Rich in Black history but long underfunded, these HBCU campuses will finally be preserved

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A new pilot grant program is designed to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities preserve significant buildings and sites on their campuses—an initiative that is long overdue. Since their emergence before the Civil War and their expansion in the years following the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been fundamental institutions in the lives of many Black Americans. More than 100 of these institutions still operate in the United States, with notable alumni ranging from civil rights leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. to novelist Toni Morrison and Vice President Kamala Harris. And despite their role in the story of Black America, many are struggling to maintain and preserve buildings and sites of historic significance on their campuses. Read Full Story

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Help your favorite historic restaurant survive the pandemic by nominating it for an Amex grant

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American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are starting a $1 million grant program for eateries with a special cultural significance. Every day we hear about another classic restaurant that has gone belly up because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these establishments have been around for decades. They are cherished by their neighborhoods and communities, and once they’re gone, they can’t be replaced. Read Full Story

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The world’s most unconventional use of business cards

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These cards could save one of Japan’s most famous buildings. Should weird architecture be preserved? Often more expensive to maintain and less versatile than many contemporary buildings, groundbreaking architecture from the past is perpetually threatened with demolition . Advocates, meanwhile, insist that it should be maintained on historical and sentimental value alone. Read Full Story

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Seville is turning its iconic oranges into electricity

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Seville’s oranges are too bitter to eat fresh, but they’re a famous ingredient in marmalade—and, now, in the city’s electrical grid. The city of Seville is one of Spain’s historic hubs, primarily known for being the birthplace of flamenco, and a passionate preserver of bullfighting. But it’s also a citrus haven: With almost 50,000 orange trees, it’s Europe’s top city for orange production. Read Full Story

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Protecting historic landmarks from climate change will mean radically rethinking preservation

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Iconic landmarks are threatened by rising seas, droughts, storms, and wildfires. Saving them means being open to transformation. With global travel curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding comfort in planning future trips . But imagine that you finally arrive in Venice and the “ floating city” is flooded . Would you stay anyway, walking through St. Mark’s Square on makeshift catwalks or elevated wooden passages—even if you couldn’t enter the Basilica or the Doge’s Palace? Or would you leave and hope to visit sometime in the future? Read Full Story

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This startup gives renters a financial stake in their apartments

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The average young person will spend more than $200,000 on rent, without the benefits of owning property. Now, Rhove reimagines renters as stakeholders to help them build wealth. When someone rents an apartment in a new complex in Columbus, Ohio, they can now also get a financial stake in the building. The property is the first to partner with Rhove , a startup that wants to help shrink the wealth gap between renters and homeowners by offering “rentership,” an asset that grows with the value of the property. Read Full Story

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‘Don’t tread on me’: The untold origins of a flag used by everyone from Trump supporters to Nike

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Flown by angry mobs at the U.S. Capitol yesterday, the Gadsden flag has become a symbol of intolerance and hate. But the design hides some important complexities. Flown by many protesters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the Gadsden flag has a design that is simple and graphic: a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow field with the text “Don’t Tread On Me.” But that simple design hides some important complexities, both historically and today, as it appears in rallies demanding President Donald Trump be allowed to remain in office. Read Full Story

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In London, an experimental building houses two very different types of tenants

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An 89-unit apartment complex in Hackney has an unlikely tenant on the ground floor—a noisy elementary school. A new building in London is taking mixed-use architecture to noisy but surprisingly community-oriented dimensions. Located in the borough of Hackney, the two-tower, 89-unit apartment building has been built directly above a nursery and primary school – making a playground full of screaming school kids and several floors worth of upper-income urban dwellers unlikely neighbors. Read Full Story

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The Amazon used to be ‘the lungs of the planet.’ Not anymore

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‘The most likely scenario is that—all things considered—the basin is warming the global climate.’ The Amazon rain forest, the so-called lungs of the planet, has historically helped fight climate change by sucking up massive amounts of CO2. But as swaths of the forest are cut down or burned, its ability to capture carbon is shrinking. A new study says if we look at the rain forest in more complexity, the Amazon basin is likely now emitting more than it sequesters. Read Full Story

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