Watt Hall (Samuel T. Hurst with Killingsworth, Brady & Assoc., 1974) is the third and current home of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

Watt Hall (Samuel T. Hurst with Killingsworth, Brady & Assoc., 1974) is the third and current home of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.


The Call for Presentation Abstracts is now closed.

Potential Presentation and Session Topics

Thank you for your submissions for prospective presentations or sessions relating to recent past preservation - please sign up (using the form at the bottom of the page) for conference announcements to be among the first to know when the conference sessions are announced.

Some of the possible topics and themes of the conference are outlined below.


History and Context

  • History of recent past buildings, sites, and landscapes

  • Confronting the contentious legacy of urban renewal

  • Thematic identification within "Mid-Century Modernism": Googie, Brutalism, New Formalism, Expressionism, etc.

  • Developing a context for Postmodernism and 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s architecture

  • 1973 Energy Crisis impact on architecture new and old: lessons learned

  • Outdoor patios of the postwar era, compatibility with the landscape/why the deck won

  • Historic sites of postwar of social movements

  • New institutional models (schools, retirement communities, hospitals) from the recent past

  • When owners become designers and builders - implications of the Do-it-Yourself movement

  • And more

Preservation and Advocacy

  • Advocacy challenges and strategies for the recent past

  • Techniques for surveying recent past neighborhoods and commercial districts

  • Preserving significant sites of marginalized and under-served communities

  • Digital humanities approaches to documenting/interpreting recent past sites (3D recording,  drones, data mining, virtual reality)

  • Conserving distinctive roadside heritage in an era of increasing commercial homogenization

  • Reusing open-classroom school plans from the 1960s/1970s

  • Split-level and split-entry housing: does the plan work today?

  • Nominating recent past resources to the National Register of Historic Places

  • Preserving the large-scale office plaza complex and institutional campus

  • How to save the suburban department store from extinction

  • Early loft-to-apartment conversions in the 1950s—1970s—preserving historic character

  • Recent past cultural landscapes and landscape features

  • Strategies for sensitive upgrading of postwar resort and tourist facilities

  • Revisiting National Park Service Mission 66 architecture

  • Adaptive reuse of Cold War architecture

  • Public housing—sensitive rehabilitation for a new era

  • Case studies of postwar intangible heritage conservation

  • Prefabrication and manufactured housing—unforeseen problematic issues

  • And more

Technical Conservation

  • Technical conservation issues, sustainability, and solutions for post-World War II resources

  • Historic signage: maintenance, repair, rehabilitation

  • Architectural plastics and synthetics of the recent past

  • Maintaining and conserving T1-11 siding, plywood, and other engineered wood products

  • The rise of accessibility and its influence on design and preservation

  • Recent past transportation infrastructure –gas stations, bus stations, highway administration buildings, bridges, airports, parkways and parking garages

  • Repairing historic aluminum windows and siding

  • Maintaining historic fixed and operable aluminum awnings and storefront canopies

  • Curtain walls, modular systems, and assemblies – evolving preservation approaches

  • Beton Brut and other textured concrete finishes – rehabilitation considerations

  • Renewing post-war metallic finishes

  • Difficult to repair materials and systems: issues of replacement, questions of integrity and eligibility

  • Composite panel assemblies, skins, systems, and veneers: assessing integrity of layered alterations

  • And more