Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, Wisconsin. Architects: Rapp & Rapp, 1915. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, Wisconsin. Architects: Rapp & Rapp, 1915. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

Martin Segger just directed my attention toward the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).  Given that our 2015 annual meeting and conference was organized around the theme of Artifice and Authenticity in Architecture! To Play or Not To Play?,” and the recent “Oregon Historic Theaters: Statewide Survey and Needs Assessment” by students from the UO Community Planning Workshop, I thought I’d pass along some information for the IFTR Architecture Working Group’s call for papers for their 2016 conference (13-17 June) in Stockholm, Sweden.

IFTR is a truly international organization, with recent meetings in Barcelona, Spain (2013); Santiago, Chile (2012); and Osaka, Japan (2011).  The broad umbrella of “Theater Research” covers a fascinating range of topics related to theater and performance.  These topics are addressed by around 24 working groups which include “Samuel Becket,” “Choreography and Corporeality,” and the aforementioned, “Theater Architecture.”  Like the conference, the architecture group is international, with participants from Australia, Brazil, Chile, England, Greece, Holland, Turkey, the Unites States, and Wales.

About the Theatre Working Group (taken from the call for papers):

“The purpose of the Theatre Architecture Working Group is to explore all that theatre architecture has been historically, is at present, and might be in the future.  We consider built projects alongside unbuilt or speculative architectures, studying these from a wide range of practical and theoretical perspectives.  We continue to investigate the ways in which space can be manipulated to bring performers and spectators into dynamic relationship inside traditional theatre auditoria, while also asking how else the disciplines of theatre and architecture intersect.  Over the next four years, we will be focusing on three major strands of enquiry:  a) theatre projects (especially those that provide insights into performing arts venues beyond Europe and North America);  b) inter–‐disciplinary practices (including performance practices that closely engage with, radically undermine, critically re-examine or nakedly depend on architecture for their meaning and value, and architectural practices which employ performance, performativity and/or theatricality to transform our experiences of the built environment);  c) interdisciplinary pedagogies (especially those driven by the question of what is gained for students of one discipline in the encounter between that discipline and the other).  We seek to develop theoretical paradigms appropriate to theatre and architecture and to the relationship between them–articulating the many contemporary sites of exchange between these fields and re-examining historical encounters in the light of recent developments in spatial theory, architecture theory and practice, and performance studies.”

Shakespeare's Globe, London. Architects: Pentagram, 1997. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

Shakespeare’s Globe, London. Architects: Pentagram, 1997. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

The overall theme of the conference is:  PRESENTING THE THEATRICAL PAST – INTERPLAYS OF ARTEFACTS, DISCOURSES AND PRACTICES.  The Theatre Architecture Group is planning on two sessions, one addressing architecture and historiography, the other a joint session with the Scenography Working Group addressing genealogies of theatre architecture and scenography.  For the former, topic suggestions include:  re-readings of historical theatres in the light of developments in critical theory (e.g. spatial theory); artistic and critical practices that engage with historic theatre architectures and/or historic architectures (e.g. oral history, re-enactment, reconstruction); and theories and debates about the preservation, conservation or renovation of theatre buildings; among others.  The joint session with scenography includes topic suggestions along the lines of:  scenographic and architectural strategies by which performance and wider social/cultural activities have been “staged” or presented historically (theaters, concert halls, ballrooms, parks, public open space, etc.); and strategies by which historic performances are now “restaged” (museums, historical re-enactments, “authentic” performance, revivals of plays and performances, etc.).

The International Federation for Theatre Research Conference will take place from June 13-17 in Stockholm, Sweden.  The deadline for financial aid/bursary applications is December 1, 2015 while the deadline for proposals is January 15, 2015.

For more on the conference in general, go to http://www.iftr.org/conference.  For information on financial aid go to http://www.iftr.org/conference/bursaries.

For the full Architecture Working Group’s 2016 Call for Papers, click here.





Marion Dean Ross, founding member of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Marian Card Donnelly, president of the Society 1976-77, are pictured at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia during the 34th Annual Meeting, 1981. Photo by Sheila Finch Tepper found in “Scholars and Sightseers.”

