Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Historic Preservation Month: house in Scranton, Pennsylvania

This article in Old House Journal is more than six years old, "A Craftsman Restoration in Scranton, Pennsylvania," but it's highly inspirational.  (And an example of my belief that a lot of the information presented in books and magazines, and even newspapers, is highly valuable for a long time.)

Note the decorative tile in the master suite bathroom.

The article discusses the 30 year period over which the author restored a grand arts and crafts style house in a streetcar suburb of Scranton and how his appreciation for historic preservation, craftsmanship, Stickley furniture--which he began to collect to furnish the rooms in appropriate style, and the value of place grew during the process.  From the article:

I came to appreciate the streetcar suburb the Scrantons had selected for their home. Just as they had done, people still strolled along the sidewalks, chatting with neighbors as they passed. Neighbors borrowed tools, shared information about schools and politicians, and referred one another to the carpenters, plumbers, and other building tradesmen old-house owners depend on. While the automobile had altered the social life of adolescents, the large church hall where local teenagers had once bowled, played basketball, danced, and just hung out still stood beside the church down the block. The ideals of the Garden City movement, an extension of the Arts & Crafts movement, were still being realized here.

Over time, I came to realize that the house I inhabited had opened a window for me into an otherwise vanished lifestyle and aesthetic. As the years passed, I grew to admire the Arts & Crafts movement—not only its commitment to good materials, craftsmanship, and simplicity of design, but also its belief in the creative potential of every human being. Living in a home inspired by it, the movement’s legacy had come to touch and enrich my life. It was much more than I had ever expected of an old house in Scranton.

A great example of why it's worth subscribing to historic preservation related magazines like Old House Journal.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home