Tag Archives: architectural history

The Challenge of Defining Modernism

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

A Field Guide to the Modern Built Environment

A Field Guide to the Modern Built Environment.

While it has been widely noted that systematic categorization of architecture from the post-war period defies the intent of much of this era’s design, the current framework of professional cultural resource work mandates a system that provides categorization, particularly in reference to comparative evaluations undertaken during eligibility determinations. Thus, a consistent application of terminology not only remains necessary to foster the meaningfulness of recordation but also to decrease expenditures of time and money. Unfortunately, the challenge of labeling and identifying resources from the Modern era and the Recent Past has historically plagued many survey efforts.

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Exploring Modernism in Philadelphia’s Suburbs

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

Sharples Dining Hall

Sharples Dining Hall, Swarthmore College, Vincent Kling, 1964.

Just before coming to CRA, I wrapped up a project that examined the post-war era in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a suburban community with roots dating to the earliest years of our country’s settlement (William Penn landed in Delaware County, not Philadelphia). Layered on top of this though, is an intricate and critically important layer of modernist architecture from the post-war era that had not been previously identified, documented, and evaluated. Continue reading

Unnoticed Modern: The Midcentury Architecture of Evansville, Indiana

Design Study for Snyder Buick, Hironimus-Knapp-Given, 1960

Design Study for Snyder Buick, Hironimus-Knapp-Given, 1960

by Alan Higgins, Director of Architectural and Cultural History

Unnoticed ModernOver the last year, I have been spearheading a study to document the midcentury architecture of Evansville, Indiana, a regional center on the Ohio River that, like many communities, witnessed numerous transitions in the post-World War II era as a result of burgeoning populations and the accompanying need for new dwellings, commercial venues, and community resources. The Unnoticed Modern initiative is the first systematic look at this period of Evansville’s history, which has to date been left out of the narrative of the city’s rich legacy. Continue reading

Addressing the Next Generation of Historic Resources – Modern + Recent Past Architecture

Methodist Temple, Ralph Legeman, 1950

Methodist Temple, Ralph Legeman, 1950

The task of architectural documentation and assessment is the product of an ever-evolving field that, with the passage of time, must constantly take new periods and types of resources into consideration. Even now, resources from the Modern era have largely come into their own, with resources from the early 1960s readily meeting the 50-year threshold widely accepted as the standard for environmental review. Over the next decade, hundreds of thousands of other resources built during the 1960s and 1970s will likewise turn 50 years old and will have to be documented and evaluated for environmental review. These resources require a vast skill set, from completing historical research to properly photographing and documenting within their context. Continue reading

Welcome!

Just another day at the office

Just another day at the office

Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. (CRA) has entered the blogosphere. This newly founded CRA blog will feature posts pertinent to the study of earth and man. The idea is to share the knowledge gained over our 30 years invested in the cultural resource management industry with others who also have a passion for learning about the past. The CRA blog will serve as a forum to share both archaeological and architectural historic information with our readers. Our first series of blog posts will feature the Avenue of Saints project in Lewis and Clark Counties, Missouri. The project included 55 different archaeological sites ranging from Early Archaic to Late Woodland temporal periods.

CRA is excited about our adventure into the blogosphere and we look forward to sharing what we get to call “work,” learning about past peoples and unlocking the secrets to the past. Check back regularly to see what’s new at CRA. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about any projects we post about.