The SAH Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter now has another archival home, the University of Oregon’s digital repository, Scholars’ Bank.  Scholars’ Bank is not just another online resource one finds on the Web, which duplicates print materials:  It is a true archives with digital content, supported by an institutional commitment to retain and preserve contents.  While UO’s digital repository exists mainly for UO publications, it also accepts the work of institutional partners.  The UO Libraries is already committed to maintaining the print archives of the chapter, primarily because of the chapter’s association with Professor Marion Dean Ross, first chair of the university’s Department of Art and Architecture History.  And so finding a place for chapter archives in Scholars’ Bank is a natural development and we are appreciative of this opportunity.

To access the chapter archives in Scholar’s Bank, search by the chapter name in scholarsbank.uoregon.edu.  Several documents have already been added.  Noteworthy among them is Scholars and Sightseers: The Society of Architectural Historians in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest 1954-2004, the magnificent chapter history written by Elisabeth Walton Potter.  For convenience, a short URL to the chapter’s Scholars’ Bank presence has been created.   tinyurl.com/sahmdr-archives. Ed Teague, Head of the Architecture & Allied Arts Library at the University of Oregon, is serving as administrator of the archives on behalf of the chapter.

Fall Lecture Series

With the advent of the Fall school term, lecture series are once again starting up.  The University of Washington’s upcoming lectures will be held on October 21, 28 and on November 4, all Wednesdays,  at 6:00 PM in Architecture Hall 147 at the University of Washington and are free and open to the public.  Continuing education and IDP credits are available for attendance.  For more details on lectures and events at UW, go to http://arch.be.washington.edu/.

October 21, 6:00pm, Architecture Hall 147
NAC Lecture
Vincent James | VJAA, Minneapolis
Surreptitious Urbanisms – The Emergence of the Global Elevated City

Kinetic Commons, Image courtesy VJAA

Kinetic Commons, Image courtesy VJAA

Vincent James, FAIA, practiced independently and with firms in Minneapolis and New York before founding VJAA in 1995. Vincent was appointed Adjunct Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he taught from 2000-2006. He was the Favrot Visiting Chair in Architecture at Tulane University in 1998 and 1999 and was recently the John G. Williams Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, the Morgenstern Chair and Visiting Professor at IIT and a visiting professor at MIT. Vincent James is currently Cass Gilbert Professor in Practice at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin.

October 28, 6:00pm, Architecture Hall 147
Barry Onouye Endowed Lecture
Maurya McClintock | MFC, San Francisco
Building Enclosure – an Architectural Design/Technical Specialty


Maurya is a multi-faceted building designer, bridging the domains of structural, mechanical and façade engineer on 4 continents. After 15 years with Arup, in 2009 Maurya started her own business providing façade design/engineering and related sustainability consulting to Architects, designers and related industry professionals.  Through her years of project experience Maurya has fine-tuned a ‘Holistic-Façade Design and Integrated, Low-energy Building Design’ methodology, using performance simulation to influence early design decision and gained extensive experience in the nuances of its application on a variety of building types.

November 46:00pm, Architecture Hall 147
Sponsored by the College of the Built Environment in collaboration with the Henry Art Gallery.
Keller Easterling | Yale, New Haven

Keller Easterling is an architect and writer. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity.  Another recent book, Subtraction (Sternberg Press, 2014), considers building removal or how to put the development machine into reverse.  An ebook essay, The Action is the Form (Strelka Press, 2012) previews some of the arguments in Extrastatecraft.  Other books include: Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005), which researched familiar spatial products in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world, and Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999), which applied network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure.  Ms. Easterling is also the co-author (with Richard Prelinger) of Call it Home: The House that Private Enterprise Built, a laserdisc/DVD history of US suburbia from 1934-1960.  She has published web installations including: “Extrastatecraft”, “Wildcards: a Game of Orgman”, and “Highline: Plotting NYC”.  Ms. Easterling’s research and writing was included in the 2014 Venice Biennale, and she has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Rotterdam Biennale, and the Architectural League in New York.  Ms. Easterling has lectured and published widely in the United States and abroad.  Ms. Easterling taught at Columbia before coming to Yale.


