Celebrating Excellence in Preservation, Reuse, and Community Revitalization

From Restore Oregon: Built in 1959 for the Oregon Centennial, this 31-foot tall Paul Bunyan statue is a Kenton neighborhood landmark. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Oregon’s only designated Roadside Attraction has been featured on everything from travel ads to tee shirts. Although officially the statue has no owner, the Kenton Neighborhood Association has long been its steward. Thanks to their tireless fundraising efforts and months of painstaking restoration, a freshly refurbished “Tall Paul” stands ready to delight Kenton residents and visitors for decades to come.

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4 cool new hotels: California’s retro motor lodge revival

Santa Barbara’s Goodland Hotel offers loaner bikes and a throwback, beachy vibe. Kimpton Goodland

From East Bay Times: The Goodland design team used many of those spaces to create communal pockets throughout the property. “People travel for different reasons,” he says, “but to be able to sit down and strike up a conversation with someone … that’s special.”

Artistic touches and local goods are lovely things, but a hotel’s success is always dependent on location. The 1950s Cambria Beach Lodge hits the mark. It sits directly across from Moonstone Beach and an easy Linus bike ride to Cambria’s main drag. The lodge, which is owned by the PRG Hospitality Group, reopened two years ago.

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Will Amestoy’s vintage neon sign be saved or sold?

Amestoy’s on the Hill is expected to close sometime over the next several months. What will be the fate of its old neon sign? Rod Thornburg / For the Californian

From Bakersfield.com: Amestoy’s on the Hill in east Bakersfield is one of those gnarly old saloons locals love for its history — and for its homeliness.

But the 70-year-old watering hole has been struggling to survive in a neighborhood that is likewise struggling.

So when proprietor and barkeep Mike Miller revealed last week that he will close Amestoy’s, the news not only disappointed longtime supporters, it raised questions about the fate of its weatherbeaten but vintage neon sign that hangs over the bar’s entrance.

“I offered it to the Kern County Museum,” Miller told The Californian. “They said they would only take it if I pay the cost to get it to them.”

That’s correct, said museum CEO Mike McCoy.

“The neon signs are a popular addition to the museum,” McCoy said in an email. “However, they are not cheap to take down from their old location and then they have to be restored and re-installed. We have five or six signs in storage that we have not installed yet due to cost prohibitions.”

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William J. Murtagh, Lion of Historic Preservation, Dies at 95

William J. Murtagh in his Washington office in about 1980, when he was keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. He saw preservation as a way to reverse what he called “the visual trashing of America.” Credit: Walter Smalling

From The New York Times: William J. Murtagh, the first designated “keeper” of the National Register of Historic Places and a paladin among preservationists, died on Oct. 28 in a retirement community in Sarasota, Fla. He was 95.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his nephew Dean F. Murtagh said.

Hoping to reverse what he called “the visual trashing of America” inflicted by urban renewal bulldozers and interstate highway billboards, Dr. Murtagh galvanized architects, historians, preservationists, archaeologists, local civic leaders and an informed public to consider places worth saving. He was driven, he said, by a concern “for what we might call the cultural ecology of the country.”

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Why There’s No Place Quite Like the American Garage

Garage photographed in the early 1970s in Van Nuys, California. PHOTO COURTESY JOHN DIVOLA/MIT PRESS

From Atlas Obscura: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT STARTED DESIGNING the Frederick C. Robie house in 1908, the same year that Ford’s Model T went into production, and he gave the home a three-car garage. The architect and his client were already aligned in their enthusiasm for a newly automotive society. “Robie had caught Wright’s attention because of his car, as they were two of the only men in the South Side of Chicago with a gasoline-powered machine,” write Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela in their new book, Garage, an intellectual history of an often overlooked space. The Robie house became an icon of modern architecture, but the automobile-centric spaces Wright added gave it an additional distinction. It was the first house to have an attached garage.

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