Posted inArt

The New Frontier of Space Preservation

Some of the most historic sites of human history aren’t even on our planet. On the moon are the six lunar landing sites left from NASA’s 1969 to 1972 trips to the moon, and traveling somewhere out in the distance of the universe are interstellar objects like the Voyager probes. There are even closer historical space objects lingering in orbit with other space debris around the planet, like dead satellites and pieces of rockets.

Posted inOpinion

Pending Post Office Sale Threatens Depression-Era Murals

Although the US Postal Service is now being forced to scrap its plan to end Saturday mail delivery, it’s still looking for ways to cut costs. Selling buildings is one option, and in February, the organization put forward a proposal to sell the Bronx General Post Office, a Depression-era building from 1935. Erected as part of a federal program to employ out-of-work architects, engineers, and artists, the block-long building was designed by Thomas Harlan Ellett and includes exterior sculptures by Henry Kreis and Charles Rudy. It was landmarked in 1976, which means it would be preserved from destruction in the event of a sale; however, that landmark status does not apply to the interior — and it just so happens that 13 murals by artist Ben Shahn cover the walls of the lobby.

Posted inNews

Retro-Futuristic Pan Am Worldport at JFK in Danger of Demolition

Part of aviation architecture history may soon be lost if Delta’s expansion project at JFK airport goes forward as planned. Terminal 3, built in 1960 and designed by Ives, Turano & Gardner Associated Architects as the Pan Am Terminal, later renamed the Pan An Worldport, is expected to close this May to flights and by 2015 be demolished to make way for a parking area for the planes.

Posted inArt

Downton Abbey and the Perils of Preservation

Downton Abbey is downsizing — or at least it was, for a hot second. If you’ve been following the post-Edwardian miniseries, you’ll know that the Crawley family, who lives in the show’s eponymous grand estate house, was in danger of losing their lavish lifestyle. The show’s patriarch Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, had made a bad investment in Canadian railway, and now, at the dawn of the 1920s, the family would have to sell the colossal Yorkshire manor and be forced to move into (gasp!) a house staffed by only eight servants. The story line was all-too-neatly wrapped up when Matthew, the newest member of the family, finally agreed to hand over a fortune that came in a recent inheritance to save Downton.

Posted inNews

Threatened Frank Lloyd Wright House Is Saved

While most of us don’t believe in Christmas miracles, this story may come close. Two and a half months after a story about the potential destruction of a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix, Arizona, appeared on the front page of the New York Times, a deal has gone through to buy the building from its current owners and preserve it.

Posted inNews

East Village Gets a New Historic District

This week New York’s East Village went from having only two tiny historic districts (about a block long each) and a short list of individually landmarked sites to a much larger, newly approved historic district that covers a lot of ground, from the Bowery to Avenue A and from St. Mark’s Place down to East 2nd Street. The city’s Landmarks Commission approved the proposed East Village Historic District with only a few slight modifications.