The University of Oregon Department of Architecture Lecture Series will present a lecture that may be of particular interest to our members:

Luis Hoyos: “Preservation of Historic Buildings​”
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona CA

Luis Hoyos is an architect and Professor of Architecture at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, where he teaches historic preservation and urban design. He serves on the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and as a member of the Landmarks Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board. He is national co-chair for the NPS American Latino Scholars Experts Panel, and co-editor of American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study (2013).  He was member and chair of the California State Historical Resources Commission from 2002-2006 and a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of Preservation Advocacy at the Los Angeles Conservancy. As an architect he has received awards for the design of several historic building rehabilitations, including El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the Point Fermin Lighthouse, the Palmer Hotel and the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse.

There are two dates and times for this event:
Monday, October 19 at 5:30pm, Lawrence Hall, Room 206, 1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR AND
Tuesday, October 20 at 5:30 pm, White Stag Block, Room 150, 70 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR 97209
For more information go to https://architecture.uoregon.edu/.

Carrie Strickland and William Neburka / Works Partnership Architecture: “The Bowstring Trust House.”  

Works Partnership Architecture is a progressive architectural design studio located in the Pacific Northwest. Carrie Strickland and William Neburka launched W.PA together in 2005. W.PA has since established a design approach rooted in clear conceptual diagrams applied across a wide spectrum of project types while responding to individual site, program, and environmental requirements. W.PA’s approach walks a line between sexy and stern and echoes simplicity in the face of ever evolving complexity, a quiet amid the cacophony of the newest. Over the past ten years, W.PA has been presented with more than 25 design awards and has been lauded on a national scale for notable work and contributions to design, including the 2013 AIA NW&P Region Emerging Firm award, a place in Architectural Record’s 2010 Design Vanguard publication, and a 2010 Progressive Architecture award.

Bill received a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University in 1989, and is a registered architect in the states of Oregon and New York. He has over 20 years of experience with diverse building types, including commercial, institutional, residential, and adaptive re-use/restoration. Bill has lectured at Portland State University and the University of Oregon, and he has served as an adjunct professor of Architecture at Portland State University and University of Oregon. Bill has worked on a diverse array of project scales and types, and that work has been recognized by the AIA, the Boston Society of Architects, and has been exhibited and published nationally.

Carrie earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Design, Architecture, Art + Planning at the University of Cincinnati and is a registered architect in Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, and Ohio. She has built an extensive background in adaptive re-use and speculative development while advocating for design as the basis for urban interventions. Carrie has served as visiting professor at Portland State University and the University of Oregon. She regularly serves on forums and lecture panels discussing design in the Pacific Northwest; has served on the board of directors for the AIA Portland chapter; was chair of the City of Portland’s Development Review Advisory Committee; and is a co-founder of Cityscope, a non-profit platform with a focus on multi-discipline urban fabric and design.

There are two dates and times for this event:
Monday, October 26 at 5:30pm, Lawrence Hall, Room 206, 1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR AND
Wednesday, October 28 at 5:30 pm, White Stag Block, Room 150, 70 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR 97209
For more information go to https://architecture.uoregon.edu/.

Robert Sabbatini, Charles Brucker, and Brodie Bain:   “Creating a Vision: A Landscape Framework for the UO Campus”
Refined Framework University of Oregon Campus Physical Framework Vision University of Oregon Campus Planning, Design, & Construction Robert Sabbatini AICP FASLA, PLACE, Perkins + Will May 22, 2015

Refined Framework: University of Oregon Campus Physical Framework Vision; U of O Campus Planning, Design, & Construction; Robert Sabbatini AICP FASLA, PLACE, Perkins + Will, May 22, 2015

Building upon the traditions, policies, and patterns developed in the Oregon Experiment and embodied in the UO Campus Plan, the University of Oregon engaged nationally renowned campus planners, landscape architects, and architects to develop the UO Campus Physical Framework Vision.  The project supplements and brings greater specificity to the Campus Plan by creating a comprehensive framework vision for the campus landscape, open spaces, and future building areas and uses.  Using the existing landscape armature as a foundation, the project explores potential space needs and how future improvements can enhance the character of the campus landscape.  Project consultants will describe how the project provides tools that better inform decision-making while preserving the campus’ beauty and functionality.

