Surveys For Those of Us With Opinions

Who is opinionated? Most of us, right? Well good, because there are a few surveys around the internet that need some well-reasoned, fairly opinionated preservationists (and others) on the case.

First, how important are trails to communities? Do you think they’re great? Spotsylvania County, VA is currently running a survey to find out what people would like to see in the area. For those of you familiar with Spotsylvania County (Mary Wash grads!) take one minute to fill out the survey and help Spotsy create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. For the survey, click here.  (You do not have to live in Spotsylvania County — just be familiar with it — the quiz asks for your location, but can otherwise be anonymous.) Thanks to Andrew Deci for sending the survey.

Second, preservationists and those familiar with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, you are aware that preservation + sustainability are natural friends, but we haven’t quite figured out how to meld them into guidelines that aren’t so incredibly case-by-case or trial and error.  Do you have ideas and thoughts as to how the guidelines should or should not incorporate sustainability? This is the perfect survey for you. Sent from Andrew Deci via Megan J. Brown at the Historic Preservation Grants Division at the National Park Service:

As the custodian of the Secretary’s Standards and of the Guidelines for interpreting them, the National Park Service is beginning the process of expanding the Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings in order to address questions raised by the current emphasis on sustainability. Before we begin to draft any expanded Guidelines, it is critically important that we hear from those who rely on the Standards and Guidelines to preserve  their local communities. We need to know what general concerns you have, and we need to know of specific issues you have encountered where historic preservation values and sustainability were or appeared to be at odds with each other.  In all of the current discussions concerning historic buildings and sustainability, an important component is the relationship between the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the various recommended building treatments designed to attain more sustainable communities and energy efficient buildings. While there is a growing body of information on how to undertake these alterations, there is not yet a set of official guidelines on how to make such changes in ways that appropriately maintain the character of historic properties.  Please take a few minutes to complete this online survey before June 1. The survey will no longer be available after that time.

To take the survey click here.

Thanks everyone!

May 28, 2007

Three years ago today, I wrote the very first Preservation in Pink blog post. It was more of an announcement than a real post, but still, PiP has been a blog since May 28, 2007.  This goes back to the very first newsletter (6 pages only, all but one article written by me – just to get it out there). Three years ago I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do with a blog other than post the newsletter rather than requiring readers to rely on email. If you browse through the archives you’ll see that nothing happened with the blog again until October 2007 and then posts remained scattered through much of early 2008.

Blog posts began to take shape and routine around May 2008, when I attended the Poplar Forest Architectural Restoration field school. It wasn’t until the summer/fall of 2008 that I decided the Preservation in Pink should be more dynamic and that it should serve more of a purpose than announcing the newsletter. By August/September PiP became a daily (weekdays) routine.

Since those early days, readership has increased from a whopping average of 2 readers per day in 2007 (really, there was nothing to see anyway) to 19 per day in 2008 to 130 per day in 2009 and already at 200+ per day in 2010. Wow! And here we are hovering around 86,000 visits to Preservation in Pink.

This is the perfect time to say thank you to all of you, readers, who visit PiP, leave comments, share the link, display your magnets, and who offer encouragement and show interest. A great big thank you to guest bloggers. You have made PiP so much more diverse and are a wonderful addition to the blog! Mostly, I continue to write and share thoughts because it combines two of my passions – preservation and writing – but it makes me so happy that other people can connect to Preservation in Pink. From current events to ethics to road trips to the occasional soap box and personal essay with flamingo pictures and jokes, I hope that you can always find some way to connect with historic preservation through Preservation in Pink.  As always, whenever you have a suggestion for PiP or something you’d like to share, please do.

Thank you!

July 2010 Call for Articles

The next issue of the Preservation in Pink newsletter will be out in July 2010. This issue’s theme is Preservation Now. What is most important to you, the preservationist, right now? What are you studying? What are your work projects? What are related current events and trends that we should be considering in the preservation field?

Each issue always features writers discussing such ideas, but now is the time for everyone to consider what we are doing and where we are going.

How do you express yourself? Articles, cartoons, letters, photographs, whatever you have – share it!

