Tag Archives: Historic Places

Chicago’s Historic Underground Freight Railway Network | Urban Ghosts |

An intriguing if not creepy, history lesson on Chicago’s historic underground tunnels.  Urban Ghosts has the story and the eerie photos – go learn something!


In 1899, Illinois Telephone and Telegraph laid telephone cables through Chicago by building a network of underground tunnels. A narrow gauge railway was laid to assist with excavating the tunnels and installing the cables but the system was quickly adapted and used as a means for transporting freight between public stations, basements and elevator shafts.



via Chicago’s Historic Underground Freight Railway Network | Urban Ghosts |.

Preservation Society hopes to salvage Searcy House | TuscaloosaNews.com

But the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society is leading an effort of local historic and neighborhood protection groups to raise enough awareness of the sale so that a benefactor will step forward and purchase the property instead.

“When cities and towns lose their historic buildings, they may not realize it now, but 20 years down the road there’s a real sense of lost place and lost history,” said Katherine Richter, executive director of the preservation society. “A community loses a sense of who it is, how it came to be and how it got to where we are now.”

While Richter said the society would prefer to purchase the home, it lacks the funds to meet the minimum $600,000 that the county Board of Education will accept for the property.

via Preservation Society hopes to salvage Searcy House | TuscaloosaNews.com.

Reclaiming McMillan Park – A Historical Landmark in Washington DC

McMillan Park is a hidden landmark smack in the middle of Washington. College City Studio is making headway to save this unique area and reclaim it to it’s past splendor. Check out their plans here.

McMillan Sand Filtration Plant

This hybrid park and civic infrastructure was originally the Slow Sand Filtration Plant.  Fresh water from Great Falls in Virginia was brought cross-town through the Washington Aqueduct  to the Mc Millan Reservoir Water was pumped into the catacombs where it was filtered naturally by the sand, collected through pipes at the base, stored and later distributed throughout the city.

This plant was built by Congress in the early 20th century as a public health measure to provide pure water and eradicate typhoid and other water borne diseases.  The innovative sand filtration system was very ecological and energy efficient, but it was also very labor intensive.

Slow-Sand Filtration

McMillan Park is a unique civic monument of irreplaceable historic significance to the local community, the city and the nation. It is a masterpiece of sustainable civic technology and it is a historic landmark with unique features and a distinguished pedigree.

McMillan Sand Filtration, McMillan Silo McMillan Silo, Vaults entrance

The McMillan Park is a unique gem in the city’s emerald necklace of parks and boulevards.  Located on axis with Capitol, the same distance as the Lincoln Memorial, it belongs to the city’s symbolic landscape.

Collage City Studio, McMillan Park, Miriam Gusevich, Peter Miles, Joey Barrick, Nina Tatic, Filipe Da Silva Pereira

Please read more about this project via McMillian Park Landmark.


COLUMBIA, SC – Preservationists protest demolition of historic Columbia building – Business – TheState.com

COLUMBIA, SC — A project by an Ohio company to build an 800-student housing complex in The Vista is going forward despite blistering opposition to the demolition of a cotton warehouse on site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Preservationists say that allowing the building to be razed sets a bad precedent for future negotiations with developers, particularly upcoming decisions about historic buildings on the old State Hospital campus on Bull Street.

“I think it tells developers all you have to do is say preservation is not financially viable and you can get through council,” said developer Richard Burts, who converted the crumbling Gallery 701 — the Olympia mill village’s former community center — into the thriving 701 Whaley arts and event complex. “You don’t have to show it. You don’t have to thoughtfully work through it.”

Continue reading COLUMBIA, SC – Preservationists protest demolition of historic Columbia building – Business – TheState.com

Ecotech, Preserves Historic Home | Department of Energy

Plugging my Day Job yo!

Insulation is blown into the home of Roy and Kim Fox in Portland, Ore. EcoTech modified its equipment to avoid damaging the home, which was built in 1884. | Photo courtesy of Roy Fox |

Insulation is blown into the home of Roy and Kim Fox in Portland, Ore. EcoTech modified its equipment to avoid damaging the home, which was built in 1884. | Photo courtesy of Roy Fox |

Runkel says the Weatherization Meets Historic Preservation event was a “great educational tool.” The majority of Portland’s homes were built before World War II and residents are worried about destroying the “historic character” of the homes if they make improvements, he says.

The event provided a way to introduce a discussion about home energy upgrades, Runkel notes. “It gave them some handholds and footholds of understanding the concepts of energy efficiency.”

“And it was a lot less intimidating to consider what could be done,” he adds.

Runkel praises the homeowners for the success of Weatherization Meets Historic Preservation. “This is one of those cases where it really was the initiative of the Foxes.”

The project was important, Roy explains, because it proved energy efficiency upgrades could be done in a way that doesn’t harm historic homes. “If people are willing to do a little creative thinking, you really can leave the old fabric of the house intact.”

Please take a moment to read and be inspired by the article via Portland Company Weatherizes, Preserves Historic Home | Department of Energy.

Historic downtown building to be demolished | Dothan Eagle

A historic downtown Dothan building appears to be on the brink of destruction.

The Historic Preservation Commission gave the go-ahead to the Downtown Dothan Redevelopment Authority to demolish the building commonly known as the old Wadlington Hotel and Superbad building, located at 161, 171 and 173 N. Foster St.

It was condemned by the City of Dothan half a decade ago due to structural deficiencies.

Since then, several attempts have been made to salvage the building.

The DDRA was on the verge of approving the building’s demolition in 2010 when Eagle Investments swooped in and presented a plan to save it.

Purchasing the building for $1, Eagle didn’t move forward with its plans and eventually decided to give the building back.

Two weeks ago, Eagle exercised the reconveyance clause in its initial contract, giving ownership back to the DDRA.

“It wasn’t a project they thought they could do, so they thought it best to give the building back to us and let us decide what to do with the property,” said Jansen Tidmore, executive director of the DDRA.

According to Tidmore, recent alarming structural changes caused the DDRA to take quick action after recovering the property.

“There’s some bowing in the front walls,” he said. “Some of the walls you can view from the street have changed as far as being able to see a bubble, and that’s alarming because it’s a trend that was spotted in the (Cash Drug) building that collapsed last year, a sure sign this has become unstable. It’s not a matter of if it happens tomorrow or two years from now, but something at some point could be the snapping point for that building, and that’s just too much of a risk for any of us to shoulder.”

Read the rest via Historic downtown building to be demolished | Dothan Eagle.

A look at New York’s endangered historic places – WSJ.com

NEW YORK — The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, which spotlights sites that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or cuts to preservation funding.

In the past 25 years, the non-profit organization has listed 234 sites. New York has made the list 18 times. A section of Ellis Island, where 29 neglected hospital and support buildings are located, has been citied three times during that period, including this year.

What’s become of these sites since they were listed? How many have been saved? How many have been lost and how many have made progress as a result of the public’s awareness of their historic significance because of the 11 Most Endangered list?

Below, The Associated Press looks at each of the New York sites, the year they were cited and their status today.

Continue reading A look at New York’s endangered historic places – WSJ.com