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Engaging the Recent Past
JAE Theme Issue
Deadline: March 02, 2007
Lauren Weiss Bricker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Luis Hoyos email@example.com
Judith Sheine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Ancient cities of stone, stately mansions with neo-classical porticoes and Main Streets lined with quaint brick facades – ripe for repair and retail – have undisputed value as cultural artifacts as well as for their ability to attract tax benefits and tourist dollars.
Less established are the theoretical underpinnings for the preservation of works dating from the years 1945-1970 – usually referred to as the “Recent Past” by historic preservation specialists.
The scale of postwar architecture and designed landscapes has presented
unique challenges to planners, architects and preservationists: urban renewal projects, military bases measured in miles not acres, and thousands of suburban housing tracts are among the places that may be viewed as historic. These works and others in the United States and abroad embodied a type of architectural modernism that frequently merged with their landscapes; lacking an obvious front facade, their significance has often gone unnoticed by preservationists accustomed to dealing with traditional architecture, e.g., Oakland Museum (1969, Roche & Dinkeloo & Assoc., architects; Dan Kiley, landscape architect).
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What’s up with the Atlanta Constitution Building? Good question.
Recent developments suggest that implementation of a planned Lovejoy-Atlanta commuter rail service may be in jeopardy. As a result, construction of a new multi-modal transit facility in Downtown Atlanta may also be delayed or canceled.
A January 12th Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article “Lovejoy rail backers lose DOT seats,” details political maneuvering resulting in the loss of two members of the state Transportation Board who had once voted to support the Lovejoy rail line. “Commissioners veer rail plan off path, “ a January 4th AJC report details the Clayton County Commission’s reversal regarding an earlier decision to cover the Lovejoy rail line’s estimated annual operating deficit of $4 million for 50 years.