Dwell Magazine: Rethinking Preservation

Dwell Magazine (a contemporary magazine devoted to modern design) currently has a digital issue entitled Rethinking Preservation. Be sure to read page 4, “Preservation Recommended.” Paired with this digital issue is a contest of the same name. Anyone was invited to submit a landmark worthy of preservation. All of the entries are now eligible for popular vote and then a panel of judges will select the top ten. Winners receive $10,000 for their chosen preservation organization and the “architectural do-gooder” receives a wine storage unit from the contest sponsor, Sub-Zero.

With that said, browse through the properties and cast your vote! It’s hard to choose. Just when I thought I could cast my vote, the properties continued to astound me. Such entertainment!

I can’t pick favorites, but here are ten of the many contenders. Keep in mind that the prize of $10,000 will not do much for many of these projects in comparison to the amount of work many need. However, that $10,000 can go a long way in helping a group to get off the ground (especially local community organizations), whether it’s completion of a National Register nomination or a conditions survey or bridging the gap for funds. Many of these projects are submitted by small community groups.  Take the time to read and vote. You’ll learn a lot.

{All images here are from the Dwell contest website. Click each one for the source.}

Grand Army of the Republic Arch in Superior, Wisconsin.

Fort Atkinson Club in Fort Atkinson, WI.

Biff's Coffee Shop in Oakland, CA.

Dallas High School, Dallas, TX.

1933 World's Fair House of Tomorrow.

Open Air Mail - Post Office in St. Petersburg, FL

Wayne Train Station in Wayen, IL.

Chase Stone Barn in Chase, WI.

Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Florida.

Her Majesty on Main Street, Vergennes, VT.

Forest Lodge -- Modern Architecture in Southern Arizona

Amazing, right? And that’s only 10. Check out the entire list.


Now, aside from the contest itself – what do you think of the title, Rethinking Preservation? I’m not sure what I think about it. Initially, the title perplexed me. Are we talking about the term “preservation” or are we talking about the mission of preservation? Or was it something else? Is Dwell reconsidering preservation as a good lifestyle and a good use of buildings? In full disclosure, I am not a regular reader of Dwell, so I do not know the usual topics of conversation.

Based on the digital issue, Dwell seems to be rethinking preservation in terms of bringing historic or old homes back to life, particularly those from the mid 20th century. Score! More people on board with preservation.

Have fun voting and please, share your thoughts.


—– Thank you to Ann Cousins for suggesting this post.