Blog buzz

What other folks are saying and writing about this blog and its e-kin:

  • People don’t usually get up-in-arms over the demolition of a boxy, rather unremarkable, midcentury brick home — the ubiquitous housing stock of American suburbs … but David Rotenstein over at History Sidebar has compiled an interesting look back at the brick ranch and its former occupants. Curbed AtlantaControversial Decatur Demo Begs Question: ‘What’s Historic?’, August 17, 2015.
  • In Oakhurst, Under-Construction House Vanishes. Poof!Last year, a squat green home met its maker at 316 East Lake Drive, where Oakhurst meets Kirkwood. In its place, a large plywood structure sprung up, only to stagnate without any sign of progress for months. Now, the under-construction home has disappeared, as the Ruined Decatur blog notes — Curbed Atlanta, August 11, 2014.
  • The testimony about Decatur police was stunning and thanks to David Rotenstein for bringing the issue to our attention. It’s the same kind of “racial sorting” that police all over the country have been doing for generations, maintaining color line boundaries. I hope that part of the agenda for tonight will include how we can address the testimony that indicates what’s going on in our own neighborhoods. — Atlanta New Jim Crow Action Group on Racism is alive and well in Decatur, Ga., June 25, 2014.
  • Should Preservationists Leave Space for Parking Lots? According to a new article by David Rotenstein on the National Council on Public History website, “parking lots are a key component of American landscapes and histories. While no reasonable preservationist or historian would advocate for saving every parking lot and retaining what are often critically characterized as “seas of asphalt,” there may be merits to preserving elements of the twentieth-century built environment that capture our nation’s automobile-centered culture and the infrastructure required to support it.” Planetizen, June 5, 2014.
  • Rotenstein, who has been blogging about the effects of the teardowns since 2011, said he disagrees with the residents and officials who think a demolition moratorium would be too “extreme.” — The Champion Newspaper/Free Press (Decatur, Ga.), Oct. 25, 2013 .
  • Interested in learning more about the history of the Cottage and the people who built it? This blog post sheds light on carpenter William Degges, his work at the Cottage, and his legacy in Washington. Don’t miss the 1851 map of the property! — President Lincoln’s Cottage (National Trust for Historic Preservation) Facebook page, March 4, 2013.
  • Northwood Park is the Oldest Subdivision in the North Four Corners area of Silver Spring …. the houses are all unique, filled with the quaint charm, character and architectural details of a bygone era. One house was a home that was built to be exhibited in the 1939 World’s Fair in the “Town of Tommorow”.  This home was recently featured at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.  Several other houses were used as model “showcase homes” by the Washington Gas Light Company in the 1930’s. — Northwood Park Neighborhood Homes, Realtor Debbie Cook’s Active Rain site, January 2013.
  • Time to highlight David Rotenstein’s incomparable blog. — Vernacular Architecture Forum Facebook page, December 20, 2012.
  • Recent social networking has helped me to delve deeper into the world of architectural restoration and/or preservation. It’s one particular discussion thread that has me thinking. It seems that preservation isn’t always about architectural history in America, Britain, and Canada; sometimes it provides poignant reminders of zeitgeist.Such is the case for David Rotenstein, a consulting historian. Rotenstein found his work on a residential project facilitated significantly when a bevy of previous residents and neighbours helped him dig deeper and deeper into the home’s 1930s roots. The owner of a neighbouring house was particularly thrilled to talk to Rotenstein about the original community, going back to when it consisted of only two houses. Her story reminds us of history’s gravity. — Nichole Reber, Perspective Magazine (Hong Kong) blog, November 2012.
  • What is more aesthetically jarring to me is are the infill homes that tower over smaller houses and completely are off base with the historic look of the area (as mentioned here before, the Ruined Decatur blog covers this topic well). — “Mal93,” McMansions making a comeback?, Aug. 8, 2012.
  • What’s happening to the “dollar homes” of Decatur, Georgia? In the first of a two-part series on History@Work, David Rotenstein opens important questions about money, race, and preservation. — National Council on Public History, FaceBook, Sept. 15, 2012.
  • I saw this on another web site or perhaps its was the NTHP site….makes me sick. — Reader commenting on Twitter terrorism on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s LinkedIn page.
  • I’m sorry to hear that, David, although it’s completely understandable. We don’t have the problems you describe here in the small southern communities where I live and consult (mostly on preservation of downtowns and historic neighborhoods). I wonder if the reason is that the real estate is not yet worth enough for big developers to set their sights on it? — Reader commenting on Twitter terrorism on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s LinkedIn page.
  • wow is right! looks like you ticked off some really web-savvy builders/land-developers. That is shocking and I hope they get prosecuted for their actions. — Reader commenting on Twitter terrorism on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s LinkedIn page.
  • I know Mrs Luke will enjoy your extra effort to include her McKoy home. She is a lovely lady. I enjoyed this experience and thanks again for the finished reports. I will keep them safe and hopefully enjoy this history with my family in the coming years. — Reader and oral history interview subject interviewed in this post, August 10, 2012.
  • Thanks for a really thought provoking article! The maps and photos and oral histories all provided excellent documentation for this traditional neighborhood and the changes wrought by urban renewal. Hopefully, your efforts will help other communities address this issue and document their own lost landscapes/history as well.  — National Trust for Historic Preservation LinkedIn group.
  • The Historian For Hire blog has put up a nice short history of the Parkwood neighborhood … Great stuff!  We look forward to H4H’s next post on the neighborhood — Decatur Metro, June 29, 2011.
  • Though it was original published back January, I just recently came across a post on the Historian for Hire blog about teardowns in Montgomery County. It focuses on a house in North Four Corners that was recently razed and replaced with a McMansion. It’s definitely worth a read. — Silver Spring Singular blog, Mar. 8, 2011.
  • The good folks over at GreaterGreaterWashington.org were entertaining a similar discussion about development in nearby Montgomery County, where reports show teardowns continue to rear their ugly heads. Starting with a subdivision map from 1951, the well-researched post tracks the various owners and mortgage transactions that lead a 1952 “Belvedere rambler” to be replaced by what the author dubs a Cliffs Notes Home. For those of us unfamiliar with the term, an entertaining, yet dead-on definition …. — National Trust for Historic Preservation Preservation Round-Up blog, Jan. 7, 2011.
  • Silver Spring-based Historian For Hire signs off. He and his family will be moving to Atlanta where his wife has a new job. — The Washington Post, “The Buzz,” Nov. 9, 2011. [Minor technical correction: H4H signed off from Silver Spring. Signing on from Decatur, Ga., Feb. 21, 2011.]
  • SCENT OF HISTORY: An article on David Rotenstein’s Historian for Hire blog gives a fascinating recount of the East Liberty stockyards, which were opened in February 1864 by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Its a part of Pittsburgh’s business history that largely has been forgotten. — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Opening Bell” blog, Aug. 12, 2010.
  • … earlier this week, Historian4Hire wondered about the “social costs” of exchanging one of Silver Spring’s few remaining family-owned businesses for yet another chain. “… it appears that the Peterson Companies efforts to recruit CVS at the expense of Family Dry Cleaners is at odds with goals championed by the Planning Department in its Rethink Montgomery series,” writes blogger David Rotenstein. — TBD.com, Dec. 16, 2010.
  • There is also an interesting series of articles on the eruvim in this area entitled Courtyards of Convenience: Montgomery County’s Eruvim, written by local historian (and past chair of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission) David Rotenstein — Ohr Kodesh Congregation (Chevy Chase, MD) Website.
  • David Rotenstein … does an excellent job describing the history of the location of “some of the region’s most significant and contested radio architecture and engineering structures” …  Anyone who works at one of the many TV and radio stations in the area will find the history and pictures fascinating, as will anyone with an interest in the history of broadcasting and communications — Doug Lung, TV Technology blog, Dec. 10, 2010.
  • Meatpacking plants certainly don’t sound pretty. But, Historian For Hire makes a compelling case as to why Pittsburgh shouldn’t have demolished the Millvale Industrial Park, a former brewery and later, a slaughterhouse: “I moved away from Pittsburgh in 1999. Back then, there were few physical reminders in the landscape of the once fragrant and vibrant livestock and leather industry that made its home along the north side of the Allegheny River. Since then, the Pittsburgh Wool Company building was demolished and the former tannery sites along the Allegheny River north of the sprawling Heinz plant were destroyed to make way for a city-subsidized Heinz expansion that made national news back in 1999 and 2000. And, a few former tannery and slaughterhouse buildings survive in the Spring Garden valley. Now with the demolition of the Millvale Industrial Park buildings, Pittsburgh has lost yet another link to its rich and largely unwritten industrial past.” Read more here. — National Trust for Historic Preservation Preservation Round-Up blog, Nov. 29, 2010.
  • David’s careful research is vibrantly written and carries the theme of Crutchett’s near-frantic efforts to bring modern lighting to the Capital. This ought to be published in the Washington Post, in order to capture the general interest… David has put this situation “on the map!” — Reader,  Society for Industrial Archeology LinkedIn page, Nov. 23, 2010.
  • We Say: David Rotenstein is a historian, but he is also a Silver Spring resident who focuses on the present: events and news in his ever-evolving community. — TBD.com Community Network.
  • Historian for Hire has posted the second article in a series on Montgomery County, Maryland’s Jewish eruvim, which are “spaces constructed by Orthodox Jews that mix public and private spaces into a single symbolic sacred area — a domain — that allows Jews to carry and push things normally prohibited during the 25-hour Jewish Sabbath.” There’s a lot of fascinating research contained in this little blog post on a very unusual subject. — National Trust for Historic Preservation Preservation Round-Up blog, Oct. 28, 2010.
  • Historian for Hire David Rotenstein writes about eruvim, symbolic spaces created in Orthodox Jewish communities which allow their members to leave their houses on the Sabbath. No fewer than four of these so-called “courtyards” exist in East County, and they’re basically invisible to non-Orthodox people, bounded in some places by power lines, fences and the occasional piece of string. His examination of eruvim and an interview with the “inspector” who maintains the Silver Spring eruv is likely the most interesting thing you’ll read all day. — Just Up the Pike blog, Oct. 25, 2010.
  • Thank you for the excellent post about the smelly underbelly typical of many cities. Would have enjoyed hearing more about the Thanksgiving dinner conversations between the Burnham and Sherman families! — Diana Painter, reader, Daniel H. Burnham and Washington’s Union Stockyards
  • David Rotenstein’s got a fascinating study going on his website at http://historian4hire.wordpress.com/. Yesterday morning I didn’t know what an eruv was, and now I know that I live in one. — Thomas F. King on Facebook.

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