Modern Architecture

Columbus, Indiana: Different by Design

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

Columbus, Indiana: one of the densest collection of high-calibre modern architecture, it also hosts seven National Historic Landmarks. Credit: Sombraala.
Welcome to Columbus, Indiana, brought to you by the world's most renowned architects.

I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese: the biggest names in modern architecture -- all in the middle of Indiana? Yes, amid the Midwestern plains, Columbus, Indiana stands as a gleaming beacon for modern architecture. The city ranks sixth in the U.S. for architectural importance, according to The American Institute of Architects, just behind cities like Chicago, New York, and Boston.

This fall, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is bringing our annual preservation conference to Indianapolis -- and Saturday, November 2 will be "Columbus Day," full of field sessions to provide a modern architecture fix.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Lustrons: Building an American Dream House

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 29 Comments

 

Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel. Credit: Library of Congress.
Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel sheets. Located in Chesterton, Indiana, this Lustron home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

They were literally building the American dream.

In the late 1940s, soldiers returning from World War II dreamed of the idyllic life: a happy family, a lovely suburban home. But the post-war period instead brought a housing crisis. In response, Lustron promised a dream house -- signed, sealed, delivered.

An innovative solution by Chicago industrialist Carl Strandlund, the Lustron house is made of prefabricated porcelain enameled steel, shipped and put together wherever you wanted -- an IKEA home, if you will. Inside, families could sit around a built-in, glossy-surfaced table, eating home-cooked dinners in cozy domestic bliss.

As Strandlund advertised, “What Lustron offers is a new way of life.”... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

A. Quincy Jones: Modern Architecture's Team Player

Posted on: July 26th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54. A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, Architects. Credit: Jason Schmidt, Courtesy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54.

A. Quincy Jones really liked to collaborate.

That, more than anything, is what I took away from the current exhibit at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum, A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living, part of the current Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and the first major retrospective of the often-overlooked architect’s work who contributed so much to late mid-century modern design.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Slideshow] Mad About Modern: Charlotte's Mid-Century Modern Gems

Posted on: July 18th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn

 

Benita. Built in 1964, this house contains rosewood doorknobs on the interior doors, paneled walls and slate flooring. Credit: Cameron Triggs/Triggs Photography.
Benita. Built in 1964, this house contains rosewood doorknobs on the interior doors, paneled walls and slate flooring.

Historic Charlotte hosted the third Mad About Modern home tour this past May, featuring eight homes that showcase the best mid-century modern design the city’s neighborhoods have to offer. From '50s atomic ranch-style houses to '60s tri-levels, the tour aims to raise awareness of Charlotte’s wealth of modernist architecture, as well as make the most of the interest in the style generated by AMC’s hit show Mad Men.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

 

In the preservation world, the term “recent past” most commonly refers to historic places younger than 50 years old. Modernism, which is another term often associated with the recent past, is generally defined as a style that began to flourish in the United States in the 1930s. Both describe places and cultural resources that are among the most under-appreciated and vulnerable aspects of our nation’s heritage.

You may already know about our country’s recent past story through architectural icons like the Farnsworth House or Glass House (both sites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), designed landscapes like Lawrence Halprin’s Freeway Park, and nationally significant historic sites like Lorraine Motel, associated with the Civil Rights Movement.

But this story is also told in less prominent places that are equally important to local communities and reveal much about who we are and where we've come from -- early fast-food restaurants, drive-through branch banks, post-war housing projects, and suburban developments. And, often, these lesser-known places are the ones at risk, perceived as expendable, unattractive, or unworthy of preservation.

Here are 10 things you can do to help save a place from the recent past in your community:... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.