Preservation Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Describe this brickwork on the municipal building in White River Junction, VT.

Many of you may be familiar with brick bonds, but what would you brick detailing? In this photograph, the bricks are turned and set in patterns. How would describe the brickwork in this snapshot?

Happy 5th Birthday Preservation in Pink!

Preservation in Pink turned five years old on May 28. Five years ago was the debut of the very first (short) newsletter and this blog address served only as a placeholder for newsletter issues throughout its first year.

The newsletter ran for six issues, while this blog continued to develop and grow, starting as a regular blog in spring of 2008. The early blog days began with oral history anecdotes, field school lessons and subjects that I found to be preservation inspiration. As it turns out, once I started writing, I couldn’t stop! From community related issues to roadside America to national preservation concerns, landscape, transportation, historic architecture, graduate school, all things flamingo and coffee, these 900+ posts have been near and far.

Although PiP has evolved over the years, it remains true to the original purpose: to encourage communication between preservationists and non-preservationists, to keep us all inspired and enthusiastic, and to explain the benefits and relevance of the field to everyone.

To see the growth in Preservation in Pink is humbling and inspiring, quite frankly. To know that more and more people are reading about preservation and making the connection from one field to another says to me that we are all making a difference and people are becoming more aware and in touch with their built environment, communities, and heritage.

Perhaps understandably so, it is hard to remember my preservation life before Preservation in Pink or a time when most people I know did not associate me with every flamingo they saw. Without being too sentimental, Preservation in Pink has always been and continues to be a true joy in my life. When a post resonates with a reader (a preservationist or not) and that person can make a connection to the field, it warms my whole heart.

Thank you readers, longtime and new, regular or passersby, for your support, interest, conversations and comments, emails, word-of-mouth publicity and of course, for the flamingo links and photos. You are a wonderful bunch (dare I say flock?), and I learn from you constantly.

Just some of the Preservation in Pink flamingos.

Happy Birthday to Preservation in Pink!

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Some of My Favorite Posts Over the Years, New and Old

Grandma’s Pyrex Mixing Bowls (April 2012)

You Do Not Have to be a Historic Preservationist (March 2012)

How to Photograph a Bridge (February 2012)

Anatomy of Preservation Guilt: HGTV (January 2012)

I Am A Historic Preservationist (January 2012)

Preservation Grammar: Historic v. Historical (December 2011)

If Someone Offered Free Vinyl Siding (October 2011)

The Upside of Interstates (May 2011)

Preservation Basics – Series (April 2011)

I Wear A Hard Hat (January 2011)

My Ode to Derby (January 2011)

My Road to Preservation (September 2010)

Vermont in Pictures (August 2010)

A Response to “How to Turn Young Adults into Preservationists” (July 2010)

Gold in Them Thar Hills: Part Three (June 2010)

More of Carl’s (June 2010)

The Kitten Who Studied Architectural History (December 2009)

Landmarks Shaping Me (December 2009)

Right Place at the Right Time (July 2009)

Why They Don’t Let Me Outside (February 2009)

Interstates, Rest Stops, Service Roads, Old Asphalt, and Coffee (January 2009)

The Time Warp Effect of Home (December 2008)

Concrete v. Asphalt (December 2008)

Five Stages of Small-Town Preservation Induced Grief (August 2008)

Why Do All Preservationists Love Flamingos? (August 2008)

Old Memories, New Memories: The Evolution of My Favorite Place (July 2008)

South Carolina Road Trip (July 2008)

My Ode to Oral History (May 2008)

Nebraska Schoolhouse (October 2007)

Preservation Photos #133

Original door hardware is hard to find, as are original doors, particularly on commercial buildings. The doors and locks are often replaced, though sometimes you can find them on doors that are no longer main entrances. This door handle is such an example. Found in Randolph, VT. Take a second and look around the old buildings that you frequent – what details remain? 

Memorial Day

Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY.

Today, Memorial Day, remember those who have died for our freedom while in service.  They are the cost of our freedom. Be sure to show your respect and gratitude.

Learn more about Memorial from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Historic Downtown Rutland

Downtown Rutland was featured as Preservation Photos #132 this week, but I think it deserves additional space. A sunny photograph filled with interesting historic architecture can go a long way, don’t you think? And just look at this place: underground utilities, crosswalks, building blocks full of historic integrity, street furniture, trash and recycling barrels, people on the sidewalks, landscaping – don’t you just want to give Rutland a chance? It is an enjoyable downtown to explore.

Standing at the corner of Merchants Row.

Looking to ? Street.

Rutland has many cafes and restaurants, art galleries, the Paramount Theater and other businesses. There are many empty storefronts, but the Rutland Downtown Partnership is working hard to fill those voids.

A ca. 1970 bank drive-thru on the right. Interesting, yes?

A better view of the bank.

In full disclosure of Rutland’s troubles, across from this beautiful historic district is a large 1960s shopping center, which is currently anchored by Walmart. The shopping center took the place of the former rail depot and rail yard. The downtown, locally owned businesses have been working hard for decades to revitalize the historic district.

These images are obviously just a small glimpse. I’ll be back for more photographs and strolling around the town, gazing at the architecture. Who else has ignored Rutland for a while based on Route 7? Next time you’re passing through, head west on Center Street.

Adaptive Reuse: Queen Anne to Fire House?

Driving down Route 131 in Cavendish, the streetscape through the historic district looks intact, interesting, cohesive — like many other historic Vermont villages. Take note of the gray building in the photograph below.

Route 131 in Cavendish, VT. Click to zoom.

