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Posts Tagged ‘National Trust for Historic Preservation’

Adaptive Reuse for Historic Post Offices

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Can you imagine a historic post office as a residential home? I can. The US Postal Service needs to cut expenses and this may well be an opportunity to create a cool home. Or a small shop. Coffee house. Cafe. Legal office. Literary loft. What other uses can you think of for a historic post office? What would you use the post office boxes for? Would you incorporate them into the adaptive reuse design? And how about the mural?

 

“Find a new use for the Geneva post office so that it will continue to be a vital part of the historic downtown. Work with the U.S. Postal Service and other agencies to save historic post office buildings across the country.”

 

http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/historic-post-office-buildings

Milton Friedman's Salad

I’m afraid the few times I’ve used a ZIP code recently have been for credit card validation or online, to locate a retail outlet near me.   The vast majority of mail envelopes that I open are done so with a double click.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation describes historic post office buildings as National Treasures, put them on their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and hired me to document 60134, located in Geneva Illinois.  The building is like much of the real mail that arrives at my studio:  battle worn but mostly intact, and occasionally hiding a beautiful surprise.

Painted in 1940 by Manuel Bromberg, the WPA mural is titled “Fish Fry in the Park.”

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As a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I like to raise awareness of the benefits of repairing windows rather than replacing them. Often times people think they are improving the energy efficiency by replacing the windows. Perhaps not.

“More heat is typically lost though your roof and un-insulated walls than through your windows. Adding just 3 and 1/2 inches of insulation in your attic can save more energy than replacing your windows.”

Has this quote caught your attention? It’s pulled from an article published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Read it for information about the benefits of keeping your old windows (they’ll last far longer). It also covers wood window basics, maintenance of wood windows, lead-based paint safety, and winter tips (including the most important job of a window lock. Hint: it’s not for security).

Windows Tip Sheet (National Trust for Historic Preservation-July 2008)

If you’d like to read more, go here:  Historic windows and energy efficiency

And here’s another blog entry regarding Help for Historic Windows

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“A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window.”

–Charles Baudelaire

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