Wednesday, September 8, 2010
One of the interesting facts about historic resource preservation is that its boundaries are always growing. But some communities have not embraced fully this facet of preservation, even as Modernist architecture matures and qualifies for official National Register listing on the federal level. This is especially true in communties with rich stocks of 18th and 19th century architecture, where the preservation aesthetic tends to favor colonial, neo-colonial, and other revivalist styles. New Canaan, Connecticut, only one hour north of New York City, is one community with a treasure trove of traditional as well as Modernist styles. New Canaan, then, has felt this tension acutely, especially as property owners increase to subdivide large lots into smaller, developable parcels.
Many of New Canaan's modernist houses sit on these large lots. Even though they make important statements about life in America at the time of their construction and teach important lessons about building form and architecture's relationship to function and nature, modernist houses fall--at the moment--outside of current mainstream style preferences. Moreover, Modernist homes are usually modest in scale, and thus too small for a market that tends to prefer large, overscaled architecture of the post-Modernist sort. Unless local preservation ordinances are calibrated to protect "newer" structures, as well as more traditional styles the public more typically associates with historic preservation, Modernist houses, such as those in New Canaan, will face increasing demolition pressure as demand for land outpaces a community's desire to preserve. Click here to read more or see David Hay, Too New for New Canaan, Preservation 34 (Sept./Oct. 2010).
Will Cook, Charleston School of Law
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Katherine Dentzman on A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe
- Jesse Richardson on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing
- Samuel on Schleicher and Rauch on local regulation of the sharing economy
- Timothy Wayne George on Is Reed v. Town of Gilbert an important sign case?
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barb Cosens: Post 2: Comparative Water Law: Australia and the western United States or Conversations with Claire
- APA Planning & Law Division's Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition now accepting entries
- Jan 30 - Boston U Law - The Iron Triangle of Food Policy - AJLM Symposium
- "Basic Human Right" to Farm Your Lawn?
- CFP: Fordham Law: Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy