Wednesday, October 11, 2006

American Express And The National Trust For Historic Preservation Play 'American Idol' With Bay Area Historic Preservation

"Last month, American Express and the National Trust announced their Partners in Preservation program, which lets the public play American Idol with historic preservation by voting to fund—or not fund—a select list of preservation projects. The program’s inaugural battle royal pits 25 sites in the San Francisco Bay Area against each other for a $1 million purse. Program organizers estimate that 10 to 12 winners will split the pot, based in part on votes cast online by the public.

So far, the obvious candidates are scoring most of the votes—lighthouses, state parks, Bernard Maybeck buildings. But don’t the region’s most beloved landmarks already have plenty of community support? In the spirit of healthy competition, makes a case for a few dark-horse candidates with our totally subjective, less-than-exhaustive Voters Guide for Indecisive Preservationists. Click on any of the images to begin a virtual tour of these sites.

Register to vote at Partners in Preservation and you can cast a ballot once every day until October 31, 2006."

Karen E. Steen "Virtual Preservation: Possible salvation of historic sites in the San Francisco Bay area is just a click away" October 10, 2006

Cleveland Cascade Park, Oakland

"This cascading hillside fountain was buried and forgotten in the 1950s and only unearthed two years ago. Apparently, Oakland did have cultural investment at one time, but it was forgotten so long ago that now people have to dig it out of the ground. It’s mind boggling that the city discarded this gem, and the neighbors who uncovered it deserve help reviving it."

Fox Oakland Theater, Oakland

"We’ve been hearing about the rebirth of Oakland since the 1989 earthquake, but the perennial bud has yet to bloom. Weak attempts at revitalization have left the city’s core a weird hodgepodge of underutilized historic buildings, with plenty of crappy new condos on the way. Reviving this spectacular art deco theater as a performance venue and school of the arts could be the magnet that finally lures real crowds and real reinvestment."

Photo and caption credits: With thanks.


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