Sponsored by:
University of Oregon Campus Planning, Design, and Construction
UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts
Department of Landscape Architecture

Thursday, October 29 at 6:00pm, Pacific Hall, Room 123, 1025 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403

Frank Escher and Ravi Gunewardena:  Art Space: Gallery and Exhibition Design Projects

In Los Angeles, a city with an extraordinary collection of 20th-century architecture and a globally important contemporary art scene, the office of Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena occupies a unique position. Since 1997, they have routinely worked with artists including Olafur Eliasson, Mike Kelley, Sharon Lockhart, and Stephen Prina, as well as with the restoration of significant buildings including John Lautner’s Chemosphere and, later, the Eames House in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute.

Frank Escher studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He is the editor of the first John Lautner monograph, was formerly the administrator of the John Lautner Archive, and serves on the boards of the both the John Lautner Foundation and Julius Shulman Institute.
Ravi GuneWardena studied architecture as well as art history at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and in Florence, Italy. He has served on the Art Advisory Panel for the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency. Both have taught and lectured at various schools in the United States and Europe.
There are two dates and times for this event:
Wednesday, November 4 at 5:30pm, Lawrence Hall, Room 206, 1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR AND
Thursday, November 5 at 5:30 pm, White Stag Block, Room 150, 70 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR 97209
For more information go to https://architecture.uoregon.edu/.

Historic theaters in Oregon: potential economic engines facing challenges

Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls. Photo by Marti Gerdes.

Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls. Photo by Marti Gerdes.

By Marti Gerdes

A report by UO graduate students reveals that the shuttered or struggling theaters—former cultural and economic linchpins in their communities—remain potential catalysts for downtown revitalization.

EUGENE, Ore. – (September 28, 2015) – A new report by UO graduate students on the condition of Oregon’s historic theaters reveals them as potentially significant economic engines challenged by financial and organizational needs, which the report provides specific recommendations to address.

Nearly a year of research resulted in “Oregon Historic Theaters: Statewide Survey and Needs Assessment.” The report notes that the many shuttered or struggling theaters—former cultural and economic linchpins in their communities—remain potential catalysts for downtown revitalization.

The report was produced by five University of Oregon graduate students working with UO Community Planning Workshop Program Director Robert Parker. They documented the condition and needs of the theaters and outlined recommendations for increased success.

The survey identifies four key challenges facing historic theaters: tight finances, aging infrastructure, increased competition, and lack of coordination among owners-operators for sharing opportunities.

Other findings:

  • Fifty-six percent of Oregon’s historic theaters have not been seismically retrofitted, 57 percent do not have automatic fire protection, and 46 percent are not fully ADA compliant.
  • The theaters collectively hosted 62,000 events and brought in $23 million in revenue.
  • The thirty-six theaters responding to the survey reported a combined $20.8 million in deferred maintenance.
  • Thirty-two percent had not upgraded to fully digital projection, necessary to show first-run movies and remain more competitive.
Broadway Theater in Malin, southeast of Klamath Falls. Image courtesy Basin Youth for Christ.

Broadway Theater in Malin, southeast of Klamath Falls. Image courtesy Basin Youth for Christ.

The report recommends: (1) theaters undergo comprehensive structural assessments, preferably by an architect trained in historic preservation; and (2) a diverse coalition of nonprofit and state agencies create a statewide “historic theaters initiative” that offers funding, technical support, access to diverse programming, and a mechanism for sharing information and resources.

A five-year “Action Plan” to address theaters’ needs was begun in August by Restore Oregon, Oregon Main Street, the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Film (the Governor’s Office of Film and Video), Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Regional Solutions Team, Pacific Power, and the UO’s Community Service Center.

Travel Oregon provided a matching grant for the survey. Match dollars, acquired through efforts by Parker, came from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) administered through the UO’s EDA University Center. The inventory was conducted between September 2014 and August 2015.

The report is available online here.  A video about the project can be seen here.

