June, 8th marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday. To celebrate the National Trust for Historic Preservation has launched an interactive map charting many of Wright’s projects across the country. Along with the map a virtual tour of Wright’s Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, Virginia, was also launched. The National Trust worked with the geographic mapping company ESRI to compile the interactive resources. The map encompasses Wright’s lengthy career, from this work on the Jones Unity Chapel in 1886 through many of his unbuilt visions. Covering more than 60 projects, the map highlights the most famous of Wright’s estimated 400 built works. Each entry includes images and links to additional information. The virtual tour of the Pope-Leighey House gives a more intimate look into a single project from 1941. Designed in Wright’s low-slung Prairie Style, the interior of the home is open and visually connected to the rich surrounding forest. Through custom furniture and fixtures, Wright’s signature designs abound, from intricate patterning to extensive brick and woodwork. According to the tour, years after the house was complete the owners wrote to Wright saying, “we don’t think anyone ever built a house with more warnings in their ears than we did... but we were aware that a man isn’t shot at unless he towers too high above the herd.” Along with the map and tour, the National Trust has also posted a short quiz that matches your personality with one of Wright’s eccentric houses. I was matched with Falling Water, which somehow makes sense. The interactive map from the National Trust for Historic Preservation map can be found here.
Posts tagged with "National Trust for Historic Preservation":
As part of its ReUrbanism initiative, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has produced interactive maps which chart the age and character of cities across the United States. The Atlas of ReUrbanism is meant to be a new tool for urbanists and advocates, one that better utilizes massive amounts of data on the age of cities. Along with the interactive map, the report draws connections between the physical character of cities and social, economic, and environmental concerns. Used together, the report and maps help give a complex understanding of American cities. The maps highlight the median age of buildings and the size of buildings and parcels. Information is distilled into 200-by-200-meter squares and color coded. The atlas gives each grid square a Character Score, which is a function of its buildings' sizes and ages. This score can be compared to other measurable quantities, such as economic growth, to better understand the impact of older buildings within the city fabric. Other layers in the maps include National Historic Landmarks, City Landmarks, and National Historic Districts. The National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab has led the development of the maps. Information was gathered from the sources such as the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey. Currently, maps for 10 cities have been released, including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville, Houston, Los Angeles, and Portland. Forty other cities were included in the study and will be added to the collection of maps. The Preservation Green Lab is an initiative that works to find new uses for old buildings. The lab is based on the belief that the continued use of older buildings is a key to creating sustainable, equitable, and affordable cities. By conducting research and creating tools, the lab hopes to bring together different urban stakeholders to encourage economic development through the use of existing and underutilized spaces and buildings.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 29th annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The list highlights spaces across the country which the trust believes are at greatest risk of being lost. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded non-profit organization that works to save endangered places and structures across the United States. The trust works with local governments, communities, and urban planners and architects to identify and save the countries most endangered places. This year’s list adds 11 new places to a list, which since 1988, has included more than 270 sites. Dozens of these sites have been saved and many more are on a positive path to rescue. Though the program has been decidedly successful, the list has also had its losses. Prentice Women’s Hospital was one of the structures from the list that was lost in 2014. The 2016 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places includes: Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall at Lincoln University, Lincoln, Pennsylvania Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall is the oldest building on the Lincoln University campus. Lincoln University is was the first institution in the country to grant degrees to African Americans. Bears Ears, Southeastern Utah Bears Ears is a 1.9 million-acre landscape filled with archaeological sites, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and ancient roads reaching back 12,000 years. The site is now threatened by mismanaged recreational use and energy development. Charleston Naval Hospital District, North Charleston, South Carolina A historic district, the Charleston Naval Hospital District played an important role during World War II. Currently, a proposed rail line is threatening the site. Chihuahuita and El Segundo Barrio Neighborhoods, El Paso, Texas These neighborhoods in the heart of El Paso are filled with homes and small businesses that are threatened by demolition. Delta Queen, Houma, Louisiana A 1926 steamboat, the Delta Queen is among the last of its kind. Historic Downtown Flemington, Flemington, New Jersey A proposed development is threatening this historic downtown, which was the host of the “Trial of the Century,” the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial. James River, James County, Virginia The James River is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. Proposed transmission lines are threatening the scenic integrity of the area. Lions Municipal Golf Course, Austin, Texas Credited with being the first desegregated municipal golf course, this civil rights landmark is facing redevelopment. Mitchell Park Domes, Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Mitchell Park Domes are considered a marvel of midcentury engineering. Degrading concrete has lead the county and city officials to discuss demolition. San Francisco Embarcadero, San Francisco, California San Francisco’s iconic waterfront is in need of long-term planning to address the threats of rising sea levels and seismic instability. Sunshine Mile, Tucson, Arizona The Sunshine Mile is a two-mile stretch of some of the Southwest’s most significant mid-century modern architecture.
Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers District has been named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The early 20th-century commercial district is the first neighborhood in the National Trust’s new ReUrbanism initiative. Built primarily in the 1920s, Jefferson Avenue on Detroit's Lower Eastside was once a key commercial district for the city. In the past 40 years the Jefferson-Chalmers District, like much of Detroit, has struggled with economic instability due to loss of manufacturing jobs and population. The area currently has a significant number of vacant properties, many of which are in desperate need of maintenance. Jefferson-Chalmers is Michigan’s first National Treasure. The area is home to many of Detroit’s more historic 1920s structures, including the iconic Vanity Ballroom. This portion of the community, located along the along the Detroit River, also includes a series of canals. Recent years have seen an increased commitment from residents and business owners to revitalize the neighborhood. The Trust’s goal is to encourage urban areas to utilize their current built assets to realize affordable, sustainable, and livable cities. The ReUrbanism initiative follows a set of ten principles, which range from “Cities are only successful when they work for everyone” to “Preservation is adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse is preservation.” The "Heart of Louisville," Kentucky, has also been included as a National Treasure in the ReUrbanism initiative. Another program within the National trust is the Preservation Green Lab, a research guided initiative to reimagine uses for old urban buildings and blocks. Research conducted at the Preservation Green Lab led to a report and recommendation to list the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, while project managers in the neighbor outline a path forward. Using big data, mapping, spatial analysis, the initiative bridges the gap between preservationists, developers, and policy makers. The Preservation Green Lab takes the positions that reusing and retrofitting vacant and underused buildings is key to helping cities become more sustainable, economically and environmentally.
Frequent visitors to Washington’s Union Station may notice on their next trip that something is missing. For the first time in half a century, managers say, the Main Hall of Daniel Burnham’s Beaux Arts train station is free of all construction-related scaffolding and other obstructions and can be viewed as the architect intended. For once, in other words, there is no major repair work underway, no blocked-off construction zones to walk around to get to the train. Also missing are the Center Café and two indoor planters that were added in previous renovations and took up much of the space under the barrel-vaulted ceiling. “Today, Washington Union Station reveals a restored, historic Main Hall,” said leaders of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp. (USRC), steward of the building at 50 Massachusetts Avenue N. E., in a statement dated May 9. “Covered for the past four years in scaffolding as rehabilitation work was underway, the historic space is now unobstructed, as originally designed, for the first time in almost 50 years.” Scaffolding went up after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the region in 2011, damaging the train station and other historic structures. Besides replastering the coffered ceiling, contractors introduced a new “seismically sound” support structure for the ceiling and improved the heating and air conditioning systems in the attic. Before that was a series of modifications designed to make the station more of a destination for residents and travelers, including a National Visitor Center timed with the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976 and subsequent plans to make it a festival marketplace. Part of the just-completed restoration involved removal of a large café and round planters in the center of the Main Hall, a move that represented the culmination of several years of discussions between the Federal Railroad Administration and the State Historic Preservation Office. The Center Café closed on March 1, and removal of the restaurant enclosure and planters began soon afterwards, opening up the Main Hall. “We are very excited to reveal a fully-restored Main Hall for the public to enjoy that is also consistent with the original design envisioned by the world-famous station architect, Daniel Burnham,” said USRC President and CEO Beverley Swaim-Staley. “This is the first time in many of our lives where we can fully appreciate this space as it was historically designed.” The Main Hall opened in 1907 as the General Waiting Room for the station and was known for its impressive scale. It measures 219 feet by 120 feet, and its gold-coffered ceiling is 96 feet high. Lined with mahogany benches, the Main Hall functioned as a large open space until the 1940s, when World War II brought an increase in passenger traffic and ticket counters were expanded from the West Hall into the Main Hall to meet demand. In the 1970s, as train travel declined and air travel became more popular, managers considered new ideas to keep the station active. They designated the train station a National Visitor Center in honor of the nation’s Bicentennial. The Main Hall was reconfigured to contain an elaborate slide show that featured scenes of Washington and other tourist attractions. The slide show proved unpopular and was closed in 1985. That same year, the entire station was shut down for a renovation that included the Center Café prominently positioned in the center of the Main Hall, and other stores and restaurants nearby to make more of a hub for shopping and entertainment. The August 2011 earthquake provided an opportunity to rethink the station again. Besides causing damage that required immediate attention, it triggered a larger discussion about the best way to preserve and restore the Main Hall. In 2012, contractors began restoration of the damaged ceiling. As part of the work, they installed an elaborate system of steel framing to provide a new support structure for the ceiling, designed to help protect it in case of future earthquakes. The