The Venice Lagoon is the most endangered heritage site in Europe, declared the pan-European heritage organisation Europa Nostra at an event today [...].
Rising sea levels, swelling number of tourists, large cruise ships in the lagoon, the erosion of the sea bed, dredging deeper channels and the lack of an agreed management plan for Venice has created a perfect storm of threats to the city’s preservation. — theartnewspaper.com
A recently completed restoration project [of Spain's Matrera Castle] has provoked an incredulous reaction from some locals and a Spanish conservation group...
However, Carlos Quevedo, the architect who oversaw the restoration of the castle...pointed out that the project had been painstaking, professional, and legal...'I do think that some basic, accurate information can help avoid some of the prejudices that spring from a simple image.' — The Guardian
“What I realized is that they have very little power,” Mr. Viet, 28, said of his fellow urban planners. “The fates of the buildings were being decided by someone else.”
[...] when Ho Chi Minh City’s property market perked up after a slump that followed the 2008 financial crisis, dozens of prewar buildings — spanning the colonial to modernist eras — were razed to make room for new ones. As the city’s modest skyline grows, residents are watching with a mixture of awe and trepidation. — nytimes.com
...it's tempting to turn cartwheels over the Chicago City Council's vote to grant permanent landmark status to Marina City, the city within a city best known for its iconic corncob-shaped towers.
Marina City was a landmark building that lacked official landmark status and was therefore vulnerable — if not to demolition, then to insensitive additions that chipped away at the sculpted beauty of its curving concrete. — Chicago Tribune
The inequity built into The Lyric Theatre's very architecture is a painful reminder of [Birmingham's] ugly past as one of the most segregated places in America. But it also serves as a living history lesson [...]
Across the South, people are struggling with similar questions: What does a changing region do with the vestiges of back-alley service windows, segregated waiting rooms, dual water fountains and abandoned schools that once formed the skeleton of a society built on oppression? — abcnews.go.com
“I give it two years, max [...] It will be US business interests that finally push congress into lifting the embargo – they’re all going crazy being shut out of this market.” American architects and developers are already queuing up to be first in line, ready to pounce on investment opportunities when the embargo drops. Frank Gehry sailed into Havana in December, aboard a streamlined yacht he designed for himself, here to “offer his expertise to Cuba” according to a government statement. — theguardian.com
"Small houses can tell big stories," read the apt white words on the pamphlet's blue cover.
The shotgun house's Ocean Park neighborhood had once been full of such modest dwellings. It was a working-class place — home to carpenters and painters and people who washed other people's laundry.
But that kind of history most often is erased over time, as little houses make way for bigger ones. Ordinary people often don't chronicle their lives — and when they leave, their stories do too. — LA Times
The more period commentary on these spaces you read...the more you see the hotel's owners are falling into the very trap the interiors were engineered to escape: banality, anywhere-ness, the flimsiness of changing fashion...Are the current going to rip out the mirror and replace it with barn wood and mason jars? Just wait. Stop the unpermitted demolition. Landmark this interior and, in doing so, remind people of its undated and undateable wonder. — ny.curbed.com
Last July, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to modify the city’s historic preservation ordinance, thereby making it easier to demolish buildings that were at one point deemed “historic.” While the City Council understands this a mark of progress—allowing more real estate money, and therefore more revenue, to flow into the city—historically minded citizens believe the modification places architecturally and historically relevant buildings onto a very slippery slope... — LAist
The hotel plan by the Procaccianti Group Inc. [...] is being welcomed by construction-trades unions, city officials and surrounding business owners. But Ned Connors, an architect and historian of the Weybosset urban renewal project, says he will miss the Fogarty building.
It’s not ugly, he said, it’s just … different. At about 50 years old, he said the Fogarty building is in the most dangerous time in a structure's life: when it’s too old to be hip but too young to be venerated. — providencejournal.com
Brutalism lost the good fight in 2015. [...]
Demolition on another building by Johansen began late last year as well: Stage Theater, once known as the Mummers Theater, in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman‘s Steve Lackmeyer called the 1970 project the number-one modernist building in the city that should have been spared. [....] Preservationists had hoped to turn it into a children’s museum. Models of the building show what a delightful museum it might have made [...]. — citylab.com
Their biggest challenge was securing the house’s foundation....Other work included stabilizing the walls by injecting adhesive between the lath and plaster with a veterinarian’s needle and transforming a small bathroom into an elevator shaft — NYT
The company promised to “faithfully reproduce” several beloved artifacts in the lobby, including wall tapestries, paper lanterns and sliding doors, the lacquered furnishings and map of time zones...But those plans have done little to assuage the concerns of preservationists, many of whom contend that Tokyo is destroying its greatest postwar architectural assets to accommodate the 2020 Olympics and a recent surge in tourism. — The New York Times
Bank buildings have become bars. Football grounds have been turned into prestige housing. All things must pass. Buildings that have outlived their purpose have no right to be preserved perpetually in a Prince Charles-style attempt to stop the clock on history. Sentimentality about an imagined past is a British disease. For all that, the emotional link between a building like the Washington Post’s and the people who once worked there will live on, for years to come. — theguardian.com
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