September 18, 2012 Preservation

Preserving DC’s MCM Architecture

Pan Am building

Interested in what is happening in efforts to preserve Washignton’s mid-century modern architecture? If you are, pick up tickets for an Oct. 4 event at the National Building Museum (NBM) that will explore the issue.  Six years ago, the D.C. Preservation League, working with Robinson & Associates, a research and consulting firm specializing in architectural history and preservation, took a comprehensive look at Washington’s mid-20th-century architecture, such as the Pan American Health Organization building by Uruguayan architect Roman Fresnedo Siri (above). D.C.’s Historic Preservation office published  a 20-page brochure based on the larger study “DC Modern: A Context for Modernism in the District of Columbia. The publication examines the rise of modernism in a more classic architectural town, the urban development of Southwest and the reaction against modernism in the city.

The NBM panel of architects, developers, and preservationists will look back at  Washington’s history of mid-century design and discuss the progress made on preserving this building stock, while upgrading it for current use. Panelists include Graham Davidson, FAIA, Hartman-Cox Architects, former Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey (moderator) and David Maloney, State Histroic Preservation Officer, D.C. Office of Planning.