Modern Adobe: Preservation of Pre and Post World War II Residential Construction in Southern California
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work194 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 337-6075.
SubjectsAdobe houses -- California, Southern
Historic buildings -- California, Southern
Building, Adobe -- Conservation and restoration
Architecture, Domestic -- Conservation and restoration -- California, Southern
California, Southern -- Buildings, structures, etc
Historic preservation -- Theses
Pre- and post-World War II (1920-1965) modern residential adobe construction in Southern California is poorly understood primarily because it has not been adequately defined, studied or documented. Efforts directed at preserving these important adobe buildings of the recent historic past have too often failed because distinct elements contributing to their cultural and historical significance and value have remained indeterminate in the literature and these values are not recognized by the public. The thesis research examines this fundamental question: How can the distinctive and significant architectural characteristics and construction methods of pre- and post- World War II period residential adobe construction in Southern California be identified, detailed and interpreted to aid in their ultimate preservation? The thesis begins with a contextual summary and historical overview of adobe construction, and follows with an examination of the building traditions and periods in California architecture that influenced and contributed to the modern adobe style. The study explores the architectural, economic, environmental, cultural, and social influences that shaped and inspired the adobe builders of the period. The thesis study presents and establishes a detailed historical context for the interpretation and understanding of the history and significance of pre- and post-World War II adobe home construction in Southern California (1920-1965). The work of architects and builders as “masters” of creating adobe homes and vernacular adobe houses influenced by “how-to-do” publications is discussed. The critical features that define the adobe are described in depth. A definitive and comprehensive bibliography containing hundreds of resources devoted to the topic is included to generate and expand the reader’s understanding of, and appreciation for, modern adobe. With this knowledge, one can confidently add a Modern Adobe Period and description to the building chronology. My research findings demonstrate and confirm that many of the modern adobe homes that remain today are distinct and worthy of preservation efforts. These homes reflect a continued and proud practice of adobe building in California. A modern adobe skillfully blends the best elements of traditional building method and practice, contemporary design techniques and material—they are the last of a type and must be saved.
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