Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.”   —  Elie Wiesel

JUNE 16 – 18, 2017

Abstracts or proposals for papers or work-in-progress reports are solicited for the 2017 annual meeting of the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  The meeting this year will be held June 16-18, 2017, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  This year’s theme is “Commemorations.”

canada150According to the National Park Service, a commemorative property is important not for association with the event or person it memorializes, but for the significance it has acquired after its creation through age, tradition, or symbolic value.  Please join us in Victoria, B.C., June 16-18, 2017, to celebrate commemorations, especially the Canada 150 celebrations (1867-2017), the 100th anniversary of the US National Park System (2016), the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (2016), and the Parks Canada’s Centennial (2011).  We will also be recognizing Victoria’s Centennial (1962) by reflecting on the on-going significance of Victoria’s 1965 Centennial Square.  Topics germane to the theme will be encouraged, but those covering any aspect of the built environment of the Pacific Northwest or beyond will be welcome.  Abstracts will be blind peer-reviewed by the SAHMDR Review Committee.

Membership in the SAHMDR is not required for abstract submission, although those chosen for presentation will be asked to contribute chapter dues for the current year.  Graduate students and advanced undergraduates in fields related to the built environment are particularly welcome.

Centennial Square, Victoria, B.C., 1965

Centennial Square, Victoria, B.C., 1965

 Submission Guidelines: The abstract should be no more than 300 words and should fit onto a single-sided page.  A single separate page should 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.  Indicate in your abstract whether you intend to deliver a twenty-minute paper or a ten-minute work-in-progress report.  Ideally, submissions should be analytical or critical in nature, rather than descriptive, and aim to make an original contribution.  Electronic submission of proposals is preferred.

Abstracts are due on or before March 15, 2017, and authors of papers chosen for presentation will be notified by April 15, 2017.  Completed manuscripts of accepted papers must be submitted in full to conference organizers by June 1, 2017.  Authors shall retain copyright, but will agree that the paper can be deposited for scholarly use in the chapter archive in the Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

Email submissions as a Word attachment with the subject heading SAHMDR 2017 on or before March 15, 2017, to Amanda Clark at sahmdr2017@gmail.com.  If you are unable to send your submission electronically, please send it via regular mail to:

Amanda C. R. Clark, MLIS, Ph.D.
Director of the Library & Assistant Professor in Art
Whitworth University
300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251

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Parliament Buildings, Photo copyright Michael Foort.

Parliament Buildings, photo copyright Michael Foort.

In preparation for the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians conference in 2017, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Union Club of British Columbia.  The conference will be held in Victoria, June 16-18, 2017.  The discounted block of rooms is limited, so we wanted to get the news out early to help you with your summer planning.

The Union Club will also serve as the site of our Saturday banquet.  It is a great place to immerse oneself in historic Victoria!  A PDF with more information on the special room rates is available here or at the SAH/MDR website at http://www.sahmdr.org/conference.html.

For more on the Union Club visit their website at http://www.unionclub.com/About-The-Club.aspx

The conference theme and program are coming together and more details will be available soon!

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Victoria!

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issues in HP fieldtrip 2000

Historic Preservation students on a field trip to Bridal Veil Falls in 2000 for an “Issues in Historic Preservation” class. Instructor Sally Donovan, second from right.

Sally Donovan is the recipient of the 2016 George McMath Award for excellence in Historic Preservation.  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.

While the 2014 McMath Award was given to Don Peting, long-time director of the University of Oregon’s Historic Preservation Program, Sally is the first graduate of the program to receive the honor.  After graduating in 1987, Sally occasionally dropped-in to teach classes, one of which was “Issues in Historic Preservation,” the occasion for the photo above.  In retrospect, that one-day field-trip came close to covering pretty much every issue in preservation, illustrating Sally’s breadth of interests and awareness of place.  There was restoration (Crown Point), adaptive reuse (McMenamin’s Edgefield), infill (downtown Troutdale), landscape (Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area), preservation by neglect and when to give up the fight (buildings of the Bridal Veil Falls Lumbering Company, demolished in 2001), and yep, a cemetery (Bridal Veil).  I’m sure there was more, now lost in the fog of memory and unrecorded due to the limitations of print film.  However, I would be remiss in neglecting to mention Bruce Howard, Sally’s husband and compadre (most likely the one behind the camera for the group shot), providing support and insightful commentary from his informed civilian perspective.