entire ceiling bay was also repainted and new gold leafing was applied, with help from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a $350,000 corporate donation from the American Express Foundation. The grant helped repair the ceiling by aiding in the replacement of more than the 120,000 sheets of 23-karat gold leaf. Besides the repair work on the ceiling itself, the heating and air-conditioning systems in the attic, behind the ceiling, were improved by realigning ductwork and creating new connections to the ceiling diffusers that will allow them to be cleaned and serviced more regularly. In April, once the ceiling restoration was completed, deconstruction began on the Center Café and the two circular planters, which once served as fountains. Swaim-Staley said the last four years’ worth of repairs were a team effort, involving the Federal Railroad Administration; Union Station Investco, an entity of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, (manager of the station’s retail spaces); the State Historic Preservation Office, and other historic agencies. London-based Hayles and Howe led the plaster ceiling restoration. Preservationists say they’re glad to know the work is done. “Over the last 30 years both Union Station and the adjacent Capitol Hill neighborhood have been transformed by restoring the historic urban and architectural fabric,” said Lisa Dale Jones, president of Capitol Hill Restoration Society. “The restoration of the Main Hall’s open floor plan, together with repairs to the coffered and gilt barrel vault ceiling, are important milestones in this recovery.”
Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion, located in Queens, was once part of the 1964 Worlds Fair. Now it is the only remaining structure from the event. Years of neglect has seen the pavilion fall into a state of disrepair. However, all does not appear to be lost thanks to The National Trust for Historic Preservation, People for the Pavilion, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Together, they have organized an ideas competition in an attempt to bring the pavilion back to life. The competition so far has received a number of submissions up for public vote. The current frontrunners are a hydroponic farm (essentially a farm that uses nutrient water instead of soil) and a flexible exhibition space. The former an ambitiously wants to demonstrate a process that could "feed cities into the next century" while the latter envisions an outdoor performance area and park. In recent memory, the pavilion's only claim to fame was its appearance in Iron Man 2 where it played host to the Stark Expo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bchp8boR0Dc The pavilion's appearance on screen however, has done little to bolster its circumstances, although a fresh coat of paint was added in fall last year. The New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition now hopes to "spark a conversation about the value of historic preservation," citing Johnson's work as an "irreplaceable structure" that is one of Queens' "most significant assets." Submissions so far mostly depict colorful scenes that refer back to the pavilion's original red and yellow coloring. These include the "Queens Pavilion Cheeseburger Museum," "Trampoline Castle," "The Funland of art" (that promises to be "the most fun your kids will ever have"), and the "Pavilion for the People." Others proposals include an observatory, ice-rink, and planetarium. There are few constraints on putting forward an idea. Participants must be over the age of 13 and submit an original idea complete with an image. A Sketchup model of the pavilion has been made available to download to aid contributors. The competition is also free to enter. For now, the public has until July 1 to submit their ideas, with Deborah Berke, founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners and soon to be Dean of the Yale Architecture School and critic Paul Goldberger among others judging the submissions. The jury will select first, second and third place, of which will receive $3,000, $1,000 and $500. The voting system however, will be used to select a "fan favorite" with the winner taking home $500.
Can decay on the Bay be forestalled? In 2014, a local group floated the idea of murals, and now, two nonprofits, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Dade Heritage Trust, are renewing efforts to restore the Miami Marine Stadium on Biscayne Bay. Shuttered since 1992, both organizations have had their eyes on saving the seaside stadium for years. The National Trust listed the structure, built in 1963, on its annual 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2009, and declared it a National Treasure three years later. In a bid to cement its preservation in perpetuity, the stadium has been nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. If approved, the cost of the restoration would be reduced by $6 million, as the project would qualify for federal historic tax credits. To introduce attendees to the preservation cause, the Dade Trust and the National Trust will run an information kiosk at the Miami International Boat Show, in Virginia Key, from February 11 to 15. A petition that circulating there and online asks City of Miami commissioners to prioritize the stadium's restoration this year. Already, the city has created an advisory committee to decide on future directions for Virginia Key, which includes the restoration and reopening of the stadium. An RFQ for engineering and architectural services for the stadium is out, and so far Miami has spent more than $20 million on restoring land around the stadium. Designed by Hilario Candela, a 27 year old Cuban architect, the all-concrete, 6,566 seat stadium was built to watch speedboat races. The roof, as long as a football field, was the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world when it was built. The folded plate roof is anchored by eight concrete columns set back as far as physics would allow to afford almost unimpeded views of the bay. To draw attention to their cause and highlight the stadium's design, the National Trust will project vintage stadium footage in the evenings onto the structure this Friday through Sunday.
