Alamo Plaza: Design and Program

April 16, 2017 Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (0) 268

The Alamo Plaza Reimagined team released a video with images of the proposed redesign of Alamo Plaza this week.  The reaction has been a mix of concerns, but most seem focused on the large, vacant plaza surrounded by glass walls.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Latest Issues in San Antonio

March 10, 2017 History, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 784

Things have been busy at the San Antonio Conservation Society, not only because our major fundraiser Night In Old San Antonio® is coming up next month, but because it is Spring already and a host of development and legislative issues are heating up.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Conservation Forensics

December 18, 2016 Blog, Chicago Buildings, Interpretation, Texas, Vision and Style Comments (3) 911

Heritage conservation is forensic – that doesn’t just mean “crime scene,” it means an argument based on evidence. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Latest news on Alamo Plaza

December 3, 2016 Blog, Interpretation, Technology, Texas Comments (0) 449

The big news this week is the long-awaited release of the Alamo Master plan, following a process that took most of the year.  Actually, the real master plan won’t be done for another six months, but the summary that was released to City Council and civic groups finally takes some clear positions on what the Alamo area will look like in the future. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

The Future of Heritage Conservation

November 20, 2016 Blog, Intangible Heritage, Interpretation, Texas Comments (0) 355

Project Row Houses by Rick Lowe – I finally saw it 20 years after I met the man.

Well, it finally started to happen, and in Houston of all places.  PastForward, the National Preservation Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, witnessed the emergence of the next generation of “preservation” practitioners and highlighted the future of the movement.  Featuring inner-city artists who save places like Houston native Rick Lowe and Chicagoan Theaster Gates, it felt to many of us like the movement had finally turned the corner and embraced the future. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Japan Ancient and Modern

October 17, 2016 Global Heritage, Interpretation, Vision and Style Comments (0) 333

There is a wonderful aesthetic unique to Japan.  It is spare and austere. Like some modern architecture, there is a reduction that forces you to focus. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

What is the Fabric of Cultural History?

September 24, 2016 History, Intangible Heritage, Interpretation Comments (2) 351

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. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Authenticity, Technology and more places in the heart

September 1, 2016 History, Interpretation, Technology Comments (0) 357

Old school.  Not enough room on the sign for the whole story, so you have to turn it over…

Last month I wrote about Colin Ellard’s work, the neuroscience of why historic buildings and good design are better for your physical and mental health than the frequent monolithic stretches of our contemporary streetscape.  You can read it here.

At that time, I promised a follow-up blog about how technology – including the kind that allowed Ellard to do his studies – also offers new possibilities for interpretation.  I taught historic interpretation classes for more than a decade, and I have always been fascinated by every kind of historic interpretation, from big bronze signs and statues, to performances and interactive displays. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Gas Station Heritage

August 22, 2016 History, Intangible Heritage, Interpretation Comments (2) 361

Slimp Oil, 604 Carolina

Back in 2008, the National Trust for Historic Preservation held a national contest called “This Place Matters” where people voted on sites that mattered to them – to their history, their identity and their community. As I noted in my blog at the time, the winner was not a grand mansion or a pathbreaking design by a famous architect. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

A Reconstruction Avoided: Tustan

August 7, 2016 Global Heritage, Interpretation, Technology Comments (0) 311

Ten years ago this November.  My blog covered the event.

That is Vasyl Rozhko at the end of the table with me to his right.  I was in the Ukraine at the invitation of Myron Stachkiw (pointing at left) and other heritage experts, including Henry and Chris Cleere and Taissa Bushnell.  Rozhko’s father had spent his life documenting over 4000 post holes carved into 55-million year old rock outcroppings along a river in the Carpathian mountains. Continue Reading

Continue Reading