If you’re not paying attention to the buildings, you might miss this. But if you are looking out the window, you will see that this house has a unique current use.

The Cavendish Volunteer Fire Department.

Yes, the sign on the building reads “Cavendish Vol. Fire Department.” Yes, behind those overhang garage doors on the front facade are truck bays. And yes, there were fire trucks in those bays.

Another view.

The bays fit right into the front facade and these porch posts remain. The concrete pylons beneath show the height of the former porch.

Curved sash windows remain, as well as clapboard and shingle siding and many architectural features.

Looking through the “porch.”

I’ll admit, I was a bit stunned looking at this building. What do you think about it? Unique, yes? I’ve never seen anything like it. One on hand, it’s great that the fire department fits into the district and the building remains part of the historic streetscape. On the other hand, I cringe to think of what was removed inside (the floor and architectural details).

Overall, it seems like a great compromise and solution for the “lack of space” problem that our small towns often face. Whatever it’s story, I think this building wins in a category for “most resourceful.” My suggestion would be improved bay doors. What do you think? Would you approve such a project?

Spring Home Projects

Spring maintenance or maintenance of any season is critical for the preservation and upkeep of your homes; but, let’s be honest, it’s not as fun as project planning. So, I ask, what are your short term and long term plans for your home?

In our bungalow, we have a long list of projects and plans, but some take priority over others. I know we are not alone when I say one thing needs repair immediately after something else. For starters, the original cast iron waste pipe from the second floor bathroom is leaking. Of course, it is our only bathroom and the leak is somewhere that we cannot see. Until we get to that project (sooner rather than later) we have a makeshift catch basin below the pipe in the basement to prevent the leaking water from damaging our brand new post-flood furnace. It’s a good Yankee fix for now. Anyone have suggestions for cast iron replacement and/or repair? This also speeds up our bathroom renovations. Who has experience with reglazing a cast iron clawfoot tub?

We need to rebuild the back porch steps, as the previous steps were washed down the river by Tropical Storm Irene. We have high hopes of removing our asphalt driveway and replacing it with concrete. Our projects could go on and on: electric upgrade, the kitchen ceiling, window sash repair, and more. But, it’s a labor of love when you live in a historic house. Taking care of the house is like taking care of part of the family (even though plumbing is not our first choice of tasks. I’d rather paint!).

If you have advice or stories to share, please do. It’s good project weather. Open your windows and bond with your house!

Preservation Photos #132

Merchants Row in historic downtown Rutland, VT. From Route 7, Rutland looks like strip mall city of Vermont save for the beautiful residences sandwiched in between the sprawl. However, head west from Route 7 to downtown and you’ll see beautiful commercial blocks and a strong effort at economic revitalization. Trust me, walk around downtown Rutland and you’ll be impressed.

Lake Champlain Bridge Grand Celebration

This past weekend, May 19-20, was the grand opening celebration for the Lake Champlain Bridge in Chimney Point, VT and Crown Point, NY. The new bridge opened in November 2011, but the community celebration was planned for May. Warm, sunny skies graced the entire weekend, welcoming visitors from near and far. Events took place in Vermont and New York and ranged from performance shows to exhibits to a parade, petting zoo, car show, road race, historic site tours and much more. After years of the Lake Champlain Bridge community dealing with bridge closure, demolition, route detours, bridge construction, ferry rides, etc., it was gratifying to see everyone enjoying the new bridge and celebrating the community.

Lake Champlain Bridge viewed over the fort ruins at Crown Point State Historic Site.

View of the bridge from Chimney Point.

The Lois McClure, replica of an 1862 boat, sailing on Lake Champlain.

Re-enactors set up camp at Chimney Point.

A replica of the Vermont Statehouse. This float was a part of the 1929 bridge opening celebration and has since been restored and featured in many Vermont parades.

There must have been hundreds of antique cars in the parade.

It was an absolutely beautiful weekend! The next time your cruising through the Champlain Valley, be sure to head over to Chimney Point and Crown Point for a good look at the bridge!

Previous Lake Champlain Bridge posts: Lake Champlain Bridge Photo Update, Lake Champlain Bridge Arch Lift, Lake Champlain Bridge Opens Today, Love a Replacement Bridge?

Clarendon Springs Hotel

The Clarendon Springs Hotel, ca. 1835. Notice the two rows of dormers!

A beautiful large wraparound porch.

Large front entrance – wider than most doors. Notice the wear on the granite step from the past almost 200 years.

Curved porch around the building.

Tall windows on the first story.

The Clarendon Springs Hotel (or Clarendon House) most recently operated as an antiques warehouse, but originally served travelers seeking rest and relaxation from the mineral springs beginning in 1835. Historic houses are adjacent to the hotel and the green. The hotel sits overlooking a sweeping lawn with a pond and fountain. These buildings collectively functioned as a resort village and comprise the Clarendon Springs Historic District.

When I visited the district, it was eerily quiet, but immaculately kept, so I figured that it could not have been abandoned. Instead, it seemed too perfect, like a strange time warp. I was shocked to look into the windows and see that it had been gutted to the studs. Clearly, this building was not currently in use. A house across the street wasn’t exactly in use either.

Seamons Store, across from the Clarendon House. You can almost see the padlock on the front door. This store is part of the district and for sale, as well.

Odd, I thought. Later, after searching for some additional information, I came across this website – Clarendon Springs, Heart of a Vermont Village. Four buildings in this historic district are for sale as a complex. Anyone want a historic district as an investment property? If you have $4.2 million, this is the place for you! The property is breathtaking.

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Disclaimer: I do not know the person selling this property; I just find it fascinating and beautiful.