Regardless of their interest in historic architecture, Americans often dismiss Modern architecture for being too boring, ugly, or recent to be worthy of preservation. Using the author’s advocacy experience in Columbia, South Carolina, as a case study, this article offers strategies for those looking to advocate and educate for Modern buildings constructed outside of major American cities between 1945 and 1975. The essay introduces the historical context for local Modern architecture, dissects its most common derisions, and suggests ways to convince skeptics to move past their assumptions.
An Introduction to Making Modern Architecture Matter
Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D. is associate professor in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina. She is an architectural historian and historic preservationist, focusing on American architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has completed National Register of Historic Places nominations and led advocacy campaigns for Modern architecture and landscape in three states. She is the author of First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination (The University of Virginia Press) and a forthcoming guidebook on the grounds of the South Carolina state house (University of South Carolina Press).
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Lydia Mattice Brandt; An Introduction to Making Modern Architecture Matter. The Public Historian 23 October 2020; 42 (4): 137–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2020.42.4.137
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