The Cultural Value of Everyday Places

This symposium took place ahead of the 2019 VAF Conference Landscapes of Succession in Philadelphia. Organized by Cameron Logan and Amber Wiley, former doctoral students of Richard Longstreth, it involved contributions from a group of former students, colleagues, and collaborators whose work engages with, and has been inspired by, Richard Longstreth’s scholarship, teaching and public advocacy. This included people in academia as well as those in cultural resource management. The various panels at the symposium focused on contemporary work by a range of scholars and researchers who have explicitly drawn on his lessons or otherwise engaged with the kinds of theoretical and methodological approaches that Longstreth has championed. Given the overwhelmingly historical focus of his work this symposium naturally looked to the past. But it equally focused on what is being done about the past in the present and grappled with future directions in how we understand the past and its legacy in the built environment.

The Cultural Value of Everyday Places

28th & 29th May, 2019

Session 1 – Housing

Vyta Baselice, Operation Breakthrough: US Federal Housing and Architectural Logistics, 1969-1973

Matthew Lasner, FSA, Telesis, and the Politics of New Housing Types in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1935-1965

Katie Marages Schank, Open For Inspection: How the Atlanta Housing Authority Used Consumer Culture to Sell Public Housing

Zachary J. Violette, Taste, History, Style, Ornament: Some Problems and Approaches to the Analysis of Aesthetic Choice in Working-Class Housing

Respondent: Carla Yanni

Session 2 – Landscapes of Accumulation and Abandonment

Elihu Rubin, Ghost Town: Snapshots of a Cultural Landscape

Helen Tangires, Shelter for the Middleman: Food Wholesaling in the Twentieth-Century City

Respondent: Dell Upton

Session 3 – The Digital Turn?

Lisa Davidson, Assessing the Buildings of the United States Series in 21st Century Architectural History Scholarship

Gabrielle Esperdy, Highway Historiography at the Crossroads: Richard Longstreth, Ed Ruscha and The Streets of Los Angeles

Respondent: Jeffrey Cohen

Keynote Lecture

Alison K. Hoagland, Air Apparent: An Environmental History of the Washington, DC Rowhouse Plan

Session 4 – The Suburbs

Anna Andrzejewski, Looking beyond the Icons: The “Doctors Park” in American Suburbs

Gretchen Buggeln, What People Taught Me about their Church Buildings: An Architectural Historian’s Experiments in Ethnography

Mary Corbin Sies and Isabelle Gournay, Baby Boom Modernism and the Quest for Community in D.C.’s Maryland Suburbs, 1947-1972

James A. Jacobs, The Stubborn Ambivalence about the Twentieth Century Suburban Vernacular

Respondent: Robert Bruegmann

Session 5 – Preservation

Daniel Bluestone and Aaron Wunsch, Preservation’s Integrity Trap

Eve Errickson, Hearth Bias: Interpreting Impermanent Architecture

James Buckley, “I [Still] Can’t See It; I [Still] Don’t Understand It; and It [Still] Doesn’t Look Old to Me”: Taking the Longstrethian View of Historic Preservation’s Future

Amber Stimpson, From Barbershops to Boarding Houses: African American Travel from 1936-1966, and the Cultural Relevance of Green Books’ “Oasis Spaces” in North Carolina

Respondent: Catherine Bishir