Engaging the Recent Past
JAE Theme Issue

Deadline: March 02, 2007

Theme Editors:
Lauren Weiss Bricker, lwbricker@csupomona.edu
Luis Hoyos lghoyos@csupomona.edu
Judith Sheine (jesheine@csupomona.edu)
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).
At the same time, the postwar period is not without its detractors in this post-colonial, post-Communist era. In light of shifting attitudes about globalization, do works evidencing the impact of late colonial regimes on local architecture merit preservation? These works, often incorporating mass-produced building materials and innovative technology, also require very different conservation approaches than have been developed in association with traditional building materials.

However, the creative potential of adaptive reuse and additions to historic buildings have presented new opportunities for contemporary practitioners. Santiago Calatrava’s new wing for Eero Saarinen’s Milwaukee Art Museum (1964) raises different questions than would an addition to a neoclassical building. When iconic buildings are involved, a firestorm of criticism can result, as was the case when Gwathmey Siegel (1992) added to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum (1959) and Anshen + Allen built a new facility (1996) replacing the eucalyptus grove at Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute (1965). On the other hand, some of the worst products of urban renewal, for example, some of the 1960s superblocks could be improved and humanized through the process of re-conceptualization.

The editors invite text-based (Scholarship of Design) and design-based(Design as Scholarship)research that illuminates the challenges and opportunities for the engagement of post-war architecture and designed landscapes. All submissions are digital – no hardcopy or disks required. Deadline for all submissions (text and design) are due by March 02, 2007. Design submissions must be in the form of a PDF (maximum 8 page) following the design guidelines/template posted on the
JAE website. Please consult the JAE website for new submission guidelines and other useful information at (www.jaeonline.ws/).