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.
Jobs House Added As ‘Historic Resource’ – 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.
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!
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
“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
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.
D 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.
Today’s This Week feature would be incomplete without mentioning Pearl Harbor, which was bombed 73 years ago today. This article is only tangentially related to preservation, but it is a fun read. It provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of WWII pilots and into the military in war time. As I was checking out the photos of these amazing jackets, I couldn’t help but think, “The military let them do that to standard issue clothing!?” They did, and the young men who wore them used the jackets to individualize themselves and to bond as units. These days they are highly valued collectors items.
When the accusation of “Disney-ifying” is thrown out, there are no positive connotations. It means something is false, made up, scrubbed clean. It’s fake and it is phoney. Leave it to Vince Michael to turn the term on its head after his first visit to Disneyland (which is historic itself, he is quick to point out). He casts aside the “morality” of all this fakery and instead praises “imagineers” for their skillful manipulation of nostalgia and architecture and memory. It’s a good read. I promise.
This article was brought to my attention by Preservation and Place it discusses the struggle to build additions/infill in historic districts. Is it better for new construction to look new or to blend in with it’s historic surroundings?
“I think the historic preservation movement is today in the most trouble since the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966. And it’s not just that the tax credits are now on the table for elimination, although that’s where I’ll start this morning, but a whole range of assaults on preservation.” Read this speech, given by Rypkema at the 2012 National Preservation Conference. As always, Rypkema provides insightful analysis and a provocative argument.
“A new, North Carolina-based tour company is offering a novel way to see Route 66 — by renting a classic car for the 2,400-mile trip. Blacktop Candy’s is offering an upgraded 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, or 1967 Camaro Super Sport for 18-day tours (both eastbound and westbound) from April through September in 2013. The vehicles come with Garmin navigation devices to guide travelers down the Mother Road.” How much fun would this be?! I think I’m going to spend the weekend day dreaming about spending summer vacation on THE road.
“Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550). With the advice of an international Scientific Advisory Committee, the leaders of the project decided that A.D. 320 was the best moment in time to begin the work of modeling. At that time, Rome had reached the peak of its population, and major Christian churches were just beginning to be built. After this date, few new civic buildings were built. Much of what survives of the ancient city dates to this period, making reconstruction less speculative than it must, perforce, be for earlier phases. But having started with A.D. 320, the Rome Reborn team intends to move both backwards and forwards in time until the entire span of time foreseen by our mission has been covered.” How do you think 3-D modeling can help us understand the past? How do you think it can aid in historic preservation?
In Fife, Scotland rather than restore the sites of former surface mines, the city council has elected to approve the creation of a major land art project. Massive landforms will replace the surface mines. Visit Education Scotland for more info on the creation of these massive works of art. Coming from a state that relies heavily on the coal industry, the concept of turning the stripped earth into art is interesting to me. What do you think? Would it be better to follow a more traditional restoration or do you like the idea of public art taking the place of coal mines?
A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the news.
The Lloyd-Jones family relocated from Ohio to an historic neighborhood in Indianapolis in the 1970s. After purchasing a home on West Drive that needed a lot of love and attention, they learned that Kimball Lloyd-Jones’ grandmother had lived and married only a few blocks away from their new home! Check out Historic Indianapolis to see more images of their beautiful house and to learn how they made it more energy efficient.
Vince Michael on the trajectory of World Heritage Sites from monuments to natural landscapes and the pitfalls of fundraising. My summary is no match for the eloquence of his essay, so jump on over to Time Tells and check it out.
Dramatic interactive images of Sandy’s devastating effect on New Jersey’s shoreline. Click on the link and hover over each satellite photo to view the before and after comparison.
One of my favorite bloggers, Stefla, takes a look at the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the arts community and museums as New York, New Jersey, and other East Coast cities begin to recover from the storm. Many of the world’s leading museums are dangerously close to coastlines. What can we/have we learn from Sandy?
“One of the common challenges of historic preservation is how to get public buy-in to save buildings that are considered ‘difficult cases’. These are those large buildings that are thought to be too complicated to reuse, or ones that embody negative feelings from the community. One solution to overcoming these perceptions is to get people to interact with the building in new ways so they can fall in love with it. Do not wait until a traditional solution is found or restoration is complete; get people in the buildings as soon as possible to encourage the creation of new memories and attachments.”