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Archive for February, 2017

Six Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings

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1. Old buildings have intrinsic value.

Buildings of a certain era, namely pre-World War II, tend to be built with higher-quality materials such as rare hardwoods (especially heart pine) and wood from old-growth forests that no longer exist.

Prewar buildings were also built by different standards. A century-old building might be a better long-term bet than its brand-new counterparts.

Take, for example, the antebellum Kennedy-Baker-Walker-Sherrill House in West Knoxville, Tennessee. Until the City Council approved a zoning deal, the house was threatened by developers’ interests. However, following its classification as a historic site, the house―and its five-brick-thick walls―will be reborn as an office building that could withstand the fiercest of tornadoes.

2. When you tear down an old building, you never know what’s being destroyed.

A decade ago, the Daylight Building in Knoxville was a vacant eyesore. A developer purchased the property with plans to demolish the building to make way for new construction.

However, following multiple failed deals to demolish the building, the Daylight went back on the market. Dewhirst Properties bought it and began renovations only to discover the building’s hidden gems: drop-ceilings made with heart-pine wood, a large clerestory, a front awning adorned with unusual tinted “opalescent” glass, and a facade lined with bright copper.

Beyond surviving demolition and revealing a treasure trove of details, the Daylight reminds us that even eyesores can be valuable for a community’s future.

3. New businesses prefer old buildings.

In 1961, urban activist Jane Jacobs startled city planners with The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in which Jacobs discussed economic advantages that certain types of businesses have when located in older buildings.

Jacobs asserted that new buildings make sense for major chain stores, but other businesses–-such as bookstores, ethnic restaurants, antique stores, neighborhood pubs, and especially small start-ups―thrive in old buildings.

“As for really new ideas of any kind―no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be―there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error, and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction,” she wrote. “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

4. Old buildings attract people.

Is it the warmth of the materials, the heart pine, marble, or old brick―or the resonance of other people, other activities? Maybe older buildings are just more interesting.
The different levels, the vestiges of other uses, the awkward corners, the mixtures of styles, they’re at least something to talk about. America’s downtown revivals suggest that people like old buildings. Whether the feeling is patriotic, homey, warm, or reassuring, older architecture tends to fit the bill.

Regardless of how they actually spend their lives, Americans prefer to picture themselves living around old buildings. Some eyes glaze over when preservationists talk about “historic building stock,” but what they really mean is a community’s inventory of old buildings ready to fulfill new uses.

5. Old buildings are reminders of a city’s culture and complexity.

By seeing historic buildings―whether related to something famous or recognizably dramatic―tourists and longtime residents are able to witness the aesthetic and cultural history of an area. Just as banks prefer to build stately, old-fashioned facades, even when located in commercial malls, a city needs old buildings to maintain a sense of permanency and heritage.

6. Regret goes only one way.

The preservation of historic buildings is a one-way street. There is no chance to renovate or to save a historic site once it’s gone. And we can never be certain what will be valued in the future. This reality brings to light the importance of locating and saving buildings of historic significance―because once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever.

This toolkit originally appeared on March 3, 2014, and was adapted from Jack Neely’s article, “Nine Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings,” at Metro Pulse.

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and gawks at buildings.

Spring Fling Antique Market & Yard Sale – Legacy Architectural Salvage

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Be a part of Legacy Architectural Salvage’s Spring Fling Antique Market and Yard Sale, Saturday March 11th, from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

SHOP
Shop from up to 15 vendors and enjoy discounted items in the Salvage warehouse. The sale includes items from the Wilmington filmed movie “Bolden” and our extensive inventory. This fun event will be held rain or shine. Please park along the east side of the Stevens Hardware building and in designated areas.

OR SELL – Vendor Registration
To participate as a vendor in this year’s Spring Fling costs just $10 for a 10’x10′ space. To register, contact Spring Fling Coodinator Katrina Tokay at hwf@historicwilmington.org by February 28th. Space is limited. Vendor sale items are limited to antiques, household goods and arts & crafts.

Own a Piece of ILM-Filmed “Bolden” – Legacy Architectural Salvage

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Thursday

Posted Jan 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM

By Hunter Ingram StarNews Staff

WILMINGTON — Signaling the end of a production that periodically filmed in Wilmington over the last decade, “Bolden” is giving back by donating architectural and building materials to several local nonprofits.
Over four days at the beginning of the month, crews from the film delivered truckloads of doors, shutters, windows and fixtures to the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Legacy Architectural Salvage warehouse — all aged by hand for historical and picture accuracy. Similar deliveries were made to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, each of whom received large palates of ply wood sheeting.
The materials were all part of the sets built for the sweeping and intricately detailed story of Buddy Bolden, the pioneering cornet player whose story unfolds as the birth of jazz takes hold of New Orleans at the turn of the century.
The film is legend in the local film industry, having first began shooting in early 2007. It returned in 2010 for more filming and again 2014, the latter time with a drastically new cast and new scenes shot in a former Rocky Point yacht warehouse. Last week, the film wrapped what several local crew were told was its last round of filming at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
Dolores Williams, volunteer salvage manager, said she wanted to jump up and down when she first saw the sheer number and quality of pieces the film wanted to donate to the Historic Wilmington Foundation, but was worried the production liaison would find her unprofessional.
“He told me to go ahead and jump,” she said. “It was that thrilling.”
The foundation received 113 doors, 226 windows, 100 shutters, stacks of barn wood and more than 1,800 pieces of hardware.
“They even delivered it, set it up and built the racks to hold it,” she said. “I’ve never had so much service in my life.
The props donated aren’t real antique items, only fashioned to play the part of 1900-1930s pieces. Available for purchase are doors big and small, some with aged glass panels and others with chipped faded paint jobs; windows hand-crafted to give the century-old look; and door knobs, hinges and grates that provided the final set decoration touches.
For crafty homeowners and movie fans, Williams said they can benefit from the cheaper prices and unique items for art and home improvement projects. Interest in the movie items has shown in the salvage project’s sales, which all benefit the Historic Wilmington Foundation.
“The last two weekends, we have had astronomical sales because of interests from the movie items,” she said, noting the warehouse is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment.
Over at WARM, Tom Burns, construction manager, said their plywood donation was a godsend and has already been put to use.
“What a blessing,” he said. “We repair a lot of floor damage caused by plumbing leaks and disasters like Hurricane Matthew. We are going to use the wood to reinforce floors for homeowners, many of whom are elderly or disabled, and make them safer.”
After filming in 2014, “Bolden” held a massive three-day auction of props in Wilmington including more historically manufactured and authentically antique items. The film does not have a release date.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.