Historic preservation trust selects Aspen

By Real Aspen
July 13, 2010

The City of Aspen has been selected as one of six communities across the country to host a “Modern Module” as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s campaign to raise awareness for preserving places from our recent past.

Modern Modules have already been held in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston.

The free event, called Aspen Modern, will be Wednesday, July 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mountain Chalet, 333 East Durant Ave. Drinks and appetizers will be provided.

In 2008, the National Trust launched a Modernism + Recent Past Program, also known as TrustModern, to galvanize and support efforts across the nation to preserve and rehabilitate 20th century buildings – both significant architecture, as well as more ordinary buildings that hold social, economic or cultural importance. One of the first strategic priorities of the TrustModern program is to build a strong, inclusive partners’ network and establish consensus for a national agenda to protect America’s twentieth century heritage. In order to do this, the National Trust is holding a series of Modern Modules, partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Henry Luce Foundation.

“In 1947 Aspen opened the longest ski lift in existence, forever etching its place as the nation’s first world class ski resort. The title of longest ski lift is gone, but many examples of the architecture of the era remain and are severely threatened,” said Barbara Pahl, regional director of the Mountains/Plains Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The community is divided about what, why and how to preserve Aspen’s modern and recent past resources. Preservation of the recent past has been debated in Aspen for a decade. Current land values and estate planning are demanding a resolution before the properties are lost. Aspen’s struggles, mistakes and successes can serve as a case study for other similar communities.”

The goal of Aspen Modern is to engage the local community, including design professionals, elected officials, property owners, and the general public, to draw connections between Aspen’s exciting ski history and establishment as an intellectual center with Aspen’s architecture. Aspen Modern will create new opportunities for all generations to participate and speak to the preservation of modern and recent past resources.

“We hope this event will generate excitement and appreciation for Aspen’s architectural inventory of post-war styles, their historic context and relevance, and to bring challenges and obstacles associated with the designation of these buildings to the forefront,” said Amy Guthrie, historic preservation director for the City of Aspen.

Aspen Modern will open with a panel discussion including national preservation experts, as well as locals representing a wide variety of viewpoints, including developers, the business community, politicians, architects, athletes, lifetime residents and historians. See the attached flyer for more information.

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