Learning About the Recent Past for a Sustainable Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the National Center for Smart Growth’s 2013 Brown Bag Webinar Series continues with

Learning About the Recent Past for a Sustainable Maryland

Presentation by Isabelle Gournay and Abby Tesfaye University of Maryland

Friday, November 22
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

 View the Webinar Recording 

Preinkert Field House - Conference Room 1112V University of Maryland College Park

Between 2001 and 2008, Isabelle Gournay and her American Studies colleague Mary Corbin Sies led a state-wide survey of Modern Movement resources. Their research yielded scholarly presentations, a “context essay,” several articles and more than a dozen reports adopting the format of National Register nominations. They helped save several modernist landmarks from demolition, including the Lustine automobile showroom in Hyattsville.

Tenets used to provide a framework for the rise of “Baby Boom Modernism” were the dynamics between nature preservation, community building and rising consumerism, as well as the impact of local sponsors, including M-NCPPC and the Archdiocese of Washington. Of particular significance were the site-specific subdivisions built by tree-hugging homebuilder Edmund Bennett; one of them, Carderock Springs in Bethesda, has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The legacy of 1950s and 1960s architectural and urban design is still strong and prized in our suburbs but is adversely challenged by change. Abby Tesfaye, a first year graduate student in planning and historic preservation, will present findings on community-based challenges, both social and physical, which Roman Catholic complexes (places of worship and parochial schools) face in the Maryland suburbs. Her case studies focus on five parishes around our campus. 

Isablle Gourney is a native of France and a resident of Historic Greenbelt, where she serves on the Advisory Planning Board. She received a professional degree in architecture from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and a doctorate in art history from Yale University. She is currenly working on two book projects The Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities: The Challenges of Change and Architecture Students at the École des Beaux-arts and North American Scene: Educational cross-currents. She co-edited Paris on the Potomac: The French Influence on the Architecture and Art of Washington, D.C. Ohio University Press, 2007 and authored The New Trocadéro (Pierre Mardaga - Institut Français d'Architecture, 1985) and the A.I.A. Guide to the Architecture of Atlanta (University of Georgia Press, 1992), as well as numerous articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries published in the U.S., France, Great Britain, Canada, Italy and Holland.