Deadline: end of June 2010

Preservation Photos #33

Marker alongside the Old Boston Post Road at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. About 100′ of the old post road is preserved at the inn.

Sunset Drive-In

As part of the road trip with two of my sisters,, Sarah and Erin, Vinny and I took the girls to the drive-in! The Sunset Drive-in Movie Theater in Colchester, VT is one of my favorite drive-ins that I have visited. Granted, I love all drive-ins but this one tops the charts. The Sunset Drive-in has been operating for 60 years and today features four screens. And it is an excellent deal: $8.50 per person for a double feature. With four screens, there is likely a movie to fit your interests.

Why? Mostly because it had an awesome playground. Drive-ins often had playgrounds, mini golf courses, small trains, and other fun features to get the family to arrive early and spend more time (and subsequently snack money). We arrived just before dusk with enough time to play on the playground, get a good spot at one of the FOUR screens, tune the radio, and grab some snacks from the snack bar. Since it was a Monday in May, it wasn’t crowded at all, but I imagine (and hope) that it’s busy in the summertime.

Back to the playground. Check it out:

Screen 1 with the playground and "mini putt" area below at, just as you would expect.

When was the last time you saw see-saws anywhere? My sisters and I were so excited!

And a metal slide!! Wow. It was not, however, very slippery.

A merry-go-round, too!? One unlike we had seen anywhere else. It needed some oil or something, it got stuck, but we still enjoyed it. Thanks to Vinny for spinning us on the merry-g0-round!

Swings under the screen. Check out the links on the swing. I imagine this playground is about as old as the drive-in itself.

Wood swing seat - way better than those rubber/plastic seats in modern playgrounds.

Me on the see-saw. I told you I loved playgrounds.

Okay, we were there for more than the playground, but it was empty so we had to play on everything first. There was also a mini-putt area, but it looked closed for the night so we didn’t try to play. Instead, we went back to the car, set up the blankets and pillows and headed to the snack bar.

The snack bar: clean, quick, and friendly employees.

While I’ve been to drive-ins in Virginia, Iowa, and Vermont, it was the first drive-in experience for my sisters. Sarah may have been most excited to see Iron Man 2 but both Sarah and Erin loved the whole thing. Erin couldn’t believe that it was just like in the movie Grease. The only thing missing was the speakers rather than the radio, but the radio worked just fine here.

Sarah cannot control her excitement - she's jumping up and down before the movie starts!

If you have a chance to visit a drive-in, definitely do it! In their prime, there were about 4000 drive-ins across the country, but now only 300-400 remain. Find one near you: Drive-in List or search by zip code.

Vermont Roadside

Recently I traveled from New York to Vermont with my two youngest sisters, Sarah and Erin; we traveled by interstates and US  highways. As I’m talking about buildings Erin exclaims, “Is this a preservation trip? No one told me that!” With me, it’s always a preservation trip, Erin. But, as I discovered, they enjoy good American roadside culture just as much as I do, particularly giant roadside culture. And really, who doesn’t?

Erin & Sarah in Brandon, VT.

Me & Sarah in Brandon, VT.

Erin with the giant Dakin Farm Maple Syrup jug in Ferrisburgh, VT.

They may not be the biggest rocking chair (it did actually rock) or maple syrup jug in the world, but we were certainly entertained by them. And had we traveled by I-89 rather than US Route 7, we would have missed this entertainment.  And are we the only ones who think that the maple syrup jug should depict how many quarts would fit in there rather than 1 quart on the label?

America’s Kitchens at the Long Island Museum

Currently at the Long Island Museum of Art, History, and Carriages (the Stony Brook Carriage Museum) is the Historic New England traveling exhibit, “America’s Kitchens.” The museum is located on Route 25A in Stony Brook, NY.  The main buildings are the art museum and the carriage museum and there is a collection of historic buildings including a blacksmith shop, a barn, a schoolhouse, and a privy.

We were most excited for the America’s Kitchens exhibit so we headed to the art museum first, where the exhibit is housed. Pictures were allowed, so here are a few.

The entrance to the exhibit.

The exhibit included a few period kitchens from historic houses and displays of changing technology such as ovens and refrigerators.

Food preservation display.

Food preservation display: barrels with sand, ice box, a 1930s refrigerator and 1950s refrigerator (both by General Electric).

1874 "Victorian" kitchen from Illinois.

Post World War II Kitchen.

An easy bake oven, 1975-1985.

We enjoyed the entire exhibit and had a good time looking at everyone, but we came out feeling like it was not thorough enough. The layout may be different in each place, but the layout here wasn’t exactly chronological. It just seemed to be too much of an overview, and we kept wanting to know more. We wanted to open the ovens and learn more about the gadgets. A few other small groups of people walked in while we were there but didn’t spend as much time as we did, so maybe we are just really into kitchens. Other visitors seemed to enjoy it as well.

After America’s Kitchens we walked around the grounds and looked into the other buildings. It was a beautiful day for strolling the grounds. We did not visit the carriage museum, though we have previously (school field trips).

Looking down the hill from the art museum.

The barn at the museum. Inside are the three bays (threshing floor, hay mow, and stalls) with many farm tools.

The school house and privy.

Inside the blacksmith shop.

The grounds at the museum with a fountain for the people and horses of New York, dated 1880.

For anyone in the area, we would recommend the entire museum. Admission prices are $9 for adults and $4 for students. It’s a beautiful place. After the museum, walk down the street to the historic grist mill, the duck pond, and Avalon Park.

Field Trip to Keeseville, NY

The end of classes brought deadlines, finals, and a field trip for my preservation classmates and me. We piled into a UVM van with snacks, lunch, and rain jackets (most of us) + 2 cars and we were off to catch the Grand Isle ferry over to Plattsburgh, NY.

Route 2 on the way to the ferry. We were hoping to avoid whatever storm lingered.

Our first stop was the new home, and old mill complex, of the organization Adirondack Architectural Heritage. We had lunch overlooking the Ausable River.

Ausable River in Keeseville, NY

Next we were on our way to do some survey practice, as part of our Practice Methods class, but before that we stopped at the Keese Homestead to take a look at the amazing collection of barns and outbuildings. (If you will recall, our class is particularly interested in barns, thanks to our Vermont Barn Census projects.)  And for most of us, this turned out to be the best part of the day. The collection of buildings is astounding, especially the cow barn. The Keese Homestead is privately owned, but the owner (a friend of AARCH) was kind enough to give us a tour and allow us to take pictures. He and his wife have done their best to keep up the buildings and to understand their history.Without sharing the 50 0r so pictures I took that day, here are  few (well, less than 50 anyway):

The smokehouse.

A row of farm buildings, just a few.

The granary.

The ceiling of the granary: those planks are about two feet in width, talk about firs growth timber!

Looking out the granary window.

Beautiful hinges on one of the barns.

Another farm building on the property (and Jen).

The best barn on the property was an unsuspecting (large) cow barn. I don’t think these pictures will do it justice, but see if you can note the massive timbers. It was just such an incredible space. We spent the most time in here.

Inside the cow barn. Wow.

From the hayloft. A few of us climbed up the handmade ladder -- hand hewn, rounded pegs/steps through a middle post.

Again from the hayloft.

To give you an idea of the timber size.

On the other side of the barn, the cow stalls and troughs. Note the cemter floor, indicative of an improvement in technology and sanitation.

The cow troughs.

The Keese Homestead. We only explored the barns, but the house is spectacular as well.

And after the barns we headed over to Peru, NY to practice our survey skills. I did not take nearly as many pictures, however. Here are my two favorites:

Window on the restored (and still active) church in Peru.

Former industrial area in Peru that flooded and is waiting a return to use.

We were back in Burlington by mid evening, just in time for a final review. A wonderful field trip day.  For the record, Bob McCullough brings the best lunches and snacks.

Preservation Photos #31

Window of an early 19th century farm building found at the Keese Homestead in Keeseville, NY – part of our end of the semseter preservation field trip.