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Detroit's Foundation Hotel: Navigating Pitfalls and Unlocking Opportunities in a Historic Hotel Renovation

By Kevin Blind and Todd Sachse In a city like Detroit, an ongoing urban renaissance and an abundance of historically significant buildings presents exciting opportunities for renovation and reinvention. However, transforming an architectural landmark isn’t exactly a paint-by-numbers process....

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A Career of Architectural Surveys

By Richard L. Mattson If medals were awarded for sheer numbers of historic buildings surveyed, I reckon I would make the podium. It has been quite a ride, taking off in a 1967 Camaro in 1979 to inventory farmsteads in Monroe County, Illinois, and landing in the 1990s in Charlotte, North...

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Preparing the Cooper-Molera Barns for Adaptive Reuse

By Naomi Miroglio The Cooper-Molera barns are part of the Cooper-Molera Adobe complex located in downtown Monterey, California. This historic complex was developed by multiple owners, beginning with John Rogers Cooper and his wife, Encarnacion Vallejo Cooper, in the 1830s. Today it has nine...

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“Just Say Yes”: How Improvisation and Craft Shaped the Restoration of the Chicago Athletic Association Building

By Paul Alessandro Improvisation is the art of crafting a story based on bits of information contributed by the audience as well as fellow performers. Each night in improv theaters all over Chicago, actors use a simple rule to forward their improvisations and support one another&rsquo...

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“Preservation as Provocation” Winners Discuss Designs for the Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House is one of the most revered buildings of the 20th century. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and constructed in 1951, it is a vital part of modern iconography. The building first opened to the public in 2005 and a modest visitor’s center was erected. Visitors...

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Case Study: A Preservationist’s Own Rehabilitation Project

By Giselle Rahn Beyond the well-known and beautiful National Landmark District of Savannah, Georgia, many blocks in the city include one or two abandoned or empty houses. In spring 2014 my then-boyfriend (now husband)—a man with a big heart and minimal home maintenance experience&mdash...

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Restoration at the Glass House: Enhancing Performance, Maintaining Design Integrity

By Chelsea-Anne L. Harrington Completed in 1970, the Sculpture Gallery at The Glass House was built to display Philip Johnson’s sculpture collection, which includes works by prominent artists such as Frank Stella, Michael Heizer, and Robert Rauschenberg, to name only a few. The...

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Library Entry
Spring 2016 Forum Journal: Activating Historic Spaces

Activating historic spaces hinges on engaging audiences, existing and new, in the reimagination of a site. Successfully activating places requires a dual connection: the contemporary reanimation of a place must both credibly incorporate its past and authentically resonate with its present-day...

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Blog Series: Why Do Old Places Matter?

In 2013 Tom Mayes, the deputy general counsel at the National Trust for Historic preservation, was selected as a winner of the Rome Prize , which is awarded to about 30 emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence. A life-long preservationist, Mayes is the...

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Spring 2015 Forum Journal: Why Do Old Places Matter?

For the spring issue of the Forum Journal , Tom Mayes, author of the recent blog series "Why Do Old Places Matter?” asked scholars from other disciplines to consider why old places matter. Their perceptive articles will inspire you to reflect anew about why we work to save old places. From Max...

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