A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Students Survey Mid-Century Buildings


Starting in the Fall of 2006, graduate students in the Historic Preservation program have traveled across Chicago and the surrounding suburbs in an effort to add to the Recent Past Survey, an ongoing project documenting buildings of the mid-20th century in Cook County, Illinois.

In a feature on WBEZ, professor Charlie Pipal said that while people are aware of the iconic buildings from the era, there is a lack of familiarity of retail, educational and even industrial spaces that have been part of communities for generations. 

"This is an aspect of an architecture that's slowly but surely vanishing from the metro area that we live in," said Pipal.

"It's nice we're documenting it and hopefully we're building some sort of constituency for the preservation of these buildings."

Many of these buildings went unrecognized as significant by their communities prior to the work of the Recent Past Survey program, and has helped these forgotten treasures gain new respect in their neighborhoods.