Newsletter | February 2020
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Preserving African American History

  • "The Fight to Preserve African-American History" in the New Yorker profiles the work of Brent Leggs, the director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Only 2% of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places focus on the experiences of black Americans and he is working to make the Register more representative the entire country's history. Pictured above: a Rosenwald School.
  • The American Planning Association tells the story of Andrea Roberts' mission to document every black settlement in Texas in "Putting Freedom Colonies on the Map" (February issue of Planning magazine).
  • Atlas Obscura brings us "Meet the Iowa Architect Documenting Every Slave House Still Standing." Jobie Hill has surveyed hundreds of structures for the Saving Slave Houses project, using Historic American Building Survey (HABS) photos and oral histories as a starting point.

Member News Roundup

  • Phineas Harper (pictured above), a 2018 AAO Design Matters Conference speaker, has been appointed director of Open City, the nonprofit that runs Open House London. He was formerly the deputy director of the Architecture Foundation (London).
  • The American Planning Association has curated a list of 100 essential planning books in celebration of the organization's 100 years. The PDF at the end provides an overview of planning history that educators and students may find useful. 
  • The National Building Museum will reopen March 13 after a three-month-long renovation project that included replacing the Great Hall floors, converting classrooms to exhibition space, and creating a new ticketing gallery.
  • Stephen Ayers, former Architect of the Capitol and 2014 AAO Design Matters Conference speaker, was tapped to lead the AIA through the renovation of its headquarters building. Learn more about his career in "Former Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, Leaves Legacy of Leadership on Capitol Hill." 
  • AAO welcomes new organizational member Actar D / urbanNext.

Exhibiting Architecture

  • The Canadian Centre for Architecture published The Museum is Not Enough, an introspective book that explores the role of architecture museums. Topics covered include making archives relevant, digital media in museum practices, and display strategies for architecture exhibitions. The publication is conceived as the first volume of a yearly magazine.
  • Rem Koolhaas' Countryside, the Future opened at the Guggenheim on February 20. The major exhibition looks at how landscapes are altered on the 98% of the earth not covered by cities.
  • MoMA announced plans for the upcoming exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, “an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness and anti–Black racism in the American context” through ten newly commissioned works.

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