Tools and Resources
Making the Case for Modernism and the Recent Past
Sharing your passion for a modern or recent past resource and convincing others that that drive-in, office building, or public park is an integral part of the community fabric can be a challenging aspect of preserving these resource types. The resources on this page share some expert and laymen's perspectives on making the case for the recent past, as well as advocacy letters and program and policy statements for modern and recent past preservation efforts.
- Preserving Resources from the Recent Past - Preserving Resources from the Recent Past by Jeanne Lambin looks at the historic context of the postwar building boom, the special challenges of preserving this legacy, and some case studies of community successes.
- Forum Journal: Preservationists Debate the Recent Past, Fall 2005
- Modernism: A Star is Reborn - The May/June 2009 issue of Preservation Magazine celebrates modern and recent past preservation.
- The Last Landscape - Scholar Richard Longstreth presents arguments for the significance of modern architectural trends and the subsequent need for preservation.
- Cultural Resource Management: Preserving the Recent Past - Volume 18, No. 8, 1995
The stories behind La Laguna de San Gabriel Playground, La Concha Motel, Bell Labs, and the Modern Talk of DOCOMOMO WeWa illustrate preservation working for Modernist resources.
Modernism is not limited only to architect-designed homes and iconic buildings. Hundreds of thousands of small-scale vernacular house were constructed in new subdivisions and suburbs across the country in the period following World War II, ranging from the simple Cape Cod-inspired homes to the ubiquitous "Ranch" house in all its forms. Many of these homes are nearing, or have passed, fifty years of age. As a result homeowners sometimes find themselves struggling with issues of maintenance and repair for homes with innovative materials, or unusual styles and details.
One of the most challenging tasks for homeowners of postwar residences is locating appropriate materials for repair or replacement in their homes. With considerable assistance from the Architectural Services Division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, we have compiled a list of potential products and services that can be used to repair, replace, or replicate original features in postwar residential properties.
Before preservationists can tackle saving the any aspect of the past, we have to know where it is and why it’s important. Survey of historic resources from the modern movement and the recent past is growing, and communities, advocates, and preservation professionals are rethinking and retooling how we identify, research, and evaluate resources from the familiar past.
Successfully preserving recent past resources often requires a shift in traditional preservation planning methods. Communities nationwide are rewriting preservation ordinances to eliminate age limits and broaden the definition of “historic,” and synergies are developing within the environmentally responsible development and anti-teardown movements to incentivize the preservation and reuse of recent past buildings.
Civic Association of Hollin Hills, VA Special DRC Community Survey The Hollin Hills community was designed by modern architect Charles Goodman. This survey was designed by the Hollin Hills community Design Review Committee (DRC) to gauge community opinion on basic architectural review issues and applying these results in revised guidelines and recommendations.
Saving the Suburban Sixties: Historic Preservation Planning in Fairfax County, Virginia Bruce M. Kriviskey presents one county’s process towards developing a recent-past preservation plan including a photographic survey and publications about the area’s recent history resources.
One of the most challenging tasks in modern and recent past preservation and rehabilitation efforts is addressing experimental, obsolete, or difficult to rehabilitate materials. This section presents a series of starting points and basic resources for addressing materials commonly found in modern and recent past historic buildings and structures.
The Association for Preservation Technology International The Association's "Practice Points" are instructional columns about material technologies and techniques based on research and case studies.
Cultural Resource Management: Preserving the Recent Past Volume 18, No. 8, 1995 This issue of Cultural Resource Management contains several articles on modern building materials, including curtain walls, simulated stone, and structural glass.