It's Not Ugly, It's the Recent Past: Looking Beyond the Aesthetics of Modern Architecture Within Historic Preservation

Thumbnail Image


DRUMToberFinal.pdf (1.33 MB)
No. of downloads: 2039

Publication or External Link







Preservationists constantly face new challenges in their pursuit to preserve America’s built heritage. Among those challenges is the recent past, which has been gaining a great deal of interest over the years. The “recent past” is a term used to refer to historic resources younger than 50 years old. Although hard for many to think of as historic, these resources do give us insight into our past and are an important part of our tangible history. Unfortunately, preservation of the recent past has proven very difficult. Underage resources face many of the same obstacles as “traditional” properties, but also must contend with unique challenges. Aesthetic challenges are by far the most important. Negative perceptions of mid-century modern architecture as well as current assessment methods, which rely heavily on architectural values to narrate our past, hinder opportunities to better understand the importance of these valuable yet vulnerable resources. By recognizing these hindrances we can begin exploring new ways of determining a significance that better reflects the principles of the modern movement.


This document has had referenced material removed in respect for the owner's copyright. A complete version of this document, which includes said referenced material, resides in the University of Maryland, College Park's library collection.

Final project submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Historic Preservation, 2008."/ HISP 700 Spring 2008./ Includes bibliographical references (leaves 48-50).