The challenges of preserving Midcentury Modern homes

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When it comes to historic preservation, every generation is dismissive of buildings from the recent past in favor of those that go further back in time.

As Rice University architectural historian Stephen Fox put it, “Each generation has its own ignorance of recent stuff.”

In the early 20th century, preservationists referred to the Victorian era as “the dark ages” and eschewed its buildings for colonial and federalist-styled ones that predated them, Fox said. Twenty-five years later in the 1950s and 1960s, the preservationists deemed all things Victorian to be the “cutting edge of taste,” but derided 30- to 40-year-old Art Deco-styled buildings as “too decorative.” In the 1970s and ’80s, this style was embraced for the same reason it was once dismissed....

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