Weekend News Roundup – February 25, 2022

Author: Starr Herr-Cardillo
Feb 25, 2022

Preservation News

Corretta Scott King’s childhood home, and the house where she and Martin Luther King Jr. were married in 1953, has been slowly deteriorating for the past several decades. “It’s actually more typical than you’d imagine. We pass by many Black heritage sites every day, standing in plain sight seemingly without history or meaning. Yet, these overlooked places hold exceptional cultural and educational value,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

An incredibly large remnant of a Roman mosaic has been unearthed at a construction site in London. “Dating from the late second century to the early third century, the mosaic’s flowers and geometric patterns were a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime find, said Antonietta Lerz, of the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola).”

A Temple student is working to raise awareness about the significance of the Church of the Advocate in his North Philadelphia neighborhood. Of his mission, Tyler Ray explains “Growing up in North Philadelphia, I always saw so many abandoned buildings in my neighborhood. It made me ask, why do historic buildings in Black or low income neighborhoods sit abandoned without even a historical marker? You don’t see that in predominantly white neighborhoods.”

Appreciation of Chicago’s bungalows, the modest structures that make up about a third of the city’s housing stock, in Bloomber’s City Lab

In L.A. a massive abandoned Sears distribution center could present an opportunity to house people experiencing homelessness, according to the multi-millionaire business partners who bought the hulking complex.

Policy Ideas

A look at how state-level incentives in Maryland have supported tax credits for historic property owners in Baltimore and what Philadelphia–another rowhouse city that faced significant population loss–can learn from their program.

“Cities should rethink the use of public funds to raze buildings, and instead use that money to restore them,” writes Scott Beyer for Market Urbanism Report.

Climate and Sustainability

In Collegetown, a local architecture professor hopes a deconstruction project can serve as a local case study. “The Collegetown case study aims to comprehensively research deconstruction’s local potential, documenting everything from the quantity and quality of materials saved to their resale market, the time and labor required, and the total cost – including environmental and social costs not typically factored into construction and demolition budgets.”

A botched planning process for a redesign of one of Philadelphia’s most troublesome roads is making national news and frustrating bike and pedestrian advocates.

A paper published in Nature Climate Change takes on the interrelated issues of colonialism, climate change, and whose heritage is prioritized. “Climate change poses a threat to heritage globally,” said lead researcher Joanne Clarke of the University of East Anglia. “But it is particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries, where vulnerability to climate change is generally high, with climate hazards such as sea-level rise, flooding and wildfires.” 

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