For more information contact Robert Parker, rgp@uoregon.edu


by Ken Guzowski, with Janet C. Gilmore

Dorothy Gilmore waiting on the ferry at Port Townsend, on the way to the SAH/MDR annual meeting in Bellingham, 2005. Photo by Ken Guzowski.

Dorothy Gilmore waiting on the ferry at Port Townsend, on the way to the SAH/MDR annual meeting in Bellingham, 2005. Photo by Ken Guzowski.

Dorothy Gilmore passed away contemplating her husband’s “Our Place, ‘61” oil painting at her beloved home and deer park in the south hills of Eugene, Oregon during the 2015 Spring Equinox.  Dorothy, and fraternal twin Donald, were born in 1922, in Seattle, Washington, to parents “H.C.” (Harold C.) and Dorothea (Haskin) Hanson.  H.C. Hanson was a prolific marine architect and engineer responsible for designing and supervising construction of numerous Pacific Northwest work boats, including commercial fishing and fisheries management vessels, tugs, barges, war-time minesweepers, patrol boats, and pleasure boats.  The reputation of his boats for grace and seaworthiness, and his pioneering adaptation of welded-steel construction to work-boat design, resulted in adoption of his plans for working vessels well beyond the Pacific Northwest.  Dorothy’s experiences drafting for her father’s marine design business on Seattle’s Coleman Dock during her teens, and later drafting for Boeing during World War II, prepared her well for a career in architecture during a time when more women were entering the field.

Inspired deeply by the design and educational philosophy of W.R.B. Willcox at the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Dorothy earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1950, after graduating with a B.A. in 1944.  Dorothy’s marriage to fellow Architecture student Philip C. Gilmore (1921-1996) in June 1948, kept her actively perpetuating the Willcox legacy in her practice, family and social life, and with their cohort of Pacific Northwest architects and artists, until her passing.  For decades, conversations about architecture and art, experiences and ideas, teaching and thorny aspects of design projects peppered Dorothy and Phil’s conversations and informed their architectural practices.

While Dorothy occasionally crafted the fine detailing for Phil’s design projects, from the 1960s into the 1990s, Dorothy took the design and supervisory lead on numerous residential remodels and original designs in western Oregon, especially in Eugene and on the Oregon Coast (including their residences), and especially for women clients.  A pair of noteworthy 1970s Eugene examples include the remodel of an early 20th century two-story Craftsman style wood frame house on E. 19th to accommodate the Book and Tea book store and kitchen, for clients Mary Faust and Patricia Clift.  The second example, the Phyllis Kerns House in the Laurel Hill Drive area, placed Kerns’ whimsical interpretations of space in the conceptual frame of a historical one-story hip-roofed vernacular house type with wraparound veranda that had taken Dorothy’s fancy when she spent 1968-69 in Tasmania, Australia, exploring its architectural history.  Her designs characteristically synthesized historical and contemporary architectural features, precariously balancing decorative flourishes with functionality, while emphasizing clean lines, formal clarity, and structural lightness; they invited light in and views out to engaging vistas. During the height of her architectural practice, Dorothy also mentored several women architecture students, and served as an adjunct architectural design professor, at the University of Oregon.

In 1974 Dorothy was appointed to serve on Eugene’s first Historic Review Board.  She was proactive in seeking protection for significant historic buildings and landscapes as City of Eugene Historic Landmarks or for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.  Her knowledge and appreciation of Eugene’s architectural legacy, whether historical or innovative designs, places with special social histories, or the work of known colleagues and mentors, motivated her to preserve old Eugene especially in response to the losses that urban renewal had wrought downtown beginning in the ‘60s.

Also in the 1970s, Dorothy contributed to Phil’s University of Oregon sabbatical year project to audiotape interviews that Phil organized and conducted with former students of W.R.B. Willcox.  Willcox had joined the U of O’s Department of Architecture as Dean in 1922, and continued to influence and interact with students after his 1942 retirement until his death in 1947.  Dorothy helped Phil organize these recordings and supporting documentation for deposit at the University of Oregon Libraries’ Archives.  These interviews provide an understanding of Willcox’s architectural theories and educational philosophy as described by these students of the modern era of architectural design, and demonstrate Willcox’s continuing influence in the Pacific Northwest’s architectural legacy.  Gilmores’ and colleagues’ commitment to the Willcox influence inspired numerous salon-like social gatherings well into the 21st century, leaving their mark on later generations of Pacific Northwest architects, designers, artists, and their offspring.

Dorothy was active in the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and served as secretary-treasurer from 1974 through 1982.  She enthusiastically attended regional meetings on a yearly basis throughout the Pacific Northwest for over forty years.

Dorothy’s cheerful outlook, imagination, and sense of humor, allowed her to encourage the best in other people and work effectively with her  clients.  Open eyes and an open mind, as well as a keen appreciation for architectural heritage, theory, and detail, characterized her curiosity of the world around her and found expression in graceful, innovative, and functional designs for complex architectural landscapes.

Dorothy is survived by her three children, Janet, Andy, and Ben Gilmore, Janet’s husband Jim Leary, and grandchildren Bella and Finn Leary.



Jacksonville, OR. 1971 HABS Photo of the Redmen's Lodge and Kubli Building with the Anderson & Glenn Store at the right. On Sunday, 10/25/15, Scott Clay will lead a tour of this historic gold rush town.

Jacksonville, OR. 1971 HABS Photo of the Redmen’s Lodge and Kubli Building with the Anderson & Glenn Store at the right. On Sunday, 10/25/15, Scott Clay will lead a tour of this historic gold rush town.

The full program for the 2015 Annual Conference and Meeting of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is now set.  The conference’s base will be in Ashland, Oregon, with side trips to Medford-area wineries, the gold rush town of Jacksonville, and the Château at the Oregon Caves.  While scholarly paper sessions will cover an eclectic range of topics, local and regional history will get their fair share of attention with opening and closing keynote lectures by George Kramer and Jeff LaLande.  Ashland-centric events include a walking tour lead by a member of the town’s historic commission and a behind-the-scenes look at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archives.  The conference’s main events will take place from Friday, October 23, until Sunday the 25th.  This year we’re adding a bonus attraction for Sunday, running through Monday: a backstage tour of the Oregon Caves Château, including a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, dinner, a candlelight tour of the caves themselves, dessert and breakfast the following morning (note:  attendees must make separate accommodations for  lodging at the Château or in nearby Cave Junction).

Discounted early registration rates remain in effect until October 7th.  You can continue to register on-line (with the Eventbrite service) or by mail until October 20th.  After that you can still join us by registering at the door, however we’ll only be able to accept cash or checks at that time.  A full conference program with registration form is available by clicking here: 2015 Conference Program or at http://sahmdr.org/conference.html.

We look forward to seeing you in Ashland and its environs!



The Marion Dean Ross chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to offer the 2015 Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award.  The purpose of the EWP Research Award is to further awareness and knowledge of the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.  Awards range from $500 and $2000 in any given year and are awarded to from one to several recipients per year.  Applications for the award are due by September 15, 2015.  Recipients of the EWP award are expected to make a presentation on their research at the following year’s Society of Architectural Historians Marion Dean Ross conference.  This year the SAH MDR conference will be held in Ashland, Oregon, October 23-25, 2015.  For an application form and more information, go to:  http://www.sahmdr.org/awards.html

In 2013, the EWP award provided assistance with two research projects.  One award was given to Professor Anne Marshall for her paper entitled, “Indigenous Architecture: Creating the Museum At Warm Springs,” and one was awarded to independent consultant Liz Carter for her research, “Mid-Nineteenth Century Dwelling of Oregon Black Pioneers: A Brief Historical Context.”  In 2014 the EWP Award went to a team at Washington State University headed by J. Philip Gruen and Robert Redder Franklin who are preparing entries for the national Society of Architectural Historians’ (SAH) Archipedia Project.

A Note for Applicants

The selection committee is open to a wide range of proposals.  It has supported research in its initial phases, research that is well in progress and proposals from emerging scholars as well as established professionals.  The core requirements are that the research focuses on the Pacific Northwest and that the applicant is a member of the SAH MDR.  Student membership is free, while general membership costs a nominal $15 ($12.50 if you’re already a member of the national SAH).  Applications for the Potter Award that are submitted by non-members will not be reviewed.  So, sign up at http://www.sahmdr.org/membership.html.  If you’re unsure about your membership status, send a message to info@sahmdr.org.

About the 2014 Award Recipients

Pacific Science Center and Space Needle (mostly Yamasaki, 1962) Seattle, WA. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

Pacific Science Center and Space Needle (mostly Yamasaki, 1962) Seattle, WA. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

The SAH Archipedia is essentially an online version of the venerable, but slow to be released, Buildings of the United States series of books published under the auspices of the SAH.  In contrast with other online resources, such as Wikipedia, Archipedia entries have a more certain pedigree and are guaranteed to be written and reviewed by experts in the field of architectural history.  The Potter Award will help the Washington State University team provide small stipends to researchers who will produce descriptions, analysis, photography, and data regarding Washington’s 100 most significant works of architecture for the free online resource entitled “SAH Archipedia Classic Buildings.”  Greater depth, and entries beyond the initial 100 is available to subscribers and members of the SAH.

According to Gruen’s and Franklin’s Potter Award application:

“The Washington Archipedia builds upon earlier research for the SAH Buildings of the United States series, compiled originally by members of the SAH/MDR chapter.  That work drew upon the 1940 state census—before the post-World War Two urban population boom when rural areas featured a greater percentage of the state’s population—to help ensure more equitable geographic coverage that otherwise might be dominated by the architecture of cities bordering the Puget Sound.  While including many significant works of architecture from those cities (such as Seattle and Tacoma), the Washington Archipedia project will proceed in the spirit of the older survey, thereby ensuring that nearly every county or region of the state finds representation. This also will allow for a potentially wider array of building typologies.

B Reactor (credited to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 1943-44), Hanford, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

B Reactor (credited to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 1943-44), Hanford, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

The contract specifies for 100 individual entries of between 250 and 2,000 words, but it does not delineate criteria for what constitutes “significance”—historical or otherwise.  While many buildings, landscapes, and districts targeted for this project will be fifty years of age or older and designed by notable architects (there will, of course, be many entries focusing on the older architectural heritage of the state), the Washington Archipedia project is not intended to be an online guidebook with little more than names, dates, and “historical facts.”  To help readers understand the architecture of the Pacific Northwest, the project coordinators will occasionally push the traditional limits of “historic significance” by including buildings, landscapes, and districts whose importance lies in their stories, events, memories, or ideas—not strictly in their aesthetics, styles, or fame of their designers.  We feel that greater understanding comes from approaches that often extend well beyond the proverbial bricks and mortar of buildings.

To that end, a cultural landscape approach to the built environment may occasionally be appropriate.  This will permit analysis, interpretation, and justification for sites as diverse as the Parkade in Spokane; the Freeway Park in Seattle; the B Reactor at Hanford Reach; and the plan of Longview.  As the architecture of the Pacific Northwest has gained a widespread reputation for its pioneering efforts in “green” and sustainable design, landmarks in energy conservation and renewable materials also will find a place in the Washington Archipedia, from Mithun’s Island Wood on Bainbridge Island to Miller|Hull’s Bullitt Center in Seattle.  Washington might be among the last states to join the Archipedia project, but we intend it to be progressive and up-to-date in its subject matter and approach.  We hope it will set a standard for online architectural archives.”

Gamwell House (Longstaff & Black, 1890), Bellingham, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

Gamwell House (Longstaff & Black, 1890), Bellingham, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

The selection committee of the MDR SAH was impressed by both the scope of the Washington Archipedia project, as well as the applicants’ thoughtful approach toward the subject, particularly the question of what constitutes “significance.”  To that end, Phil Gruen composed a lengthy blog post for the SAH, titled “Washington State Slept Here: SAH Archipedia and the Question of Significance.”  Are you curious about what the WSU team has tagged as significant?  A draft list is available by clicking Washington State Archipedia 100!  The finalized Washington State contribution to Archipedia is set to go live during the summer of 2016.  As of August 2015, entries for 19 states, including the District of Columbia can be perused at http://sah-archipedia.org/.



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