Sunday Reader

There has been a lot going on in the preservation world. I’ve picked out three topics that caught my eye for the reader today. Read on!

Lady Liberty's structural system. Look familiar?
Lady Liberty’s structural system. Look familiar?

1. The Statue of Liberty. This year is the Statue of Liberty’s 130th birthday. The statue, properly named Liberty Enlightening the World, arrived in the New York harbor on June 17, 1885: 130 years ago on last Wednesday. Lady Liberty was a gift to the United States from France. While designed by Auguste Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty’s structural insides were the design work of Gustave Eiffel. Yes, that’s right: the man who designed the Eiffel Tower shortly thereafter for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. If you look at a cross section of the Statue of Liberty, you might not be so surprised: it bears a lot of resemblance to the Eiffel Tower (see image, left). The Statue of Liberty was designated as a National Monument in 1924 and has been cared for by National Park Service employees since 1933. Happy birthday, Lady Liberty!

2. The Farnsworth House. Jumping west to Plano, Illinois: the Farnsworth House, a famous glass Mies van der Rohe house of 1945, was met by flood waters this week. The house stands on stilts (Mies van der Rohe designed the house to withstand some amount of flooding) but nevertheless has been increasingly met by rising waters. This is not an isolated event. Urbanization, storm water runoff, and increased water levels in the adjacent Fox River are all contributing to more common (and possibly higher) floods in the area. The Farnsworth House is considering multiple plans that would protect

The Farnsworth House, Illinois.
The Farnsworth House, Illinois.

the house from future damage, including elevation, relation, and hydraulics. You can read more about the flood mitigation project here.

3. Wrigley Field. The home of the Chicago Cubs and one of two remaining historic ballparks (Fenway Park being the other) has seen a lot of renovation this year as part of a multi-yer project the update the 101-year-old ballpark. The project has announced a responsible preservation plan but nevertheless, all eyes are on Wrigley. There are some characteristics of an old park that are just irreplaceable: Wrigley Field’s ivy-covered outfield wall, for example, is widely known and even has its own rules (if a ball gets lost in the ivy, it’s a double). We needn’t worry about the ivy, at least. The ivy, planted in 1937, is being carefully protected. Eleanor Gorski of the Landmarks Commission reportedly announced plans to carefully remove ivy and replace the same ivy following any necessary outfield wall repairs.

Have a nice Sunday, and happy Fathers’ Day!

Quick credit: the original interior of the Statue of Liberty sketch can be found here. The original image of the Farnsworth House can be found here. The photo of Central Park is my own.

Featured photo (top): There’s nothing like the views in Central Park, New York.

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