Preserving Our Recent Past

Often when we think of historic preservation, we think of buildings, structures, or events that are hundreds of years old. But preservation can also be about recent history. Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past examines the decades following World War II and the important social, political, and economic trends shaping land use decisions, architectural styles, property types, and building technology in Ohio’s recent past.

In 2009 the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society retained Gray & Pape to develop a statewide historic context document. The time period begins in 1940 with World War II and the massive socioeconomic transformations that occurred in the following years. The events of the war years set into motion trends and patterns of historical development that shaped Ohio for the next three decades. The time period ends at 1970, as the early 1970s marked a period of transition for Ohio that included deindustrialization, assumption of new responsibilities by state and local government, and demographic and socioeconomic trends as the state’s metropolitan areas grew and the population transitioned from rural to suburban settings. During this project, Gray & Pape established significant themes and identified important property types and examples of the work of seminal architects, builders, and developers in Ohio’s recent past.

Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past provides a context for other states to use as they continue to address the issue of modern-aged resources.