Until recently, the Tent of Tomorrow looked very yesterday. Part of the Philip Johnson–designed New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair has been restored to its original color, "American Cheese Yellow," earlier this month. New York City has allocated almost $8.9 million to shore up the tent, the pavilion, and other relics of the World's Fair in Queens' Flushing Meadows Corona Park (including the Unisphere). Designs for the structural reinforcement and preservation of the pavilion will be in by fall 2016, with construction to begin in 2017. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and preservation group People for the Pavilion, in partnership with the city, will begin soliciting ideas for design and programming in the space early next year. New Yorkers got a rare glimpse inside the relic at last week's Open House New York Weekend. Sixteen, 100-foot-tall columns support a 50,000-square-foot ceiling with colored clear panels. Three towers of 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet—most recently famous as spaceships from the film Men in Black—stand adjacent to the tent. The shorter towers held cafeterias, while the tallest supported an observation deck. To fulfill apprenticeship requirements, 30 bridge painters from Painters DC 9 and the Painting Contractors Association worked for a combined 8,000 hours to bring the Tent of Tomorrow's steel diadem back to its original color. This phase of the project was done pro bono, with an estimated value of $3.25 million (really). The city estimates that the fresh paint will extend the life of the structure by about 15 years.
After nearly a decade in the works, the renovation of Cincinnati's grand Music Hall has a construction timeline. The $129 million construction project crept along for years, the building languishing while preservationists sought to raise funds for its restoration—even as the fortunes of the surrounding neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine surged. Music Hall landed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of endangered historic places just months prior to receiving a critical $25 million Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit last year. Now, officials say, the 1878 landmark will shut down in June for renovations and reopen to the public in fall 2017. The Music Hall Revitalization Company still needs $6 million by January to close a lingering budget gap for the project, but MHRC board chair Otto M. Budig tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that a new wave of donors has him “confident that we’re not only going to raise that last $6 million, but maybe a few million more for an endowment.” Architects on the project include Washington, D.C.–based Martinez + Johnson Architecture, and Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel of Pittsburgh. Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) is the lead developer.
An early Frank Gehry–designed house about an hour south of Minneapolis is on the move—again. The Winton Guest House, which Gehry designed in the early 1980s for Penny and Mike Winton, sits on property in Owatonna, Minnesota recently sold by the building's owner, the University of St. Thomas. They have until August 2016 to relocate the playful, postmodern cluster of forms. It's not the first time the house has been relocated. In 2008 the university divided the structure into eight sections for the 110-mile move from its original site west of the Twin Cities on Lake Minnetonka. Last year the university sold its Gainey C. Gainey Conference Center property, on which the Winton house now sits. Victoria Young, chair of the department of art history at the University of St. Thomas, said there are several options for the move. “We could move the house back up to campus now. We could store the house and move it onto campus in conjunction with building a new Fine Arts Center, something that has been talked about a bit, we could sell the house at auction or a cultural organization could step up and save it. Or a donor could come to be and make any of these things happen,” she said. But wherever it ends up, she added, “my administration has committed to getting the house off the property before the August 2016 deadline, when it would become the property of the new owners.” Young meets with the University body overseeing the move, the Physical Facilities Planning Committee of St. Thomas' Board of Trustees, on Feb. 18, and is expected to determine a course of action the next day. The University has hired Consultant Chris Madrid French, a preservationist and former director of the now-defunct Modernism + Recent Past Initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. French pulled off a similar move with the historic Capen House in Winter Park, Florida. An early and relatively modest example of Gehry's work, the Winton House offers a glimpse at the residential design sensibilities of an architect who would go on to achieve stardom for theaters, pavilions and museums. “I would love for the house to be open to the public to showcase the early part of Frank’s career, when he began working outside California and when important clients, Mike and Penny Winton, gave him the freedom to create art out of architectural form,” said Young. “This paved the way for the Weisman Art Museum, Guggenheim Bilbao, etc. Gehry is one of the most important architects of the twentieth century, and I am committed to a preservation of his legacy.”
