Parks Without Borders: Creating a Seamless Public Realm

THE DIRT

Rocky Run Park / Flickr Rocky Run Park, Arlington, Virginia / Flickr

“Parks are not islands that exist in isolation, they are connected to streets, sidewalks, and public spaces,” said NYC parks commissioner Mitchell Silver. “It’s our goal to create a seamless public realm for New York City.” The Parks Without Borders discussion series kicked off last week to a standing-room only crowd in Central Park’s Arsenal gallery. The enthusiasm generated by the Parks Without Borders summit held last spring inspired Silver to build the momentum with a series of shorter discussions. For this one, park leaders from three different cities, each with a uniquely successful park system, were invited to address the question: How can innovative park planning create a more seamless public realm?

Every day, 25,000 people go to work at the Pentagon, and the majority of these people live in Arlington, Virginia. How has a county that is both transit-oriented and a…

View original post 594 more words

The Year in Cultural Resources

Originally posted on Our Stories and Perspectives:
So much going on that we don’t see. Roads, military, parks, safety, health. Government agencies perform massive amounts of work on behalf of citizens — present, past, and future — and we sometimes don’t notice it on a day-to-day basis. A simple example is the protection of cultural…

What is the Fabric of Cultural History? — Time Tells

This is the Malt House in San Antonio. Dating to 1949, it is the classic car-service restaurant, known for its malted milkshakes. Generations experienced their localized version of American Graffiti with Mexican and American comfort food and the best malts in town. At the San Antonio Conservation Society we have not yet formulated a statement […]

via What is the Fabric of Cultural History? — Time Tells

Memory Mapping in the Bottom and Hammond Town

Our History, Our Heritage

By Jen Sparenberg, Hazard Mitigation Program Officer

Easton’s Bottom and Hammond Town neighborhoods served vibrant African American communities in the decades after the Civil War.  Located adjacent to “the Hill,” an early free African-American settlement, both neighborhoods have suffered a slow decline over decades. As Easton considers the redevelopment of nearby Easton Point, the Port Street Master Plan presents an opportunity to revitalize the Bottom and to record and interpret the history of the Bottom and Hammond Town.

Old Moton SchoolOld Moton, a Rosenwald School in Easton. Credit: Michelle Zachs

As a first step towards documenting the history of both communities, the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center and Port Street Matters/the NAACP-Talbot County sponsored a community outreach meeting to record existing and vanished important places in the communities. Residents, ex-residents, and community elders met at the American Legion Blake-Blackston Post #77 in Easton to participate.

Large aerial maps of the Bottom, Hammond Town…

View original post 244 more words

Heritage Preservation, “It’s all about teamwork.”

Our Stories and Perspectives

Remarkable Level of Cooperation Helps Preserve Civil War Relics

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015 the Cultural Resource Management and Protection Branch (CRMPB) received a call from Mohamed Kadasi, an engineer with the Fairfax County Utilities Design and Construction Division (UDCD). Kadasi thought that excavations for a shoulder and sidewalk improvement project near the City of Fairfax might have unearthed a historic resource. Backhoe trench excavations had struck an old, buried macadam surface. When that was lifted it exposed a cedar log road. Ken Atkins, senior inspector with UDCD, had the construction team very carefully remove the macadam so as not to disturb the logs. Inspector Atkins is very interested in history and wanted to make sure that the past was not lost. His fast action and the care taken to not impact the logs were absolutely invaluable in understanding an important part of Fairfax County history.

ExcavationThe CRMPB sent archaeologists…

View original post 554 more words

A Loray Mill of the Mind

Tropics of Meta

IMG_3502

My family moved to North Carolina in the late 1980s, having left a stagnant and hopeless West Virginia in search of greater economic opportunities. My mom and grandparents and I first tried Indiana for a few years, but eventually left for the greener shores of the Sunbelt. We came to Gastonia, a modest-sized former textile town (it once boasted of having “more looms and spindles within its hundred-mile radius than… any other southern city”) in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area. An aunt and uncle had already paved the way for us, in a sort of internal chain-migration, leaving WV for NC several years before. I once asked my mom why Suzy and Jim had settled on Gastonia as a place to live, and I’ll never forget her answer:

It’s about as far as you can get from Charleston on a tank of gas.

Gastonia became our home—wild, shabby, shambling…

View original post 2,776 more words

What Did the War Cost?

Emerging Civil War

For the last few weeks, I have been serving a detail to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park as a park historian.

After a walking tour of the Sunken Road on the Fredericksburg Battlefield, I received the following question:

“What did the war cost?”

View original post 546 more words

conversion concerns

think | architect

conversion

Converting a residential building to a commercial use gives me concern.

Converting old (unoccupied) buildings to new occupancies raises even more concern.

This is part of my daily job.

How do we do this? What questions should you ask if you’re considering this as a business or property owner?

014

In my world as an architect I am frequently contacted to review existing buildings that someone wishes to convert to commercial uses. In many of these cases I find out that the existing building started out as some type of residential use. With many early 1900’s buildings the construction is wood floor/roof construction with masonry walls. Long before we can address energy or sustainability concerns, we must address the many life safety and accessibility concerns.

Local building codes will vary, but these are generally the same everywhere in the U.S. As for determining what is applicable for existing buildings, contact an…

View original post 1,482 more words

Making Public Outreach the Norm in Archaeology

Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology

A recent exchange on Facebook prompted TCPA President Dr. Tanya Peres to think more about public archaeology, and the best practices for archaeological professionals when it comes to conducting public outreach and education.   


Tanya M. Peres, PhD, RPA
President, Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology
Director, Rutherford County Archaeology Research Program
www.mtsurcarp.wordpress.com

Chances are you do archaeology because you have a passion for the past. How often do non-archaeologists remark that you have the coolest job, then launch into a litany of questions about what you do, what you find, where you’ve worked? Public interest in archaeology and the past is at an all time high. Yet, many archaeologists still shy away from actively participating in regular public outreach. I’m here to confess, I used to be one of them. Then I realized, this is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Yes, there are archaeologists that specialize in public archaeology/outreach. They…

View original post 1,130 more words