Congratulations on the McMath Award Sally and Bruce!  Your former students find you most deserving!

More on Sally Donovan from the UofO AAA Newsletter:  http://aaa.uoregon.edu/news/mcmath-award-recognizes-sally-donovan-exemplary-cultural-resources-work-habshaer-photography

The McMath Award luncheon will take place on May 11, 2016.  Tickets will be available beginning on April 1 and can be ordered online or by calling 541-346-3697.


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Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Photo copyright Alana Couch.

Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Photo copyright Alana Couch.

The 2015 Elisabeth Walton Potter (EWP) Research Award was given to Christina Gray for her proposal, Client Relations:  Arthur Erickson and the Musqueam First Nation.  The project is an outgrowth of Ms. Gray’s dissertation research at UCLA, on the role of clients in architectural culture during the 1970s.

From the EWP Award proposal:

Arthur Erickson has been well celebrated as an architect formed through the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.  However, the role that his clients have played in contributing to his work remains understudied.  This project proposes to examine the complex interplay between Arthur Erickson and his clients as a way to investigate not only his particular methods of practice but also the influence of the region upon his work.  Focusing in particular upon his 1976 Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, this research hopes to uncover how the complicated combination of client stakeholders that included both a public university and the Musqueam First Nations were addressed historically in the architectural process as well as in the finished built work.

Ms. Gray is interested in engaging with the Native Youth Program that is run through the Museum of Anthropology, potentially publishing a piece in their self-published zine or Urban Native Magazine as a way to outline the historical narrative of how the Musqueam Nation interacted with Arthur Erickson in the creation of the museum.  In parallel to this, she hopes to publish a more extensive article in a publication dedicated to the heritage of the Pacific Northwest, as well as in C Magazine and/or Border Crossings to reach a broader audience.

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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.

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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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Main Street looking west towards the Ashland Springs Hotel and Varsity Theatre, Ashland, Oregon.  Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Main Street looking west towards the Ashland Springs Hotel and Varsity Theatre, Ashland, Oregon. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Our 2015 Annual Meeting in and around Ashland, Oregon is beginning to take shape.  Scheduled for October 23-25, the overall conference theme is:  “Artifice and Authenticity in Architecture!  To Play or Not to Play?”  In a similar vein, Oregon Public Broadcasting recently ran a piece titled “Ashland:  The Town that Shakespeare Built?,” that makes a strong case for the play being the thing with which to catch king tourist’s dollars.  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), currently celebrating its 80th anniversary, will still be presenting a slate of plays at the time of our conference, and while we’re too late in the season for outdoor plays presented at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, the indoor stages will feature a wide variety of offerings including such classics as the Bard’s own Much Ado About Nothing, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, a world premiere play by Lynn Nottage titled Sweat, and Frank Loesser’s ever-popular musical Guys and Dolls, among others.

Not to be outdone, our paper sessions, traditionally set for Saturday, will cover a range of subjects under the umbrella of our overall theme.  One session will include Amy Crain’s “Synagogue Architecture as Metaphor: Standing Out or Blending In,”  Julianne Parse Sandlin’s “The Ca’ D’Zan: Whimsical Play or Serious Business?,” and Henry Matthews’ “Authenticity and Artifice in Alvar Aalto’s Mount Angel Library.”  Session two will include “10 Principles of Pacific Northwest Landscape Architecture: How Authenticity is the New Regional Commodity” by Noah Guadagni, “The Weippe Prairie” by Robert Franklin, and “Molalla Log House” by Pam Hayden and Gregg Olson.  Many thanks to the SAHMDR’s paper selection committee for putting together such an intriguing slate of presentations.  More details on additional lectures, tours, and of course banquets and get-togethers will follow soon!  We hope to see you all in Ashland this fall!




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