The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave captured the eye of American audiences last year, but it may have also had an unforeseen effect on historic preservation. It appears that the National Trust for Historic Preservation was watching as well. The Trust has issued its annual list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the United States, which featured the slave trading center where the film's protagonist, Solomon Northrup, was held and captured. For twenty-five years, the National Trust has launched campaigns to save historic structures and places in regions across the U.S.—many of which are vulnerable from years of neglect or the threat of demolition. "Only a handful of the 250 places named have been lost," the Trust said in a statement. Thus, the attention brought by the endangered list will likely help the chances of preserving these irreplaceable historic sites tied to the integrity of the nation.
Two Major IconsCincinnati, Ohio has two of the largest restoration projects: Union Terminal and Music Hall. Each of these projects are estimated to cost $280 million. Music Hall is a hub of arts—home to Cincinnati's Symphony and Pop Orchestras, Opera, Ballet, and the May Festival. While Union Terminal is one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the country. The full list includes Frank Lloyd Wright's Spring House, a church built in 1837, the threatened view of the Palisades, and other significant places in American history.
Full List of 2014 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
|Name||Location||Importance||Estimated Restoration Costs|
|Battle Mountain Sanitarium||Hot Springs, SD||Battle Mountain Sanitarium has provided medical care to veterans in the region for more than a century. If the VA moves ahead with its plan, it will remove the largest employer in the self-described “Veterans Town.”||$120,000|
|Bay Harbor’s East Island||Dade County, FL||Bay Harbor’s East Island is one of the largest concentrated collections of mid-century Miami Modern (MiMo) style architecture in the country designed by architects including Morris Lapidus, Henry Hohauser, and Charles McKirahan.||N/A|
|Chattanooga State Office Building||Chattanooga, TN||The Chattanooga State Office Building was constructed in 1950 in the Art Moderne style to serve as headquarters for the Interstate Life Insurance company with a "Mad Men" era workplace.||$8,490,000|
|Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spring House||Tallahassee, FL||Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1954, Spring House is the only built private residence designed by Wright in the state of Florida.||$170,000|
|Historic Wintersburg||Huntington Beach, CA||Wintersburg documents three generations of the Japanese American experience in the United States, from immigration in the late 19th century to the return from incarceration in internment camps following World War II.||$5,000,000|
|Mokuaikaua Church||Kailua Village in Kona, HI||Completed in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, Mokuaikaua Church represents the new, western-influenced architecture of early 19th century Hawaii.||N/A|
|Music Hall||Cincinatti, OH||Music Hall, designed by Samuel Hannaford, was built in 1878 with private money raised from what is believed to be the nation’s first matching-grant fund drive.||280,000,000|
|Palladium Building||St. Louis, MO||The Palladium is one of St. Louis’s last remaining buildings with a link to the city’s significant music history.||N/A|
|Shockoe Bottom||Richmond, VA||Shockoe Bottom was a center of the African slave trade between 1830 and 1865 -- over 350,000 slaves were traded there.||N/A|
|The Palisades||Englewood Cliffs, NJ||The Palisades has been cherished by the nation and residents of New York and New Jersey for generations.||N/A|
|Union Terminal||Cincinnati, OH||Union Terminal, an iconic symbol of Cincinnati and one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the country.||280,000,000|
|Federal Historic Tax Credit||*United States||Since being signed into law by President Reagan, the federal historic tax credit has attracted $109 billion to the rehabilitation of nearly 40,000 historic commercial buildings in the U.S., creating 2.4 million jobs and sparking downtown revitalization nationwide.||N/A|
Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and Congresswoman Robin Kelly today announced their intention to introduce legislation that would make the Pullman Historic District Chicago’s first national park. Since last year, a movement to designate the South Side Pullman neighborhood a national park has gained momentum. Its historic building stock—full of Romanesque and Victorian Queen Anne style buildings by architect Solon Spencer Beman and landscape architect Nathan F. Barrett — was lauded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust's president, Stephanie Meeks, cheered today’s announcement in a press release:
While the Trust has long supported these preservation efforts at Pullman, we are announcing today that we have named it our newest National Treasure. National Treasures are a portfolio of highly-significant historic places throughout the country where the National Trust makes a long-term commitment to finding a preservation solution. Working with the National Parks Conservation Association and many other partners, the Trust is pledging to stay involved until Pullman receives the recognition it so richly deserves.George Pullman train-car empire birthed the planned industrial town that bears his name during the 1880s. After Pullman died in 1897, the city of Chicago annexed the town. It averted demolition a few times during the 20th century, eventually gaining National, State and City landmark status in 1972. National Park status could bestow additional protections and make it easier for preservation groups in the area to get funding and assistance, in addition to a boost in tourism.