As is usual following the Annual Meeting and the Fourth of July, we have been in “cleanup mode” at the PHW office, tidying up loose ends from the first half of the year and preparing for the next six months. With not much else to report in office happenings, we thought you may enjoy this selection of links to historic preservation articles this weekend.
Volunteers clean up historic alley in City with ties to the Underground Railroad – The alley, located where Canal and Caroline streets meet at the northern end of the Fredericksburg’s Historic District, may have led to a site where slaves crossed the river to their freedom at Union Army encampments in Stafford County. The cleanup may be the first step in bringing the story of this alley and the free black family that once lived here wider attention.
Should architecturally significant low-income housing be preserved? – One of the pitfalls of much modern construction, no matter how architecturally intriguing, is that it is prone to failures in both the mundane engineering and materials as well as the humanistic interactions people have with the building. The article goes in-depth in the case of the Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY.
Mysteries, skeletons abound under Virginia church’s floor – Graves are everywhere underneath St. Mary’s Basilica in Norfolk, VA. The voids were found by ground penetrating radar, confirming the oral traditions that the church was built over a graveyard. Although the find has delayed the needed renovations to the church, the congregation is pleased to turn their church into a small archeological dig site to better understand their history.
A lot is going on inside the historic preservation community, but you may have missed the discussions. The National Trust for Historic Preservation released their Statement on Confederate Monuments and highlighted a blogger working on Building the Mental Resilience of Preservation Professionals. On the Forum Connect, they also compiled Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More).
Schools remain a hot topic for the pandemic and the preservation world. University Business posted How to bring historic buildings new life and purpose for college buildings. Old Sterling Schoolhouse still Standing Today focuses on a center not just of education, but community, in Loudoun County. The school is hoping to be incorporated into a larger development plan; contact information is available at the end of the article if you can help. In more encouraging news, Plans for Old Mount Vernon High School detail hopes to turn the school into a multi-generational learning, housing, and playing uses.
Last, The Most Beautiful Mansions in Every State and From UFO Towers to Tsunami Clocks, Every U.S. State’s Most Unique Roadside Attraction can provide you a bit of armchair tourism this weekend. Stay safe and healthy until we see you next post!