JetModern: Mid-Century Meets 21st Century at Salt Lake City Tweetup

Posted on: September 22nd, 2009 by Guest Writer

Editor's note: This post jumps a little bit out of sequence for JetModern, but we wanted to share Seth's impressions from the National Trust for Historic Preservation's first-ever Tweetup (an in-person meeting of Twitter users, organized via tweets).

In partnership with Utah Heritage Foundation, JetModern and the National Trust organized a Tweetup in Salt Lake City.

We tweetedup (twetup?) at the Twilite Lounge, a self-described dive bar which, I gather, has become significantly less dive-like now that Utah public law prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants. I say this because every SL modder who came was surprised at how different the bar looks now that you don’t have to part clouds of smoke to move around. Added bonus to conversation about modernism: the period over-sized wooden chess pieces mounted on the wall are now visible.

Beyond wall art, we also talked about reusing mid-century commercial office space. Finding a new tenant requires their by-in on not just the “look” of the building and whatever meaning that image might have for them, but also to the layout of mid-century office space. A large, open floor plan for a secretarial pool would not be too difficult to repurpose; in some structures I have seen, though, there have been actual typing rooms to muffle the whack of typewriters. What to do with a 4' by 6' room with carpet-lined walls?

Also, since the idea of a Tweetup is new to me, I wonder how preservation organizations can and should use new media as outreach tools.

And now, in a nod to modern life safety equipment, the fire alarm is going off in my hotel. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that future JetModern postings will be fire-roasted.

When not fleeing for his life or on an airplane, Seth Tinkham is a self-employed grant writer and preservation planner located in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to starting his own business, he worked for the citywide preservation organization in Washington, DC helping to plan activities related to modern architecture.

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