to developers’ thoughtlessness and greed as well as official apathy. Given the growing number of neighborhoods and communities for which heritage has been an economic boon, this is ironic.  The one sure thing, however, is that heritage, a finite resource, will only increase in value — economic, emotional, architectural, social and civic”

El Ateno Grand Splendid, Palatial Theater Now a Beautiful Book Store – Slate


Image via Slate

“With each incarnation since its inception in 1919—first as a performing arts theater, then as a cinema, and now as a bookstore—the Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has proven itself befitting of its majestic title. Having retained its original frescoed ceilings, ornate theater boxes, elegant rounded balconies, detailed trimmings, and plush red stage curtains, the interior of the building remains as stunning today as when it was first envisioned by architects Peró and Torres Armengol.”


This Week

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

A Love Letter to Buffalo

Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 1910. Image via Rootsweb

One woman’s story about loving and leaving Buffalo, New York, a city that has struggled to remain a float in these economically troubled times.

Witch Door?

Did you know that a door with a capital ‘X’ on its lower panel is called a “witch door” and that the “X” was thought to ward off evil spirits? Me either! Jump over to MissPres’ word of the week to learn more about the Witch Door.

Star Wars and Dominoes

R2D2. Image via NerdAlert

This week, Star Wars action figures and dominoes were added to the National Toy Hall of Fame. “What we play with,” said Gomez, “provides context to the society in which we grew up.”

Dead Man’s Clothes

Image via KHS

Construction near the campus of Eastern Kentucky University recently uncovered a 19th century sarcophagus.  The Kentucky Historical Society was about to date the remains to around 1845 by examining the clothing  recovered from the sarcophagus. The remains were re-interred at a local ceremony. The clothes remain in the archives of the KHS.  Students from nearby Madison Southern High School delved into EKU’s archive, and  believe the remains may be those of  Samuel Stone, whose father owned the property.

Kosovo Proposes Special Police Unit to Protect Serbian Religious and Cultural Sites

Last week, Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of the partially recognized Republic of Kosovo, proposed a plan to form a special Kosovo Police unit, comprised of mainly Serbs, tasked with guarding Serbian religious and cultural heritage sites in Kosovo. Both governments, along with EU representatives who facilitated discussions, agreed that the protection of Serbia’s cultural and religious sites — currently considered at risk due to war and conflict — is one of the most important issues in the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue.