Tagged: Paris

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.

Scaffolding is All Over, Here’s Why The Monuments Still Look Majestic – Smithsonian Magazine

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Scaffolding designed by Michael Graves & Associates circa 2000. Interested in the specifications for the dramatic structure currently enshrouding the Monument? Check this excellent graphic from the Washington Post. Image via Smithsonian Magazine

There’s been so much scaffolding recently in Washington D.C. that it looks like the capital is recovering from an incredibly ruthless alien invasion, a knock-down drag-out superhero brawl, or some other action film-level disaster. In a city as widely visited as Washington D.C., a city where it seems that even structures of the smallest import are national landmarks, it’s not exactly desirable to have the monuments, memorials and buildings concealed behind wood and metal cages.  As a result, D.C. architects have gotten creative.  They are using enormous scrims printed with the image of the building/monument (a practice long used in Europe). And they are using beautifully designed illuminated scaffolding, like that on the Washington Monument.

Fort Lyon Treatment Facility in Colorado– Here and Now

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Fort Lyon was once on Preservation Colorado’s most endangered list. Image via Preservation Colorado

Fort Lyon, a former Army fort and sanitarium that opened after the Civil War feels like an Ivy League college campus – some people call it the Princeton of the Plains. It was a minimum security prison until two years ago when the state shut it down because of the budget shortfall.  Now it has a new life as an experimental drug treatment facility. When the prison closed, it was a huge blow to the region’s economy. State leaders eventually directed more than $10 million to reopen the facility for its new use. Preservation can happen in the most unexpected of ways.

The Awesomely Insane Heaven and Hell Nightclubs of 1890s Paris –  io9

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Le Ciel et l’Enfer was only one of your options if you wanted a morbid night club experience in 1890s Paris. Image via i09

Turn of the century Paris was choc-a-block with macabre night clubs where one could ponder mortality and be heckled by Satan while sipping on cocktails named after pestilence and disease.  Not my cup of tea, I’d probably rather have my libations free of plague and Satan, but these photos are pretty amazing!

Why Do Old Places Matter? – National Trust of Historic Preservation

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The stone walls and moat of Fort Monroe. Image via NTHP

“This series of essays will explore  the reasons that old places are good for people. It begins with what I consider the main reason—that old places are important for people to define who they are through memory, continuity, and identity—that “sense of orientation” referred to in With Heritage So Rich.These fundamental reasons inform all of the other reasons that follow: commemoration, beauty, civic identity, and the reasons that are more pragmatic—preservation as a tool for community revitalization, the stabilization of property values, economic development, and sustainability.”

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“Ici repose un soldat francais mort pour la patrie 1914-1918” reads the tomb of France’s unknown soldier beneath the vault of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The tomb is crowned by an eternal flame and is always wreathed with flowers and other offerings.  The Arc de Triomphe is itself a war memorial. It honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The names of French victories and generals are inscribed on its inner and outer surface. Famous victory marches around or under the arc include the Germans in 1871, the French in 1919, the Germans in 1940, and the French and Allies in 1944 and 1945. (After the internment of the Unknown Soldier, military parades have avoided marching through the actual arch. The route taken is up to the arch and around its side out of respect for the tomb. Both Hilter and de Gaulle observed this custom during WWII).

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Armistice Day marks the ceasefire agreement that ended World War I. It took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning on November 11, 1918.

The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations to commemorate fallen soldiers.  After World War II, many countries (including the United States) changed the name of the holiday to honor veterans of all wars.

To all the veterans and current service members and their families – thank you for your service and your sacrifice!

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.

Jobs House Added As ‘Historic Resource’ – San Jose Mercury News

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Steve Jobs’ childhood home. Image via San Jose Mercury News

The humble home where Silicon Valley tech titan Steve Jobs built some of his first computers and co-founded Apple was added to a list of historic Los Altos properties Monday night.  The designation will add another layer of review if renovations to the home are ever sought. The commission would be able to make a recommendation to the city council about any proposed changes.

Diversity in Preservation: Rethinking Standards and Practices – Time Tells

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Image via Time Tells

A recap of one of my favorite sessions from last week’s National Trust Conference in Indianapolis by the inestimable Vince Michael, who moderated the discussion.  The question posed:  how do we get more minorities and inner-city dwellers involved in preservation? The answer: “Wrong Question. They are involved. … The question was more appropriately, how do we integrate our efforts with theirs? This is the same question National Trust President Stephanie Meeks (president and CEO of the National Trust) has been asking – how do we reach local preservationists?” To answer the question, “the  Diversity Task Force has been talking with the National Park Service about Standards and Practices and how they might be amended or altered to create and recognize more diverse historic sites.” Read more for some of the panel’s conclusions!

The Traffic Cutting Gamble Charms Pedestrians – Irks Drivers – NPR

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Les Berges, or the banks, is set up for pedestrians. The area was once filled with cars speeding by, but now it’s a place to take a stroll, ride a bike or just sit and hang out. It was designed to be totally reversible. Image via NPR

In a daring gamble, the mayor of Paris recently shut off a major vehicle thoroughfare through the city, the highway along the Seine River.  The move is part of his plan to reduce traffic in the city. The new space delighted Parisians and tourists this summer, but many wonder if it’ll be such a hot idea during the cold winter months.  Xavier Janc, the head of the Berges project at Paris City Hall, says it’s designed to give Parisians what they want: nature, culture and sport. “But most of all we wanted to get rid of this urban highway that marred the historic heart of the city,” Janc says. “We wanted to give the river back to people who love Paris.”

A Discovery Becomes a Dilemma – Rembrandt’s Room

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Holes drilled into van der Hart’s 1815-17 plaster ceilings reveal 17th century bird paintings (© MD) Image via Rembrandt’s Room

“In an earlier post I reported on the recent discovery of 17th century ceiling paintings in the Trippenhuis, the home of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. They were hidden behind an early 19th century plaster ceiling and the dilemma arose whether the plaster ceiling should be preserved or whether the 17th century paintings should be uncovered. In order to do the latter, the entire plaster ceiling would have to be removed. A seeming dilemma – but is it? Time to take a closer look. Last week I was able to visit the house which is not normally open to the public and to take photos.”

The Brooklyn Bridge Painstakingly Redesigned in Letterpress – The Atlantic Cities

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This image of the Brooklyn Bridge is composed entirely out of letters. Image via The Atlantic Cities

Sarasota, Florida-based designer Cameron Moll spent three years researching and designing an intricate illustration of the Brooklyn Bridge composed entirely of type.  In creating the drawing, Moll tried to capture some of the history behind the bridge. He chose fonts that honor the Germanic heritage of the the bridge’s architect, John Roebling. And he incorporated the names of Roebling, his son, and the last names of the men who died during the bridge’s construction into the design.

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.

Paris Then and Now – Voyage Voyage

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Porte Saint-Denis, 1914. Image via Apartment Therapy

Who doesn’t love side by side comparisons of historical photos and present day places?  The descriptions here are in French, but it doesn’t matter. The slide show is delightful. It is amazing how much has stayed the same and how much has changed over the last 100 years in the City of Light.

 

In the Box – Three Months by Car

Among the post cards sent home by Dotty during her 3 month long, cross country road trip in 1929, was a newspaper clipping about a wild fire in Los Angeles that destroyed 500 acres. At the top of the clipping she wrote, “We saw this fire.”  Not only is  the clipping an interesting bit of ephemera, an interesting bit of history, and an interesting anecdote from their trip, it also exposes a difference in the way we communicate today as opposed to 1929.  Today, it would have been necessary for Dotty send home a newspaper clipping to let her family know about a major event, her family would probably already know about the fire (and likely would have been calling/texting her to make sure she and her friends were ok!) from any number of national news outlets and social media: tv, radio, internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 

17th Century Prison in UK Closes – BBC

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“‘I never used to feel scared by any ghosts,’ says former Shepton Mallet prison officer Francis Disney” Image via The Telegraph (click through to read the article)

Shepton Mallet Prison has run the gamete of  prison history in England. Prison historian, Francis Disney said of the prison’s early days,  “There were times that were very terrible in the early days. The prisoners had no segregation, they were all mixed in together, men, women and children from nine years of age upwards and that carried on for many years until the prison reform act came in.” During World War II, the prison’s imposing 75-ft high stone walls housed the Magna Carta, the Domesday Book and the Logs of Nelson’s Flagship HMS Victory for protection. When it closed this week due to budget cuts, it was one of the country’s top rehabilitative institutions. It is unclear what will happen to the facility in the future.

 

Versailles Gets Spiffed-Up On Its Day Off – NPR

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“Restorer Nicoletta Rinaldi works on the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles Palace, west of Paris, in 2007.” Image via NPR

Fascinating story! Every Monday, conservators spend time cleaning, repairing, and maintaining the grandiose 17th century chateau and its collections. “There’s always an equilibrium to be struck between preserving the history of the palace and operating in the 21st century, a constant pull between conservation and creation,” Catherine Pegard, president of Versailles, says. “But the better the conservation is, the more creative we can be.” The team at Versailles also spends a good deal of time tracking down lost artifacts. During the Revolution, the house was emptied – pieces can be found all over the world! Versailles’ curators eagerly scour estate sales and auctions looking for items from the palace  – they found Marie Antoinette’s brocade bedspread in New York in the 1960s!