Thursday, July 29, 2010

Full Funding

Earlier this year, GaPA voted to support national efforts to fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund. Encouraging progress has been made to provide full funding, but your support is still needed.

The CLEAR Act is a bill that addresses offshore oil and gas reforms and contains a provision to fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund at $150 million. The Historic Preservation Fund is funded by receipts from federal offshore oil and gas leases. The fund is authorized at $150 million annually, but Congress typically only appropriates 1/3 of the amount each year since its creation in 1976. The CLEAR Act would allow the Secretary of the Interior to use the fund without further federal action. This means more money for preservation! .


The House of Representatives will vote on this bill very soon. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has made it very easy for you to contact your Representative and ask them to support fully funding historic preservation by voting yes for CLEAR Act.

Read more about the CLEAR Act at On The Hill

Monday, July 19, 2010

Preservation Weekly

Heritage Tourism

Taken from the National Trust for Preservation website cultural heritage tourism is defined as traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes cultural, historic and natural resources. Heritage tourism is also a great way for the lay person to understand the importance of preservation and those strongest connections are made through experience. And what’s great about heritage tourism, it’s a powerful economic tool that it creates jobs and it helps strengthen local economies just by using the resources that are already there.
There are five principles the National Trust has come up with to help ensure the success of heritage tourism programs; first is to collaborate. It is necessary to build partnerships because successful tourism is dependent on the involvement of the entire community from business owners, to political figures, to the residents themselves. Second, it’s important to find the right fit. There are lots of things to consider when creating a tourism program in other areas. Local priorities may be different depending on the resources that exist and how willing the community is ready to accept an influx of visitors by sharing those resources. Third is making sites and programs come alive. Most of what people remember are the experiences that they’ve had and the things they have done and not just seeing, hearing, or reading what is in front of them. Fourth is to focus on quality and authenticity. I believe this to be the most important step. Knowing the true story and sharing it with others is what makes a place unique. Visitors want the real story so that they can share their experiences with others. It’s a disservice to past generations to make changes to history in order to gain visitors. And finally it is import to preserve and protect those cultural, historic, and natural resources and not just with a quick fix. There are even stories to tell in the way a building was put together not to mention these places are the bread and butter for the community.
Creating a heritage tourism program seems obvious especially in these economically difficult times and it can be truly successful if given the chance and if the above steps are followed. However, it won’t work without cultural resources to experience and therein lies the ever present importance of preservation. Not only do we work with what we already have and find ways to build a bridge from to the past to the present in the process we end up protecting our heritage and we also develop a sense of pride in doing so which makes us want to share it all the more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Member Spotlight

It is with much enthusiasm that we highlight Grace Quinn, of Atlanta, in this week’s member spotlight.

Grace is a long time member of Friends of Rhodes Hall, and also volunteers at the annual 5k Rhodes Race. Grace also serves as an officer for the Sherwood Forest Garden Club. The Sherwood Forest Garden Club and its members have been a tremendous support to The Trust, providing services to assist and revitalize Rhodes Hall. Each year the garden club decorates the castle during the holiday season for the annual Old World Santa event. The garden club also provide the lovely rose bushes that accent the front of the property. Grace can be seen tending to the roses and the hydrangea bushes that flank Rhodes Hall.

Grace works as a bookkeeper, and has such notable clients as Mary Kate Andrews, author of such books as Savannah Breeze and The Fixer Upper. Grace and her husband Bill live in Sherwood Forest.

The Georgia Trust is deeply grateful for the dedication of its committed members like Grace Quinn.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Preservation Weekly

Shaping the 20th Century

Mies Van Der Rohe defined modern architecture in the mid 20th century. His philosophy towards design is reflected in many of our skyscrapers across the U.S. The Seagram Building, which is often considered the pinnacle of high rise architecture, was the typical “Miesian Box” with clean lines and little to no ornamentation. Mies believed in a “skin and bones” architecture. Steel beams represented the bones and glass curtain walls that ran over them, the skin. This kind of minimalism became known as the International Style which transcended beyond skyscrapers into the American culture. Clean lines dictated style and can be seen from the construction of homes to furniture. We also think of this style when we see educational buildings and other institutional structures.

Mies emigrated from Germany in 1937 and accepted a position at the Illinois Institute of Technology. There he introduced a new education and attitude towards architecture. He set out to change the architectural language so as to better represent the advancements in production and technology. Drawing on the philosophies of Le Corbusier, Mies encouraged forecourt spaces for the public to enjoy by extending buildings skyward in order to keep the same density or even increase density. In the coming years so many “Miesian Boxes” dotted the landscape they started to lose their innovation. Architects looked for new ways to express individual character. Yet even today they still build with a skin and bones attitude all thanks Mies.

The Seagram building is just one example. It has become an icon of the American corporation. Now we are starting to get comfortable in the 21st century and we often forget that our Miesan skyscrapers were only built 50 years ago verging on historic designation. Yet it is hard to imagine an urban landscape without them. They stand as symbols of business and prosperity as well as rational sensibility.