Historic Preservation

Should We Demolish Or Cherish Brutalist Architecture?

April 15, 2015
Opinion is sharply divided on the future of the Orange County Government Center, in Goshen, New York—as it is when it comes to many Brutalist buildings.

When most people consider architecture, if they consider it at all, it is typically viewed through the binary lens of aesthetics. Like, don’t like. Love, hate. The line between can be subtle.

Some prefer gables, while others like straight lines. But when considering the concrete-based style known as Brutalism, the general public is sharply divided.

A modernist style prominent from the 1950s through the ‘70s, Brutalism was often employed in civic buildings and added large, striking, and sometimes jarring structures to an architectural context dominated by wood, brick and steel.

The Past and Potential Future of the Houston Astrodome

April 9, 2015
Can the vast, abandoned Houston Astrodome find unlikely redemption as one of the world’s largest indoor parks?

When Dene Hofheinz Anton was a young girl in the early 1950s, her father would carve time out of his busy schedule as the mayor of Houston, Texas, to take her to see the Buffaloes, the city’s minor-league baseball team. Mayor Roy Hofheinz had previously served in the state legislature and also as the top official in Harris County, which includes Houston, and his significant status meant he was intimately connected with the goings-on of the city.

A Database to Keep Los Angeles From Forgetting Itself

July 2, 2014
Still a young city by global standards, L.A. has created a model for chronicling its historic resources.

The heritage of a city is often measured by its historic buildings — its cathedrals, its monuments, its ancient structures of stone and clay. For cities like Paris or Rome, with hundreds and thousands of years of history, it’s somewhat obvious which parts of this past must be remembered so that future generations can know the story of their city. But what about newer cities? What’s historic when you measure history in decades rather than centuries?