Weekend News Roundup – July 30, 2021

Liverpool was stripped of its UNESCO world heritage status following a secret ballot by the UNESCO committee. Developments at the city’s waterfront, including a new plan for the Everton FC stadium, had deteriorated the historic site. Critics of the decision say it raises questions about historic preservation’s ability to coexist with contemporary development.

Patrice Frey and Kelly Humrichouser of Main Street America lay out how The American Rescue Plan could help save struggling business districts. Federal aid is critical for businesses facing “deep revenue losses sustained during the roller coaster of closures and partial openings, seismic changes in Americans’ shopping patterns, and new work-from-home norms that are likely to continue to reduce foot traffic.” 

A Q&A in the Guardian looks at the high environmental cost of our reliance on air conditioning as explored in Eric Dean Wilson’s book After Cooling: on Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort. Facing more frequent and severe heat waves and power outages due to climate change, the points raised make a great case for the passive cooling qualities inherent in older architecture. 

GRASSROOTS EFFORTS

Denver may designate the first ever Chicano-themed historic district. The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission gave a unanimous vote to advance the creation of the La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District; City Council will vote on the matter in August. The district also contains two significant murals, which the community is working to protect.

Shelterforce takes an in-depth look at the logistics behind community land trusts–specifically how people are working to scale up shared-equity homeownership models. Community land trusts, or CLT’s, are gaining popularity as an anti-displacement tool. 

Facing the all-too-common issue of demolition by neglect, preservationists in Atlanta are exploring a collaborative approach, though they’re keeping the “p-word” out of it. 

A look at some great adaptive reuse projects in Pittsburgh, supported by the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.  

Join Preservation Detroit on a tour of some of the city’s most at-risk landmarks

DIVERSE PRESERVATION

Bloomberg City Lab has another great interactive story illustrating how Black communities severed by highways through racist transportation policy might be reconnected by creative design efforts that recreate public space and add amenities along the corridors.

For the first time since the 1980s, Philadelphia is initiating a trades training program to recruit more women into the construction trades. With an increasing demand from clients for a diverse workforce, unions are looking to recruit more women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities. For women, one of the key realizations was to focus on students still in high school. 

Saving Places featured a women-led effort to preserve Astoria Oregon’s Odd Fellows building. 

JUST FOR FUN

Finding an English tooth and bone-filled grotto hiding in plain sight on your property is either the stuff of dreams or nightmares. (The correct answer is dreams, duh!)