Archive for the ‘Localvore’ Category

Hello everyone. Today I wanted to share another bit of our Virginia trip with you: our stop at Barboursville.

For those who might not know, Barboursville is a ruin. The house was designed for Virginia Governor James Barbour by Thomas Jefferson. Many architecture buffs will be able to guess that this means it has an octagonal feature to it. Indeed, Barboursville had an octagonal drawing room.

Tragedy struck Barboursville on Christmas day in 1884.  The house was consumed by fire, leaving only the masonry walls, chimneys, columns and foundations.  The ruins remain today as a point of interest for Jeffersonians, architectural historians and folks who visit the vineyard established on the rolling hills surrounding the house. You can enjoy a nice wine tasting and take a small stroll around the ruins when you are done (Ash recommends their barrel-fermented Chardonnay).

I highly recommend visiting both the ruins and the vineyards for a destination which has broad appeal (not just for us architecture geeks).  You can find Barboursville Vineyards wines in many places near Barboursville, including Monticello!

Here are some photos that Ash took of the Ruins on his iPhone. Enjoy!

Have a good day.


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Good morning all, it’s June 15 and we know what that means: the announcement of this year’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. I guess it’s kind of contrary to celebrate the fact that some of America’s important places are in danger to begin with, but I’ve always had a touch of the Victorian macabre  (although I’d never sport any mourning jewelry…creepy). I’m just excited by calling attention to Preservation, and this black cloud is much more “silver lining” than anything else because, as National Trust President Stephanie Meeks has pointed out, in all the 24 years they have presented the Most Endangered list, only 8 endangered historic places named have been lost (out of the 233 named for those not playing the math game). All in all, a good track record!  But hey, why not let that number stay at 8 and never add another “lost boy” to the list?
Without further ado, I present you with the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list:
Bear Butte, South Dakota
Belmead-on-the-James, Virginia
China Alley, California
Fort Gaines, Alabama
Greater Chaco Landscape, New Mexico
Isaac Manchester Farm, Pennsylvania
John Coletrane House, New York
National Soldiers Home, Wisconsin
Pillsbury A Mill, Minnesota
Prentice Women’s Hospital, Illinois
Sites Imperiled By State Action, Nationwide
And The one to watch: Charleston South Carolina

So does anyone have favorites? Ideas? Redevelopment plans? Passionate pleas or stories and memories about any of these sites? If so, please share them.
Hopefully we can save these buildings and landscapes this year and not add any more of America’s great places to the list of losses.

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I have a confession. This will not be news to my friends or Ash but I will still confess it: I am a picky eater. VERY picky. I don’t eat anything with mayo or red sauce. I won’t eat lettuce or anything a pepper has come in contact with. If it has basil and cilantro in it I won’t go near it and if I think it is a day past the expiration date or it’s been around for what I consider “too long”,  I will gag if Ash suggests that we consume it, and don’t even get me started on Jello.. once it’s in its creepy wiggly form, No Way!

However, In addition to being picky I am also a bit of a foodie. In fact when I’m not reading Preservation blogs I am reading Pioneer Woman, Gingerbread bagels, Lady Gouda, Delicious Dishings or one of many other great Food Blogs out there.

Now, I know your wondering what this has to do with Preservation so stay with me, food blogging is very big right now and with all this attention to food also comes a lot of attention to being a localvore (for those who don’t know being a localvore is  eating food that is grown locally and is thus in season, fresh, whole and healthy (until you fry that local cheese into mozzarella sticks) now being a localvore isn’t a new thing, in fact. Unless you were born less than 20 years ago it was something that your parents may have grown up with, and the only way of life that your grandparents knew until they were nearly middle-aged!  It is something we as good Preservationists should go back to and I’ll tell you why. 1.) Being a localvore means that you are eating healthier, non-processed foods that are better for you, and better for our planet. Who doesn’t think that’s a good idea? 2.) Being a localvore adds to your local economy, which in turn provides more money to your towns and counties which then in turn leads to a trickle down that will eventually lead to more money to fund local Preservation projects and 3.) Being a localvore will create business demand for local shops and markets to sell local goods and those businesses will need locations (which create jobs as a bonus). The demand for local foods and products will lead businesses to seek out a central location and thus this will cause a vacant space in an historic downtown to be filled with a business, thereby revitalizing your downtown!

See how easy it is to drive Preservation just by eating?  Now, I know that these are very broad generalizations, but come on, it’s  common sense and there are tons of studies out there that show how shopping locally helps local economies. Though… I don’t know of any that directly link it to Preservation, but if you do know of some research or a study, then please let me know!

And on that note, I will leave you will a yummy little recipe link to Tasty Kitchen for some great Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Frosting because we’re just coming into Strawberry season here and Chocolate and Strawberries go together like Olmstead and Vaux.


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