Alabama and River Oaks Theaters
A pair of Art Deco beauties in the affluent River Oaks neighborhood of Houston may fall victim to rising land values. The 1939 Alabama Theater is now a bookstore and café. A few blocks away, the 1939 River Oaks Theater is still operating as a movie house. Developer Weingarten Realty owns both properties and has allowed them to deteriorate. Residents worry that Houston's weak preservation laws will facilitate demolition of the theaters. Read more
Owners recently revealed plans to raze Honolulu's IBM Building, on Ala Moana Boulevard, and develop the site. When it opened in 1962, this six-story modernist structure was a striking contemporary addition to the city's downtown. Now it is dwarfed by surrounding high-rises. Designed by Vladimir Ossipoff, who received the first Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects' Hawaii chapter, the building features a distinctive grille made of 1,360 precast concrete pieces. The IBM Building will be eligible for the National Register in four years.
Preservationists and local developers struggled to find a new use for the 1912 Detroit stadium after the Tigers left for Comerica Park in 1999. Demolition crews began razing the stadium in July; the structure is expected to be leveled unless the nonprofit Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy can raise $15.5 million by next spring to rescue the baseball diamond, the dugouts, and other parts of the stadium. The conservancy hopes to create a baseball heritage site with the preserved remnants. Read more
The Dame Block
The heart of Lexington, Ky., just got a little less historic: 14 buildings on the Dame Block (so called because of the Dame nightclub located there) were demolished this summer after local authorities announced a redevelopment plan for the area. The thriving neighborhood was one of Lexington's oldest commercial districts, filled with structures built between 1826 and 1928. Despite efforts by groups such as Preserve Lexington and the Blue Grass Trust, the block's Federal, Greek Revival, and Art Deco buildings will be replaced with a 35-story hotel and retail center. Read more
Parish: Foods & Goods
A former Atlanta Pipe and Foundry Co. structure in historic Inman Park sat vacant for decades. But last spring the 5,000-square-foot Italianate building reopened as Parish: Foods & Goods, a hip, 140-seat, New Orleans-inspired restaurant and market. Owners Bob Amick and Todd Rushing have restored elements vital to the original 1890 design, including the tin ceiling, concrete floors, brick walls, and Vermont slate roof.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Located in the Chesapeake Bay just south of Annapolis, Md., this 1875 hexagonal lighthouse is one of the Eastern Shore's most recognizable sights, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999. A public-private partnership took ownership of the lighthouse in 2004 and began restoration work. To date, workers have cleaned rust from the structure, refurbished the roof, and repaired the original floorboards. Restoration efforts should be completed next year. Go to thomaspointlighthouse.org to learn about scheduled public tours. Read more