Best & Worst 2009
Highs and Lows for Historic Places
By Magazine Editors | Online Only | Dec. 28, 2009
At year's end, we look back on the most crushing losses and uplifting restorations of historic buildings throughout the country.
Return of Johnie's Broiler
It's a Hollywood ending in Southern California. A beloved Googie-style diner in Downey, Calif., was illegally demolished in 2007, but it was rebuilt and reopened this year, its original sign intact.
Comeback in Baltimore
A nonprofit took on the restoration of a long-abandoned brewery that neighbors called "Darth Vader's Castle," and this year it reopened as Humanim's headquarters and a cornerstone of the East Baltimore neighborhood. Read more
Not-So Impossible Mission
After a devastating earthquake, it's hard to believe that California's Mission San Miguel Arcangel has been restored. The building, named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places just three years ago, reopened this fall. Read more
Inspired by Sandra Day O'Connor
The Arizona house where Sandra Day O'Connor hosted thought-provoking dinner parties from 1958 until 1981 has been saved and moved, and it's in the process of being restored and rebuilt. The goal is to restore the "spirit" of the house. Read more
High Times in New York
You've heard about it, but have you walked the High Line yet? The once-abandoned elevated railroad tracks are the coolest new trail in New York City. Read about the team that saved the High Line or take a virtual tour
Most countries celebrate works by masters of architecture, but in Chicago, despite losing the bid for the next Olympics and a need for an Olympic Village site, city officials began clearing buildings on the campus of Michael Reese Hospital, designed by Walter Gropius. The city has not announced its plans for the land.
Another blow to fans of midcentury modern architecture: Sarasota, Fla., tore down Paul Rudolph's Sarasota High School for a parking lot this year. A similar school in New York could be torn down, too.
Disaster in Montana
A freak explosion in downtown Bozeman, Mont., in March destroyed several historic buildings. Still recovering from the loss, the town is planning a new development to fill the gap in the street wall.
What's your vote for Best & Worst events in the world of historic preservation this year? Leave your comments below or send us an e-mail.
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