So Long 2012, Welcome 2013

Here we are at the end of 2012. I hope it’s been a great one for you. Just as we all take a look at ourselves at the end of the year to see how we’ve grown and changed, I like to do the same for PiP in order to prepare for the upcoming year. So here I go: what a year it’s been for Preservation in Pink. Highlights have included:

Friends, you bring conversation, inspiration and lessons. Thank you! Need a quick overview of what PiP is all about? Read on. This year Preservation in Pink introduced a few new series and continued a few older series including:

Aside from series, the posts this year often focused on looking at the environment around us, learning to read the environment, learning to interpret the importance of everyday sights in our communities. Topics included (click these links to read the original posts):

Posts ventured beyond the streetscape to more abstract thoughts and/or random conversations about architecture, memories, and preservation thoughts. Here are just a few (click these links too):

Looking to 2013: what is in store? The series above will continue, two new mini-series will be introduced in January, and others will develop throughout the year. Bigger goals include cleaning up the blog pages, moving the blog platform, and working to improve the reach of Preservation in Pink while remaining true to the mission and current readers. Ideas, suggestions, conversations are always welcomed and encouraged. The success, growth, and reach of PiP is a testament to all of you and your interest in historic preservation. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You bring so much joy to this preservation loving gal.

What would you like to see on Preservation in Pink? What are your goals for 2013? What do you want to accomplish in preservation? What would you like to learn?

So long, farewell, 2012. Welcome 2013. Cheers to everyone and best wishes for an absolutely wonderful year, full of happiness, success and love.



Flamingos Flock

As 2012 comes to a close, Preservation in Pink is pondering the year. One of the best things: fellow flamingos who flock together, professionally and beyond. Thank you flamingos and the Preservation in Pink community! Check tomorrow for the 2012 wrap-up post.

This feather is the crafty doing of Kerry Vautrot. How perfect!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, however and wherever you celebrate! I hope your tree is trimmed, your hearts are full and you are all happy and healthy and with people you love.

Did you trim your tree? Here are a few classic ornaments that always find their way to the O’Shea family tree. These were my mother’s ornaments from her childhood. My sisters and I always think the elf is a devil!




And we have some of my grandmother’s ornaments, too. Sadly a bunch of them broke when our tree fell over – years ago. Our trees are so large, it sometimes happens! But we have a few survivors and the original box.



Merry Christmas one and all!

Abandoned Vermont: Vergennes House

This striking 1796 Federal style house in Vergennes, Vermont is the General Samuel Strong House. It is a favorite mystery to many passersby. Unoccupied for decades, this house is more neglected than abandoned, but every Christmas season there is a fresh wreath on the door and the community keeps an eye on the house year round.

Christmas wreath on the front door.

Christmas wreath on the front door.

View from the sidewalk.

View from the sidewalk.

From the street.

From the street. In the foliage months, you can barely see the house.

The side entrance has been removed.

The side entrance has been removed.

Rear of the house, where a porch previously existed.

Rear of the house, where a porch previously existed.

Boarded up windows.

Boarded up windows, but check out the lintels.

Classic clapboard shot.

Classic clapboard shot with alligatoring paint.

And we are in luck. This house has been documented by the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) in 1936. Find photographs and floor plans here via the Library of Congress. Here is the house in better days:

The Samuel Strong House in Vergennes as documented for HABS/Library of Congress. Click for digital source.

The Samuel Strong House in Vergennes as documented for HABS/Library of Congress. Click for digital source.

 What a beauty.

Local Business: Grunhaus

Preservationists love local businesses, and Preservation in Pink is happy to play a part in supporting them since local businesses improve our communities and quality of life. So if you’re cruising the streets of Montpelier, Vermont, swing by the Grunhaus (Nordic Street Eats). A lovely couple run this cart (looks like a castle, yes?) and the food is delicious. If you’re new there, they are happy to explain the choices and they’ll chat with you while they prepare your food. It takes only a few minutes. Bring cash, not plastic. The cart is normally parked near the intersection of State & Elm Streets. And yes, they are there all winter!




(Note: Preservation in Pink is voluntarily reviewing this business and is not compensated for this review. The point is to spread good news about good local businesses.) 

Festive, yet…


Chester, VT.

The wreaths are quite fitting for the holiday season, but the house is a far cry from picturesque. The vinyl, the fake shutters, the fire escape, that door! Ouch! At least the house has its porch still. It could be worse, but it could so easily be better, as is the case with many houses. What do you think?  The moral of this post: think before you make some crazy renovation.

This post takes a nod from the WTH Wednesday column over at Historic Indianapolis.

Christmas Carols

Do you have a favorite Christmas carol or Christmas song? Nowadays options are endless since every singer has his or her own version of Christmas songs. There is something timeless and comforting about Christmas songs; they sing of home, memories, nostalgia, love, tradition, snow, hope — all good things in life. When do you begin listening to Christmas music? Growing up, my mom wouldn’t let us listen until December 1. I say as soon as Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is fair game.

Here is a list of my favorite Christmas songs. Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend, filled with good thoughts, good memories and hope for a wonderful season and new year.  What would be on your list?

(1) White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

(2) Have Yourself a Merry Christmas (Judy Garland)

(3) Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen)

(4) Little Wood Guitar (Sugarland)

(5) Christmas Song (Blues Traveler)

(6) We Need a Little Christmas (Angela Lansbury)

(7) Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)

(8) Gold & Green (Sugarland)

(9) Step into Christmas (Elton John)

(10) I’ll be Home for Christmas (The Carpenters)


Christmas Coffee Water Tower

Christmas is coming soon. I hope everyone is enjoying the season, perhaps over a good cup of coffee.

Preservation Pop Quiz

A multiple part quiz for you today. (1) What is this? (2) If you know what it is, what can you say about it? Including, how can you date this material?


What is this? Where would you find it? How old is it? What do you think of it?

 And (3) What is your entirely subject opinion of this?

Looks festive, yes? Have fun!

And, previous editions of Preservation Pop Quiz.