New Media for Preservationists: STELLER

As preservationists, as people, sharing stories, photographs, and memories is an important part of how we communicate, commemorate, and connect. We seek to reach family members, friends, colleagues, strangers, and more. Living in the digital (or internet) age, we have so many options for sharing: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, cloud streaming, digital publications – it’s endless, really, and incredibly exciting. There is always something new right around the corner.

The newest story/photo sharing app is called STELLER. In a nutshell, you create mini-books with photos, text, and videos and then share them with the world. It reminds me of Instagram, but in a more published feeling. And the best part of this is that viewers do not need the app. You can send your story link to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, email or a text message. (Right now, this app is only available for Apple devices, so you can only make a STELLER story with the app on your Apple device. Hopefully that changes soon.)

My introduction to STELLER is entirely credited to Raina (@rainaregan on Twitter or @raiosunshine on Instagram). We love to talk social media and preservation and cats, and started to discuss the potential does an app like this hold for historic preservation?

A picture is worth 1,000 words, so they say; seeing is believing and understanding the words of preservation. An app that shares photographs is fun and connects people to one another socially, professionally, near and far. What can STELLER do? Education guides, travel guides, themes, marketing, just to name a few. Or, on a personal level, it can create memory books and offer stories and collections of a trip, an event, a day. Since it’s a brand new app, we’re just experimenting with it.

My first STELLER story is a collection of Vermont winter photos. Click here or on the image below.

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And check out Raina’s first story about Indiana Courthouses. (She’s also one of the best Instagrammers out there, so follow her @raiosunshine.)

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What do you think? Are you on STELLER? Is this just another social media photo fad, or do you see its potential? 

PresConf Recap: An Eclectic Tour of Indy

The National Trust conference always offers field sessions, many of which take attendees on a tour of the host city. My schedule did not permit such a tour, but I did spend an afternoon wandering around Indianapolis. Here are buildings that caught my eyes, all within walking distance of Union Station. Not being an Indy expert, please consult Historic Indianapolis or Indiana Landmarks if you have a question. I’m simply admiring the city.

Up close with the Soldier Sailors Monument in Columbus Circle.

Up close with the Soldier Sailors Monument in Monument Circle.

Looking up.

Looking up.

Looking up.

Looking up.

Union Station (the entire building did not fit in this photograph).

Union Station (the entire building did not fit in this photograph).

An entrance in Columbus Circle.

An entrance in Monument Circle.

The arts garden above the Washington Street and Illinois Street intersections provides great streetscape views.

The arts garden above the Washington Street and Illinois Street intersections provides great streetscape views.

Columbus Circle is actually curved; quite the impressive group of buildings.

Monument Circle is actually curved; quite the impressive group of buildings.

Nice afternoon reflections.

Nice afternoon reflections.

Near Union Station heading down Illinois Street.

An interesting pedestrian path on Washington Street; many different surfaces.

Silver in the City on Mass Ave.

Silver in the City on Mass Ave.

Indian Repertory Theater is incredible. You have to stop and stare.

Indian Repertory Theater is incredible. You have to stop and stare.

Indianapolis, you were such a pleasant surprise. I hope to return with time to explore and learn more.

Preservation Photos #206

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A quiet corner in the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis where the Rebooting Historic Preservation cast theme party was held during the Preservation Conference. A great party! 

Now I want a rooster lamp.

Indy Love

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What a wonderful whirlwind of preservation events, travels, and friends this past week. Now that it’s back to the normal preservation life, there is time to process and share the adventures and lessons. Indianapolis was a wonderful hostess! Stay tuned throughout this week; I have a lot to write, say, and share.

A Real Giant Stride!

It finally happened: a functioning giant stride has been found on an active playground. Raina Regan, fellow preservationist, found this giant stride in Winamac City Park in Winamac, Indiana.

According to Raina, the park dates to at least 1923, if not earlier. And the giant stride proved to be quite the strain on arm muscles, but many kids were using it. Hooray! Check out these photographs, all taken by Raina.

A giant stride in Winamac City Park, Winamac, IN. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

A giant stride in Winamac City Park, Winamac, IN. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

Looking up towards the rotating cap. This is remarkably intact. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

Looking up towards the rotating cap. This is remarkably intact. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

Close up of the giant stride ladders (chains and handles). Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

Close up of the giant stride ladders (chains and handles). Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

A beauty. The giant stride. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

A beauty. The giant stride. Photo courtesy of Raina Regan.

This giant stride is similar to the 1926 US patent, though as is the case for many, it is not exact. I’d be interested to see if there are identifying marks as to the manufacturing company and what other details can date this apparatus. Obviously, Winamac City Park is now on my list of places to visit in life.

If you come across more in your travels, I’d be delighted to hear about it and to see photographs!

If you love playgrounds, check out the Preservation Nation blog for my intro to the summer playground series.

Field Trip: Gimbel Corner in Vincennes, Indiana

Information and pictures sent in by Maria Burkett.

318 NE corner of Main and 2nd Streets. Photograph by Maria Burkett.

I went to the very sad town of Vincennes, Indiana a few weeks ago and photographed the buildings here (in the project area) it is located on the corner of Main and N. Second Streets and is called Gimbel Corner. Think Gimbels Department Store from Miracle on 34th Street. Around before Macy’s Department Store, Gimbels is credited with the oldest  Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Old Gimbel Corner, Vincennes, Indiana. Photograph by Maria Burkett

The very first Gimbels opened in Vincennes, Indiana, formed by Adam Gimbel,  a Jewish Bavarian immigrant who started out as a pack-peddler in 1842 and opened the first store as dry goods in 1857.  Gimbel moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and opened a large, successful department store in 1887. In the 1890s, Gimbels grew to Philadelphia and in the early 1900s, to New York City.

 

Photograph by Maria Burkett.

 

The short version of the ending is: after merging and being bought by other companies, Gimbels closed in 1987.

You can read more about Gimbels from the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Or at the Department Store Museum blog. The only source with lots of information seems to be the Wikipedia Gimbels article — without citations — does anyone have a good online source for Gimbels history?

 

Photograph by Eric Fischer on Flickr. Click for original source.

Also, to explore Vincennes, Indiana, check out this flickr set by Eric Fischer. Vincennes seems so sad, but with so much potential, don’t you think? Scan through the photos and you’ll see that there is some kitschy roadside architecture around Vincennes. What a great combination!