Friday, February 26, 2010


I love this idea - New Yorkers who own older buildings are turning to the municipal archives to help guide restoration efforts. According to this article in Preservation Nation,
in the late 1930s, city officials used Works Progress Administration funds to hire dozens of unemployed workers to photograph every single building in the city for the Department of Finance. By 1941, those photographers had taken more than 700,000 pictures.
What a wonderful resource for those who want to attempt a historically sensitive home renovation!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Creative Re-use


This post from the Smithsonian Museum of American History blog reminded me of the wedding dress exhibit I talked about last month. The Smithsonian post is about the dress above, from the costume collections at the museum.

This dress was made (by the bride) from the parachute her husband used in 1944, jumping from a plane in a night bombing raid over China! Very neat story.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lincoln's Birthday

In honor of Lincoln's birthday today, here are some interesting news stories about him over the last year or so. Enjoy!
  • UPDATE: The National Museum of American History posted today on its Facebook page about an 1860 life mask done of Lincoln. Apparently, when the great man saw it, he said "There is the animal himself!" More info here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dire News for State Parks & Historic Sites

This is bad: History Under Fire. According to the article, from the National Trust for Historic Preservation's magazine, the states of Pennsylvania, California, and Arizona have taken the drastic step of closing some of their state parks. Further, other states are considering the same measures in today's climate of budget tightening and slashing.

As the article describes, some of these parks and sites are being kept open by dedicated volunteers and friends organizations, but many have stayed closed. And the latter adds an unfortunate side effect to an already unfortunate situation - the cumulative effect of being closed for a year or more means that buildings fall into disrepair, staff and supporters drift away, and the community can forget about the site. The article quotes Linda Kaat, a Friend of the Brandywine Battlefield, ""Once they are closed, it is difficult to get sites reopened."