Posts tagged “architecture

Marketing Marketing

Posted on May 19, 2012

Public markets are all the rage these days. After largely disappearing in most communities in the second half of the 20th century amid the rush to supermarkets and processed foods, only a small number of markets remained. Some of the oldest markets that were housed in large, historic buildings in tourist-favored cities phased out their original functions and began to cater to out-of-towners with colorful shops and restaurants. The most notable successful conversion story was in Boston where, as American Tourism co-editor Nicholas Dagen Bloom writes, visionary mall developer James Rouse managed to use the trappings of an old market to reinvent the worn-down Quincy Market into Faneuil Hall Marketplace. For the next two decades other cities rushed to copy Rouse’s brash confidence in…

A Pre-Preservation, Anti–French Quarter Monument

Posted on May 15, 2012

This ca. 1908 postcard is just one of some 30,000 vintage postcards from the Curt Teich Postcard Archives at Lake County Discovery Museum in Lake County, Illinois, that are available for online viewing. It is a rich resource for documenting the places tourists visited a century ago. This card shows the view one would have beheld when standing at Royal and St. Louis Streets and looking southwest (upriver) toward the Monteleone Hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. On the right side of Royal Street is the architecture for which the world knows New Orleans. The Court House shown at left was a new addition to the Vieux Carré. Built in the Beaux-Arts style that was popular for civic buildings around the turn of the century (thanks…

From Grand to Grand

Posted on May 14, 2012

Today I had an exciting opportunity to present alongside Dan Musser III, owner of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, who was in town for a power networking workshop at Berea High School in Berea, Ohio, followed by “From Grand to Grand,” a tea luncheon at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Olmsted Falls. Following my presentation on Mackinac Island tourism, Mr. Musser told the story of Grand Hotel and how his family has been associated with the summer resort since 1919. Grand Hotel, which opened in 1887, elevated the stature of Mackinac Island, making it the preeminent Great Lakes summer resort. Built in an astounding 93 days by crews working three shifts around the clock, the white-pine hotel became distinguished for its 626-foot-long…

Cleveland: Tourist City?

Posted on May 10, 2012

Today I depart from my usual commentary on tourist destinations featured in American Tourism: Constructing a National Tradition. Two days ago, I led my annual downtown Cleveland walking tour for a small group of interested students in my History of U.S. Tourism course at Cleveland State University. We were tourists in our own town for two short hours. This time we came armed with smartphones loaded with the Cleveland Historical app. The students spent their semester creating new content for the app while studying the history of how promoters packaged and tourists consumed American attractions, cities, towns, and regions. Now it was their chance to re-imagine their own city through a hybrid of direct and mediated experience. I’m still learning how to meld the…

Skyscrapers: Selling Themselves, Selling the City

Posted on May 8, 2012

In recent weeks and months, American skyscrapers have been much in the news. For the time being, the United States does not appear poised to retake the title for tallest skyscraper (a distinction that has belonged to cities in Malaysia, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates for more than a decade). With superlative height no longer the most viable way to generate excitement and visibility, we are seeing aesthetics move squarely into the arena of skyscraper competition. Just over a week ago, 1 World Trade Center topped the Empire State Building on its way to a symbolic 1,776-foot height (when the antenna is included), returning the distinction of tallest New York skyscraper downtown after an eleven-year absence. Not to be outdone, the Empire State Building’s owners, according…

Stretching the Storyline in Charleston

Posted on May 2, 2012

Historic preservation has been the handmaiden of heritage tourism in countless places for more than a century. Originally confined to sites of particularly illustrious historical events and so-called “Great Men,” it emerged in the 19th century as an elite pastime. In the midst of rapid industrialization, urbanization, and immigration in the United States, native-born Americans turned to projects to bolster their own interest in preindustrial America. Places associated with the colonial era, Revolutionary War, and early national period found most favor into the 20th century. Charleston, South Carolina, continues to trade on its trove of architectural gems from the colonial period. Prior to the American Revolution, Charleston was among the preeminent seaport cities in British North America. Fearing the loss of a landscape that…

Stateside Sevilles

Posted on May 1, 2012

Architectural mimicry is tightly interwoven with the history of tourism. Few styles proved as inspirational in tourism placemaking efforts as those that evoked old Spain. Spanish-influenced styles became staples in the creation of regional architecture in California and Florida and occasionally in less expected places. Perhaps no structure excited so many replicas and emulations as the Giralda in Seville. Today we’ll explore two of them. The Giralda was originally constructed as the minaret for a Moorish mosque patterned after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. Both were completed in the late 12th century. Following the 13th-century Reconquista, the 343-foot-tall structure became a tower for the Cathedral of Seville. It is among the most recognizable buildings to tourists in Spain. Spanish architecture or, more properly,…