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Mid-Century Modern and the Recent Past: Documentation and Presentation

Mid-Century Modern and the Recent Past: Documentation and Presentation

Saturday June 19, 2010 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tickets: $20 - Includes Lunch

Buildings and residential enclaves from the mid-twentieth century are reaching and surpassing the 50 year mark, making them widely eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Yet preservationists still face a number of challenges, even when advocating for buildings that can now be recognized as officially "historic." Development pressures, the economy, and aging infrastructure – along with widespread misconceptions about the role of modern architecture in the U.S. – put these resources at risk in the Northwest and throughout the country.

The recent discussion surrounding Memorial Coliseum brought this to our own backyard. We look at this debate as a new opportunity for our community to discuss Portland’s architectural "recent past" and work to identify the significant buildings and landscapes that make that era – and our region – unique and memorable. But many Mid-Century Modern buildings are not highly visible icons like the Coliseum; there are office buildings and churches, commercial structures and houses that remain undocumented and unprotected. Local and regional architects, builders, and property owners themselves chose to adapt national trends to shape a Portland and Oregon mid-century "identity" that was and remains distinctly different from preceding styles and trends.

There is a critical need to identify, appreciate, document, and preserve many of these buildings before they disappear, or are discarded as "unimportant." Improving public awareness, addressing policies for preservation, promoting sustainable re-use and restoration and supporting grassroots advocacy will be necessary, if we are to save our own architectural past.

This mega-program will be led by Christine Madrid French, Director of Modernism + Recent Past Program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Anthea Hartig, Director of the National Trust’s Western Regional Office, in San Francisco. They will be joined by a cadre of local advocates who continue to call attention to and advocate for the Mid-Century Modern buildings in our community.

Pre-registration is Required – 503 231-7264 or go online to http://www.visitahc.org. This program is assisted by a Partners in the Field challenge grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sponsored by: Rejuvenation

Barbara Pierce, Marketing and PR Manager

Regular Office Hours:  Wed 9am-6pm   Architectural Heritage Center, Resources and Inspiration for Historic Preservation 701 SE Grand Ave. Portland, OR 97214 503.231.7264 x24 www.VisitAHC.org