The Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is inviting applications for the 2014 Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award.  Awards range from $500 to $2000 for research that furthers awareness and knowledge of architectural heritage in the Pacific Northwest.  The application deadline for the 2014 award is July 31, 2014.  For more information and an application, please visit the SAH MDR website at: http://www.sahmdr.org/awards.html.

Last year’s two award recipients were Professor Anne L. Marshall, PhD, of the University of Idaho; and Liz Carter, Preservation Consultant and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Oregon.

The Elisabeth Walton Potter Award was given to Anne Marshall to expand on her research into culturally appropriate architectures that meet the needs of contemporary Indigenous communities.  The project began as Professor Marshall’s dissertation, “Indigenous Architecture: Envisioning, Designing, and Building The Museum At Warm Springs,” and will culminate in the publication of a book.  Anne Marshall has presented her findings at numerous conferences and professional gatherings, including at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the SAH in Spokane.  She is also scheduled to be a speaker at our 2014 meeting in Seattle.

The Museum at Warm Springs Entrance.  Photo by Anne Marshall.

The Museum at Warm Springs Entrance. Photo by Anne Marshall.

The following text is an excerpt from Professor Marshall’s successful application for the 2013 Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award:

The Museum at Warm Springs: Exterior of changing exhibits gallery, dance plaza, and administration wing.  Photo by Anne Marshall.

The Museum at Warm Springs: Exterior of changing exhibits gallery, dance plaza, and administration wing. Photo by Anne Marshall.

 “It is not clear how to design culturally appropriate architectures that meet the needs of contemporary Indigenous communities.  Although historical forms may have some cultural relevance, they do not necessarily represent who an Indigenous group is today and they are unlikely to accommodate contemporary building programs.  Because few Indigenous people practice architecture, many Indigenous clients hire design professionals from outside of their communities.  Fundamental differences in world views, ways of thinking, and modes of communication challenge both Indigenous clients and their architects.  How do Indigenous clients and their designers overcome these challenges?

Changing exhibits gallery, ceiling detail.  Photo by Anne Marshall.

Changing exhibits gallery, ceiling detail. Photo by Anne Marshall.

Research thus far suggests that collaboration—within the interdisciplinary design team and between Tribal members and designers—proved to be key to the success of this project.  A one-week on-site design workshop allowed time for Tribal members and designers to develop trust, communicate, and work collaboratively.  The workshop allowed time for designers to recognize the primacy of storytelling which became the conceptual foundation for the landscape design.  The natural world was the inspiration for the building design.  Architects sought to design a building that represented the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and they did this by using forms, materials, and colors from the landscape along with forms alluding to traditional buildings.”

Liz Carter was an Elisabeth Walton Potter award recipient for her project titled “Mid-nineteenth Century Dwellings of Oregon’s Black Pioneers: A Brief Historical Context.”  Liz was an intensive participant at the 2013 SAH MDR meeting in Salem, providing the contextual backbone for the opening night’s panel discussion on Pioneer Era Homesteads, and presenting a paper on the following day.  Her research on African-American pioneers is already reaching out to wider audiences.  At the 2014 Oregon Heritage Conference a collaboration between the Oregon Black Pioneers (OBP), a non-profit group, and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) was announced.  The goal of this project is to expand the data in the Oregon Historic Sites database to include more comprehensive information about the early African-American experience in Oregon though formal scholarship as well as crowd sourcing.  For more on the project, visit the OBP blog, find forms to contribute information at http://makeoregonhistory.org/, and to see the results to date, check the Oregon Historic Sites Database and search for “African-Americans in Oregon, 2014″ under “Group Name.”

Gorman House - 1-story section is circa 1857, 1.5 story section is circa 1866.  Photo by Liz Carter.

Gorman House – 1-story section is circa 1857, 1.5 story section is circa 1866. Photo by Liz Carter.

From the application:

” The African-American pioneer story in Oregon is not widely known, and scholarship on associated buildings and sites is minimal.  Few are aware that there are several identified sites, including a small handful of mid-nineteenth century houses still standing, with inextricable links to the important and under-recognized aspect of Oregon’s history.  While the general histories may have been explored to varying degrees, the study and research of buildings in terms of who built them, the social circumstances of their construction, potential provenance, and/or similarities in form or method of construction to dwellings in the east have not been clearly addressed.  Two examples are described below.

Interior of Gorman House with  original fireplace/chimney of hand-made bricks and mud mortar. Photo by Liz Carter

Interior of Gorman House with
original fireplace/chimney of hand-made bricks and mud mortar. Photo by Liz Carter

The circa 1856-1866 Hannah and Eliza Gorman House in Corvallis is perhaps the oldest residence remaining in Oregon with direct ties to people who were brought to the territory as slaves, but there are others throughout western Oregon.  The Gorman house story is unusual in that it appears to have been constructed by Hannah and Eliza Gorman, former slaves, in a time when property ownership by people of color was illegal in Oregon.  The oldest portion of the house displays some similarity to single-pen slave dwellings found east of the Mississippi.  The Cora Cox House outside of Brownsville, dated to circa 1864, was also constructed for and owned by a former slave woman.  The land on which the house was built was sold to Cora by her former owner for the sum of $10, and it is presumed that construction followed soon thereafter.  The designer and/or builder is not currently known.

Cora Cox House, Brownsville.  Photo from http://makeoregonhistory.org/

Cora Cox House, Brownsville. Photo from http://makeoregonhistory.org/

Both buildings have been the subjects of study by University of Oregon students in recent years.  At the Gorman House, student work focused largely on exploring the building and making preliminary determinations about historical archaeological potential on the site.  In addition, the property owner has done fairly extensive genealogical research (to the degree possible) on Hannah and Eliza Gorman.  The building itself was analyzed by Mary Gallagher and Philip Dole over ten years ago, and subsequent analyses have brought a better understanding of the building’s construction history in terms of chronology, but not in terms of potential “ethnic signatures” that may be inherent in the building’s design, materials or construction.  The Cora Cox House was the subject of National Register-level research and documentation, but a detailed analysis of its construction was not undertaken.  Neither building has been discussed or studied within a broader context of African-American, slave or former-slave architecture in Oregon.  In order to better understand these buildings and others with similar histories, a wider view of the historical and architectural context in which they were created is needed.”

The SAH MDR board and members congratulate the 2013 Elisabeth Walton Potter Award recipients and thanks all who applied for their excellent proposals.  We look forward to reviewing another batch of interesting research topics in 2014!



by Elisabeth Walton Potter (May 26, 2014)

Leonard Kimball Eaton, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of Michigan, and prominent member of the Society of Architectural Historians, died at Newport, Oregon, April 1, 2014, at the age of ninety-two.  From the time Professor Eaton relocated from Ann Arbor to the central Oregon coast with his wife, the former Ann Valentine White, in the 1990s, he became a regular contributor to annual conference programs of the Pacific Northwest regional chapter.


Left: Professor Eaton took the podium during the annual conference of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter, SAH, at Oregon State University in 2007 to present his paper, “A New Application of Kenneth J. Conant’s Ideogram.”  For thirty-five years, Conant, the distinguished Harvard University architectural historian, inspired students, Eaton among them, with his lectures.  The Society of Architectural Historians was organized at Harvard by faculty and students in the summer session of 1940.  E. Potter photo, Oct. 13, 2007.

The native of Minneapolis, Minnesota was a 1943 graduate cum laude of Williams College at the time he entered the U.S. Army in World War II.  He was awarded the bronze star and other decorations for his service as an infantry medic with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy’s   mountainous combat zone.  At the war’s end, he pursued his post-graduate education and earned both Master’s degree and a Ph.D. (American Civilization, 1951) at Harvard University.

His teaching career was centered at the University of Michigan from 1950 to 1988.  He retired as Emil Lorch Professor of Architecture in the University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning and was accorded emeritus status by the University in 1989.  His thirty-nine years of teaching architectural history were interspersed with prestigious research fellowships, including Fulbright fellowships for study in Denmark and The Netherlands.  He fulfilled visiting professorships at Wayne State University, the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and Michigan State University.  In 1985, he was awarded the Frederic Lindley Morgan Chair of Architectural Design at the University of Louisville.

Building technology, the Chicago School, and Frank Lloyd Wright were areas of expertise among his broad disciplinary interests.  He produced a steady stream of scholarly articles and book reviews for publications such as Progressive Architecture, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Urban History Review.  In post-teaching years, he enjoyed the diversion of writing commentaries on topics of the day in light verse.  The chapbooks were sent at regular intervals to friends who were cheered to receive them.  Over the arc of his career he wrote half a dozen books.  Gateway Cities and Other Essays was brought out by Iowa State University Press in 1989 as part of the Great Plains environmental design series. Two Chicago Architects and Their Clients:  Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard Van Doren Shaw, 1969, and American Architecture Comes of Age:  European Reaction to H.H. Richardson and Louis Sullivan, 1972, were published by M.I.T. Press.  His acclaimed biography, Hardy Cross: American Engineer, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2006.

Professor Eaton joined the Society of Architectural Historians early in his teaching career (1952).  He was a member of the board of directors (1957-1958), served as book review editor of JSAH (1967-1969), and headed Michigan’s Saarinen Chapter in 1982-1983.  Two of the papers which he read before the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter, namely, “Fractal Geometry in the Late Work of Frank Lloyd Wright” (1993) and “Music, Math, and Modules in Wright’s [Art Glass] Windows” (1995), were subsequently developed for publication in the Nexus series of books on architecture and mathematics (Vol. II, 1998; Vol. III, 2000).  “Hardy Cross and the Moment Distribution Method:  An Oregon Application in the Work of Pietro Belluschi” (2001) was the paper that took ultimate form as the above-named monograph illuminating the career of an influential American engineer-theoretician.

A festschrift, Modern Architecture in America:  Visions and Revisions, the collection of essays by former students edited by Richard Guy Wilson and Sidney K. Robinson, was published in Professor Eaton’s honor by Iowa State University Press in 1991.

Professor Eaton is survived by his wife, Ann, now of Santa Cruz, California, and children of his first marriage to Carrol Kuehn.  They  are Mark R. Eaton of Alexandria, Virginia, and Elisabeth K. Eaton of Brookfield, Wisconsin.  His three stepchildren are Kenneth White, Alexandra White of Santa Cruz, and Pamela Kemp of Mauzac, France.

hardy_cross Left:  For the dust-jacket cover illustration of his biography of Hardy Cross, Professor Eaton chose an Oregon Historical Society photograph of Portland’s 1948 Equitable Building by Pietro Belluschi.  In the period before digital computation, Cross’s method of mathematical calculation for engineering continuous rigid structural frames of reinforced concrete was applied in the design of tall buildings such as Belluschi’s early post-war, aluminum-clad masterwork.


Mark R. Eaton, obituary for the online newspaper Ann Arbor News, April 9 to April 13, 2014.

Leonard K. Eaton, Curriculum Vitae c. 1998, Archive of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

Biographical and Collection Notes, Finding Aid for Leonard K. Eaton Papers, 1950-2004, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Don Peting in action during the 2013 SAH MDR Conference in Salem.

Don Peting in action during the 2013 SAH MDR Conference in Salem.

Marion Dean Ross Chapter member Don Peting is the 2014 recipient of the George McMath Award for excellence in historic preservation.  Past recipients of the award include William J. Hawkins (2013), Hal S. Ayotte (2012), Elisabeth Walton Potter (2011), Cathy Galbraith (2010), and James Hamrick (2009).

Established by the University of Oregon in conjunction with Venerable, Inc. in 2009, the McMath Award celebrates a leader in the field who has made significant contributions to historic preservation in the state of Oregon.  The award is named for George McMath, FAIA, who is considered one of the fathers of the preservation movement in Portland.

In 1998 I was looking for a change in scenery and decided to attend that year’s Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School, run by Don Peting, at Fort Stevens.  Don turned out to be one of the most interesting people I’d met, with an astounding depth and breadth of knowledge, bottomless curiosity, an ability to explain complex technologies to even the most lunk-headed former liberal arts majors, and patience.  On top of everything else, he was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  A year later I was enrolled in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Oregon.  In other words, I may be slightly biased when I say that Don Peting is the preeminent preservation educator in the West.

Don arrived at the University of Oregon in 1963, with a freshly minted Master’s Degree in Architecture from Cal Berkeley.  With the exception of a few sabbaticals, one of which lead to his receiving the Rome Prize, he continued teaching full-time (in actuality more like double-time) until his retirement in 2002.  He was instrumental, together with Marian Card Donnelly, Philip Dole, and Michael Schellenbarger, in getting the U of O’s Historic Preservation Program off the ground in 1980.  In 1995, under Don’s direction, the HP Program was expanded with a summer field school.  While this allowed students enrolled in the program to gain extended hands-on experience, it also served to introduce professionals working in related fields as well as interested amateurs to historic preservation practices.  In the course of 19 field schools, with the 20th in the works, projects have ranged throughout the Pacific Northwest, meaning Don and his disciples have crawled over and under structures in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho.  Like the Preservation Program itself, the field school is interdisciplinary and cooperates with multiple local, state, and federal agencies.  As a result of this, end of session group photos tend to be a who’s who of preservation practice, often with the students of one year subsequently reappearing as instructors.  This is also an illustration of how hard it is to resist the siren song of Don, because you know that whatever happens, you will learn something new and you will have a good time.

The McMath Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 14 2014 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the White Stag Block in Portland.  Tickets are available through the University of Oregon Ticket Office.
At present, tickets for the event are SOLD OUT.   For information about possible openings contact Crissy Lindsey (clindsey@uoregon.edu) or Liz Jacoby (ejacoby@uoregon.edu)


Gerdes, Marti.  ”Don Peting to Receive McMath Award.”  News from A&AA, March 2014.  Available online at http://hp.uoregon.edu/news/don-peting-receive-2014-mcmath-award

More on the 2014 Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School at Fisher Bottoms in Eastern Idaho at http://hp.uoregon.edu/pnwfs.


2014 Call for Papers


Museums: Building Collections, Building Community





In recent years Seattle has re-purposed several important historic buildings to showcase the region’s history, arts, and culture.  Join us for an exciting conference that focuses on old and new museum spaces and collections set in the growing, vibrant city of Seattle.  This year’s theme is Museums: Building Collections, Building Community.  Please consider submitting an abstract or proposal for a paper or work-in-progress report for the 2014 annual meeting of the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, to be held in Seattle, Washington, October 3-5, 2014.

Submissions for the conference may include profiles of architects, builders, city planners, and landscape architects that helped build the city, preservation case studies, or important historical trends that made the Seattle area what it is today.  These topics will be given first priority.  Other proposals addressing any aspect of the built environment from any time period or place are also welcome.  All abstracts adhering to the submission guidelines listed below will be given a fair assessment.  Abstracts will be blind peer reviewed by the SAH MDR Review Committee with a select number chosen for oral presentation.  Applicants may be offered a poster session if their abstract is not selected for oral presentation.

Graduate students and advanced undergraduates in fields related to the built environment are particularly welcome to present at the conference.  Membership in the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is not required for abstract submission, although everyone chosen for presentation will be asked to contribute chapter dues for the current year.

Submission Guidelines: The abstract should be no more than 500 words, and should fit onto a single-sided page.  On a separate single page, include the author’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address with a brief, 100-200 word paragraph biography or one-page curriculum vitae.  Abstracts are due on or before May 31, 2014, and authors of papers chosen for presentation will be notified by June 11, 2014.  Registration fees apply.  Please indicate in your abstract whether you intend to deliver a twenty-minute paper or a ten-minute work-in-progress report.  Ideally, the papers or work-in-progress reports delivered at the conference should be analytical or critical in nature, rather than descriptive and aim to make an original contribution.  Completed manuscripts of accepted papers must be submitted in full to conference organizers by August 12, 2014.

Authors shall retain copyright, but shall agree that the paper will be deposited for scholarly use in the chapter archive in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.  Electronic submission of proposals is preferred.  Please email submissions as a Microsoft Word attachment with the subject heading SAH MDR Conference 2014 on or before May 31, 2014, to Phillip Mead at pmead@uidaho.edu.  If you are unable to send your submission electronically, please send it via regular mail to:

Phillip G. Mead AIA

College of Art and Architecture
University of Idaho
PO Box 442451
Moscow ID 83844

Lee Nelson in 1992 at Aquia Quarry, where sandstone used on the White House and the original section of the U.S. Capitol was quarried. Photograph by Chad Fisher; courtesy UO Libraries Special Collections.

Lee Nelson in 1992 at Aquia Quarry, where sandstone used on the White House and the original section of the U.S. Capitol was quarried. Photograph by Chad Fisher; courtesy UO Libraries Special Collections.

On Wednesday, February 26, at 6:30 pm at the University of Oregon’s Knight Library Paulson Reading Room, Emily Vance will present Building a Legacy: The Lee Nelson Collection.

Ms. Vance, a Historic Preservation Program graduate student, recently completed an internship devoted to creating an annotated bibliography of the Lee Nelson papers which are housed in the UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives.  The internship was sponsored by the Historic Preservation Education Foundation (HPEF), a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to enhancing public awareness and understanding of historic buildings and sites and to encouraging their preservation.  The educational mission of HPEF is very much in the spirit of Lee Nelson, who not only served as chief of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Technical Preservation services branch, but also was a cofounder of the Association for Preservation Technology.  The 26 boxes of papers donated to the U of O, Nelson’s undergraduate alma mater, reveal the depth and breadth of his accomplishments and interests.  Though he is perhaps best known for his restoration work on Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Nelson maintained strong ties to Oregon, publishing several studies on the state’s covered bridges.  In the 1970s, Nelson waded into international waters, participating in the US Historic Preservation Team of the US-USSR Joint Working Group on the Enhancement of the Urban Environment.  His visits to the Soviet Union as part of this endeavor formed the basis for his presentation, Historic Preservation in the Soviet Union, delivered at the 1976 annual meeting and conference of the SAH/MDR.


UW Winter Lecture Series

Erling Christoffersen | Copenhagen, Denmark
Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 6:00 PM, Architecture Hall 147, University of Washington
Sponsored by Scan|Design
Material and Structure in Furniture

Erling_Christoffersen_EventPage_0Throughout his career as a designer and teacher, Erling Christoffersen has explored furniture design through a process of experimentation with materials.  Christoffersen’s recent work involves transforming flat materials such as wood veneers into furniture.  His goal is to create functional furnishings where the two-dimensional starting point is still visible in the finished furniture.  In shaping furniture through bending, the outline of the furniture is the result of the process.

Since 1979 Erling Christoffersen has worked independently and within exhibition groups and studios.  He established the studio Design 134 in 1989 with architects Bjørli Lundin and Flemming Steen Jensen.  His work as a part of Design 134 includes exhibition design, interior design, furniture design, lamp design, and graphic design.  In 2002 he re-established his own office and has been active in exhibiting furniture design in Denmark and abroad.

This quarter he is co-teaching Arch 504 Furniture Studio with Kimo Griggs.

Marco Casagrande
Friday, 7 February 2014, 7:30 PM, Architecture Hall 147, University of Washington
Presented by Space.City & the HSW Endowment/Neighborhood Design Studio


Rick Joy | Tuscon, AZ
Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 6:00 PM, Architecture Hall 147, University of Washington
Mahlum Endowed Lecture
Taking the Time


Rick Joy is Principal of Rick Joy Architects, a 12 person architecture and planning firm established in 1993 in Tucson, Arizona.  From the beginning, each of RJA’s works have been exhibited and published extensively and have won numerous awards.  Joy received the 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and in 2004 won the prestigious National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institute/Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  He periodically serves as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rice and M.I.T. and he lectures extensively on the firm’s work throughout the world.

RJA has realized architectural works throughout North America with extensive experience with lifestyle based projects from numerous single family residences to an ultra-lux resort and large scale master-plans.  The office has several active residential commissions in Miami, Sun Valley, Turks and Caicos, Venice Beach, Taos, Dallas, La Paz, Santiago Chile, and a 1.3 million square foot mixed-use development in Tucson.  RJA was recently awarded the prestigious commission of the new Train Station and Campus Gateway to Princeton University and a new $150 million Aman Resort in upstate NY.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Continuing education and IDP credits are available for attendance.




The exhibit, Drawn to Design: Selections from the UO Architecture Student Drawing Collection, is on display at the University of Oregon in Knight Library, January – March 2014.

The exhibit features a rotating display of architecture student works dating from 1915 to the 1930s in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the School of Architecture & Allied Arts. The drawings come from the collections of the Architecture & Allied Arts Library which include approximately 1,500 student works.  Creators include individuals who became well known in the profession:  Eyler Brown, Glen Stanton, Cloethiel Smith, Hollis Johnston, Abbott Lawrence, and many more.  Visit the exhibit web page for more information.

Posted by Ed Teague, University of Oregon Libraries.


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