The heat here in Chicago this week may be overwhelming, but a blast of cool mid-century Modern architecture is making this hot summer sun a little bit friendlier. I’m excited to hear that the work that my Preservation Planning Survey class did last fall (mentioned in an earlier blog post) has been profiled in the most recent issue of the Recent Past Preservation Network Bulletin.
This summer’s RPPN bulletin profiles a number of great student essays and projects from across the country that focus on the future of recent past architecture. In addition to the spread on the Landmarks Illinois Suburban Cook County Recent Past Survey, you’ll find a survey of some fantastic examples of New Jersey modernism. There are also some meaty articles on the National Register listing of Minoru Yamasaki’s Michigan State Medical Society Building in East Lansing, MI, on the saving of the Breuer-Robeck House in New Canaan, CT, on the future of the National Register’s fifty-year rule and how it’s been applied to 1960s Modernist structures, and on new trends in evaluating significance in modern structures.
As structures from the 1950s and 1960s become eligible for NR-listing and local landmarking, it will be a younger generation of planners, historians, and preservationists who will take the lead in fighting to save these often-ignored structures. That’s why it’s so important to begin educating the public today – this very minute! – about the historical forces that drove these sometimes radical designs and about why they deserve special attention in a redevelopment-focused real estate market.
Many thanks to Alan Higgins with the Recent Past Preservation Network for his help in getting our suburban Cook County work into this summer’s issue of the bulletin. Visit RPPN’s website to learn more about this forward-thinking organization, or better yet get involved or donate.