In the center of Randolph, Vermont, just down the tracks from the Randolph Depot sits the former Randolph Coal and Ice Shed, ca. 1920. The railroad is no longer delivering coal to Randolph, but the structures sit relatively intact and intriguing.
The building sitting trackside.
Looking to the Randolph Depot (on left). It sits in a cluster of buildings.
Randolph Coal & Ice is still visible on the shed.
View on the other side of the building.
Two large wooden silos held the coal.
Conveyor systems of buckets carried the coal, which is still visible throughout this building.
A door allowed access above the silos.
The coal shed is adjacent to the side rail.
The rail industry has changed in the past 100 years, but these buildings allow us to understand how important this transportation network was to our country. Whether carrying passengers, agricultural products, timber, coal, quarry products, it was the best mode of transportation at the time. For this reason, towns were often built around the railroad and associated buildings were located prominently in the centers of our cities and towns. Do these rail buildings have a use? It’s hard, as they remain in railroad right-of-way, and often must be relocated. What could a former coal be used for in a new life? Any ideas?
It’s Town Meeting Day in Vermont. The Woodbury town hall has beautiful 3/3 windows.
Inspiring thoughts, compelling stories, and a strong voice, all in 20 minutes or less. That’s a TED talk, which are growing in popularity. Not surprisingly, some of these have preservation origins or connections. For your Monday, here are some TED talks worth listening to and sharing.
Do you have any others? What’s your Monday inspiration?
The Barton Academy and Graded School is still in operation as an elementary school. This 1907 building is seen here on a crisp, sunny winter afternoon in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Prosper Community House (classic school architecture) just north of Woodstock, VT on Route 12.
Fitting for Presidents’ Day, it’s a good day to mention how much I’d love to visit Washington D.C. Many preservationists are fortunate to live and work there, and thanks to social media, the rest of us can catch glimpses of life in and around D.C.
From the monuments to the free museums to the rich architecture and significant history, Washington D.C. is a must visit for all. It’s been almost 20 years since I spent time in D.C., so it’s verging on not counting anymore, and really beyond my recollection of places. Here are places in D.C. in my list, three or less in each category to keep it reasonable. How long would these take me to see? Please add your own, too.
The National Building Museum was formerly the U.S. Pension Office. Click for source. This is the museum on the top of my list.
Preservationists I’d Like to Visit
Have you seen the U.S. Interior photos? This recent one of the Lincoln Memorial is beautiful.
But beyond that, I don’t know much of D.C. Where are the best places to live? Where are the best places to visit? To eat? This is a pretty standard list, probably, but it’s my starting point. What about you, fellow travelers? Let’s talk road trips and adventures!Which places do you know you’d like to visit, despite not knowing exactly what you’d do when you got there?
Preservation is Sexy. Yes, you read it here. Actually, Bernice Radle of Buffalo’s Young Preservationists proclaimed it first during her TED talk. You go girl!
Photo courtesy of Bernice Radle.
What does it mean? It’s exciting. It’s enticing. It’s smart. It’s forward-thinking. It’s loving. It’s caring. It’s sensitive. It’s beautiful. Preservation is the best. It’s everything, and cares about everyone and the built environment. Share your love of preservation. What would you say?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Preservation Heart Bombs (yes, it’s a thing) began in Buffalo, NY by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, particularly Bernice Radle and Jason Wilson. Basically they plaster endangered or neglected buildings with heart paper cutouts decked out with pro-preservation messages. This was such a cool idea that the National Trust and Design Sponge covered the Heart Bombs story. And now it’s spread across the country! (For the follow-up to that, stayed tuned to the Preservation Nation blog.) Many of these heart bombs occur in larger cities that are down on their luck, but definitely on the upswing thanks to dedicated preservationists. Such a turn of events is easy to spot in big cities like Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo heart bombs. Photo courtesy of Bernice Radle.
Without being able to join in physical heart bombs this year in Vermont, I offer you a few digital heart bombs. These are buildings that could sure use some love and affection, from paint to rehabilitation to an owner who has the ability to transform it! Sometimes owners love their buildings, but simply cannot afford it or decide what to do. We all understand the feeling of being trapped, so it’s not fair to blame the owner. Instead we need to offer support when appropriate. Ideas! Financing! Advice! And of course, listening. That might be the greatest help. Hearing the issues, the history, the concerns, the struggles — that is important, too.
Vermont is full of its buildings that need help. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s less noticeable than say, an entire block in a big city. Here are only a few buildings – some favorites – that are examples of buildings in need of love.
Fair Haven Depot in Fair Haven, VT. An Abandoned Vermont subject. This building is in need of rehabilitation and a plan for use again. It was formerly an Amtrak station.
Hyde Manor in Sudbury, VT.
A schoolhouse in Roxbury, VT. Photo courtesy of Brennan Gauthier.
Do you have buildings in need of some love? Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I love you all. Sending preservation love to you and yours.
The picturesque village green of Newfane, VT.
For the Preservation Pop Quiz, Georgia edition. If you’re following the comments, you’ll see that the answer has already been revealed (from the knowledgeable Andrew P. Wood). However, for those who do not track comments, read on.
Mystery site in Georgia. Photo courtesy of Chad Carlson.
The mystery structure is a smoke house that was part of the Granite Hill Plantation in Sparta, Georgia. The answer (as well as the quiz) comes from Chad Carlson.
Historic Granite Hill Plantation. Photo courtesy of Chad Carlson.
The plantation was owned by Andrew Jackson Lane in the 1850s. At the time of the Civil War it had 74 slaves, 22 structures, on 2200 acres. The smoke house was the last remnant of the plantation. The main house was moved to Macon, GA, in 1968, and was destroyed by a fire very soon thereafter. (You can see the smokehouse in the background of the main house.) Most thought it was a jail for slaves because of the bars on the windows. I came across an article on Granite Hill Planation from the “Southern Cultivator” magazine from 1859 wherein it mentions “a two story smokehouse of finely dressed granite.” Since meat would have been the most valuable commodity on the plantation the bars were placed in the windows to keep people out. Given the size of the building it was probably also used for storage of other commodities as well.
Granite Hill Plantation in 1968. Photo courtesy of Chad Carlson.
The Granite Hill Plantation house being moved in 1968. Photo courtesy of Chad Carlson.
The Sparta Kaoline Corporation bought the property in 1998 to mine the granite beneath the building. Stonemason Brent Kickbush was hired to destroy the smokehouse. His attempts to find someone to have the smoke house reconstructed on their property were unsuccessful and the building was torn down.
Want to learn more? Check out this video from Chad.