Just as the jet age redefined travel by making fast long-distance travel a reality through the use of new technology and materials, architecture of this period was equally innovative, using unusual forms, materials, and construction technology. As a reflection of a moment in time, architecture of the jet age is part of our history—our cultural history. A Paul Rudolph designed structure is just as much a part of the historical built landscape as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, a colonial revival, or a Victorian townhouse.
In spite of this, much of the building stock in this country remains threatened by demolition or unsympathetic renovations which either edit out structures of the jet age or rework them through contemporary alterations, such as re-skinning, which cover up period features.
JetModern is a month-long series of blog posts about architecture of the jet age and how individuals and groups across the country are working to preserve and defend mid-century modern structures. Using the All-You-Can-Jet pass from jetBlue, JetModern will catalog the status of these structures in eleven cities between September 8 and October 3, 2009. Upcoming cities are: New York City; New Canaan, CT; Boston, MA; Portland, ME; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Las Vegas, NV; and Los Angeles, CA.
Next stop: New York.
Seth Tinkham is self-employed grant writer and preservation planner located in Alexandria, VA. Prior to starting his own business, he worked for the citywide preservation organization in Washington, DC helping to plan activities related to modern architecture.