The [US] National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 21st annual list of the nation's Most Endangered Historic Places. Among them: Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, (where Linda Brown tried to register for school, resulting in Brown vs. Board of Education); New York City's Lower East Side; California's State Parks; Philadelphia's Boyd Theatre, and several others. The previous 20 years of Most Endangered Historic Places can be found in the Archive. [more inside]
Randall's Lost New York City Collection "documents the destruction of many of New York City's 19th century tenement and other buildings, so that we can mourn the lost [and] appreciate the endangered." Gallery 1, 2. [more inside]
Getting Bored is Not Allowed at the Plaza Hotel, at least not according to its famous fictional resident, the exhausting, spoiled and infectiously ebullient Eloise. Sadly, though, today's news is anything but boring: the Plaza's new owners announced plans to close the iconic hotel for 18 months, and renovate it to create private condos -- throwing hundreds of employees out of work. It's been said that nothing unimportant ever happens at the Plaza: from its 1907 opening to Truman Capote's 1966 Black and White Ball, the Plaza has hosted literati, glitterati, rock stars, and royalty. It has graced the screen in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby, making Hollywood history when it became the first fully on-location film shoot for North by Northwest. Ernest Hemingway told F. Scott Fitzgerald to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to the Plaza; Dorothy Parker got her pink slip from Vanity Fair there. Residents, at various times, included Frank Lloyd Wright, Cary Grant, and Judy Garland. Every President since Taft has stepped through its giant engraved revolving doors. Chef Boyardee of canned-spaghetti fame got his start in its kitchens. No New York tourist's rounds are complete without a bloody mary and some bluepoints at the Oyster Bar, a martini in the Oak Room bar, or tea in the Palm Court, and its French-chateau facade is a Central Park centerpiece. An employees' group and a supporting 'Friends of the Plaza' group have begun working to save the gracious place, with the goal of preserving not only the building and their jobs, but the very idea of the quintessential New York luxury hotel. Almost enough to make folks want the Donald back.