Message Image  

Forum Blog

Insights and Information for Preservation Professionals

About the Forum Blog     Guidelines for Submission      Subscribe

Be the first person to recommend this.
By Krystyn Hastings-Silver This summer visitors to Lyndhurst can see the newly restored Merritt Observation Tower by taking the Upstairs Downstairs tour . While the tower has long contributed to the National Historic Landmark status of Lyndhurst, only now is it open to the public for the first time. Built circa 1864 as an astronomical observatory for Lyndhurst’s second owner, George Merritt, the tower was not interpreted or seen as important when Lyndhurst first opened to the public...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The headline of a recent article in Market Urbanism , a blog promoting a “free-market approach to urban land use,” caught the attention of preservationists across the country: “The Cato Institute Goes After Arbitrary Historic Preservation Laws.” According to the article, a group of urban economists—led by Triumph of the City author Ed Glaeser and the Cato Institute, a D.C.-based libertarian research and policy organization—have concluded that preservation laws discourage development in neighborhoods...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By John Dichtl Many thousands of people in this country are engaged in the work of history: from saving structures and historic landscapes to pioneering new depths of scholarship and from using historical interpretation to engage communities at museums to conducting historical studies for government, corporate, or nonprofit clients. But as we have specialized in all these various corners, we have neglected to speak to one another about why history matters. We haven’t articulated the...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In late June Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a Republican blueprint for reforming the nation’s tax code . The Tax Reform Blueprint is meant to guide the House Ways and Means Committee in developing a comprehensive reform of the tax code in 2017. The Blueprint proposes to lower corporate and individual tax rates, in part by eliminating certain credit and deduction programs. It would also move toward a consumption-based tax system and switch from a worldwide tax system to a territorial...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
At the end of each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation publishes that year’s 10 preservation wins and losses, a list that spotlights the dedication of local groups who fought tirelessly to save the landmarks and landscapes they cherish most. It is filled with inspiring stories of moving lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard and turning California’s Hangar One , once a docking station for the USS Macon, into a scientific and educational facility. The list is also a somber reminder...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Gwen North Reiss July 8, 2016, is the 110th anniversary of Philip Johnson’s birth . His life—he died in 2005 at age 98—spanned almost a century. Born in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio, Johnson traveled east to attend the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, and went on to study the Classics and philosophy at Harvard. His love of landscape and architecture started early with family trips to Europe, and after completing his undergraduate studies, he became the first curator of architecture...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On Wednesday, June 15, Democrats serving on the House Committee on Natural Resources hosted a forum dubbed Countering Extremism on America’s Public Lands, due in part to lawmaker concerns following the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by Ammon Bundy and others for more than 40 days earlier this year. In attendance were Democrats from both the House Natural Resources and Homeland Security committees, as well as five expert witnesses who testified about the dangers of recent...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Registration is now open for this year’s national preservation conference, PastForward, November 15–18 in Houston, Texas. Registration and complete conference details are online at www.PastForwardConference.org . Think Big This year the conference will focus on how preservation can play a greater role in securing healthier, more sustainable and just cities. The more than 200 hours of programming will include Learning Labs, TrustLives, Special Convenings, and Field Studies. We’ll...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Credit: Andy Donaldson The Village of Zoar National Treasure campaign kicked off on June 6, 2012, the same day that the community was declared one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. After more than a year of regular involvement by the National Trust to help raise Zoar’s profile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on November 22, 2013, that it was no longer considering removal of the levee that protects the Village of Zoar. Thus, the greatest...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Deidre McCarthy, Richard O' Connor, and Catherine Lavoie In honor of the 2016 anniversary of the National Park Service Preservation Leadership Forum is hosting a series of blog posts posts highlighting the programs and history of the National Park Service. In these posts NPS staff look back and forward on how far the service has gone and where it hopes to go in the future. The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to finding new avenues to collect more complete and precise...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Although Chicago is internationally famous for its historic architecture and diverse, distinctive neighborhoods, just how much of the city’s built environment is older and historic may be surprising. Half of the currently standing 502,000 buildings were built before 1926, and 63 percent were built before World War II. The city’s fabric is ripe for providing the social and economic benefits that we know older buildings bring. ...
0 comments

Houston: We Have Liftoff

Be the first person to recommend this.
Last week the National Trust for Historic Preservation staff traveled to Houston for a site visit in advance of PastForward 2016, the National Preservation Conference, taking place November 15–18. This trip was a chance for conference staff (based in Washington, D.C.) to conduct dry runs of events and tours, check out meeting space, and connect with our local supporters. Get a sneak peek at this year’s Field Studies and special events, along with a look at our host city, through the PastForward...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Cara Michell In 2011 New York City’s New Museum launched a biennial program called IdeasCity to promote the exchange of ideas about how art and culture can strengthen cities around the world. Recently, under the leadership of IdeasCity Director Joseph Grima and New Museum Deputy Director Karen Wong, the program has undergone a transformation to become a series of site-specific studio laboratories that invite local leaders and international fellows to gather for one week. The first...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Tisha Allen Tucked away behind the historic Dumbarton House in Georgetown lies one of the oldest African American burial grounds in Washington, D.C.: the Mount Zion and Female Union Band Society cemeteries. This three-acre site holds two burial grounds—the Mount Zion Cemetery (formerly the Old Methodist Burying Ground) to the east and the Female Union Band Society Cemetery to the west. Established in 1808 and 1842, respectively, both cemeteries are physical reminders of the city’s strong...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Activating historic spaces hinges on engaging audiences, existing and new, in the reimagination of a site. Successfully activating places requires connection on two levels. First of all, the activation of a place must credibly incorporate its past. As Jorge Otero-Pailos explains in this issue, installations need “something really intrinsic to the work we do as preservationists” in order to meaningfully enhance historic sites. Just as important, however, is that such interventions authentically...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
This is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. More than a year ago, the Preservation Leadership Forum team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation began thinking about the future of the Forum website. What tools do preservation professionals need to save places? What information do you need to make a difference in your community? How can we bring all these experts, thought leaders, and innovators together in one place? The result is the new Preservation Leadership Forum...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Nadia Orton The reverence attached to cemeteries and burial grounds, which have long been considered sacred sites, is an example of enduring Africanisms and cultural tradition in the African American community. Burial grounds have always been regarded as places where ancestors could be properly honored and provided with the dignity, care, and respect in death that had often been denied them in life. Pine Forest...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Samuel Collins III As I was driving on Highway 6 in Hitchcock, Texas, in May 2004, I noticed a Texas Historical Commission subject marker marking Stringfellow Orchards . I stopped to read it and was immediately drawn to the story. Henry Martyn Stringfellow was a world-renowned horticulturalist who started his business in Galveston after the Civil War and eventually moved it 12 miles inland to Hitchcock in the 1880s. I drove down the overgrown driveway to take a closer look at the...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Carrie Villar and Anne Nelson The powerful benefits of activating historic places with the arts have been outlined many times before . But once you’ve identified a potential artistic collaboration, what’s next? How do you convert the creative idea into a project that serves both the site and the artist? How do you get over your fears about potential risks to the buildings, landscapes, and collections that you are entrusted with protecting? The answer may lie in evaluating risks...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Elissa Frankle History is messy. History is incomplete. History benefits from many eyes and perspectives. We know all of this, but as sites of public history, we can be slow to admit that our visitors have a lot to add, that we have so much more to learn, and that citizens all across the country can help us tell the story. Enter citizen history! This burgeoning methodology allows a historic site to say “We think the answers we don’t yet have might be out there somewhere, and we’d...
0 comments