TODAY IN HISTORY: THE GREAT CONFLAGRATION OF NEW ORLEANS
Historically and today, fire poses a tremendous risk to historic buildings. Much of the work we do at STRATA involves the complex and delicate work of bolstering historic buildings against this danger. When historic buildings, particularly in historic districts, suffer fire damage, the results can be devastating. On this day in 1788, over 850 buildings in New Orleans were destroyed in what would become known as the Great New Orleans Fire or the Great Conflagration of New Orleans. This plan, reproduced in 1911, shows the extent of the damage.
FROM ALL OF US AT STRATA (AND MINERVA)
WOMEN IN ARCHITECTURE: JANE FIFIELD FLYNN (1924-2006)
Our Women in Architecture series returns to Kansas City this week to honor self-described ‘troublemaker’ and Kansas City preservation icon Jane Fifield Flynn.
New York’s Jane Jacobs may get the lion’s share of the glory, but Kansas City has its own preservation heroine in Jane Flynn. Spurred by the demolition of the Emery, Bird, Thayer Building in 1973 (as Jacobs had been by the 1963 demolition of old New York Penn Station), Flynn would become Kansas City’s resident preservation firecracker. Calling herself a “street-fighting preservationist,” she was Kansas City’s foremost preservation activist, though her reach stretched beyond the city limits. Flynn was instrumental in the establishment of the 18th and Vine historic district and the recognition of the Mutual Musicians Foundation as a National Historic Landmark. She fought countless battles to save endangered historic buildings, winning some and losing others, but always raising awareness. Known to be inflexible and tireless, Flynn fought on the side of forgotten buildings and forgotten history. She published works on both the demolished buildings and hidden figures of Kansas City history, including a STRATA favorite, 1992’s Kansas City Women of Independent Minds. At various times, Flynn was the administrator of the Landmarks Commission, president of the Historic Kansas City Foundation board of directors, and chairman of the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. She is remembered for her stubborn passion and limitless energy, by the community of preservationists she fostered, and in the hundreds of historic buildings saved through her efforts and those of whom she inspired.
Fresh from the stone carvers
Check out this freshly carved Indiana limestone spire for the Second Presbyterian tower restoration! This beauty is the first of eight, each of which takes one carver an entire week to create. We can’t wait to see the finished product in place.
Progress at Second Presbyterian Church
Despite frigid temperatures, work at the Second Presbyterian Church bell tower continues!
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