• Mid-Century Modern Garden Shed, originally uploaded by reclark. Last night I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Temple Terrace Preservation Society monthly meeting. Initially developed during the 1920s, Temple Terrace has an impressive collection of Mediterranean Revival style homes and community buildings built during it's initial planning. However, like many 1920s Florida developments, the Depression stopped the realization of the entire planned community, leaving numerous vacant lots ready for building during the next Florida development era that occurred after World War II. During this time, many Mid-century Modern style homes were built in Temple Terrace, including some designed by members of the renowned Sarasota School of Architecture. Mid-century Modern style is generally defined as a design language with emphases on form rather than ornament, structure and materials rather than picturesque constructions, and the rational and efficient use of space. The Modern movement in architecture in the United States flourished beginning in the 1930s, and embraced technical innovation, experimentation, and rethinking the way humans lived in and used the designed environment. The Sarasota Architectural Foundation describes the implementation of the style in Florida as the following: While the Sarasota School found its inspiration in part from the philosophies of the Bauhaus, it incorporated forms of regional Southern architecture, using patios, verandas, modular construction and raised floors to open up its buildings for greater ventilation in pre-air-conditioning days. The style added a play of light and shadow, and the color and texture of indigenous low maintenance materials, softening the cold machine aesthetic of the Bauhaus. This approach to design strengthened the connection between architecture and environment, allowing Sarasota School buildings to respect and blend well into their sites. The result was a regional modernism which blurred the distinction between the indoors and outdoors and accommodated the lifestyle and climate of southern Florida. Homes is this style often have open floors plans, flat roofs with wide cantilevered eaves, and ample rows of windows. Many Mid-century Modern houses utilized then-groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. In some ways, designing a shed to complement this type of home requires a different mindset than for 1920s homes; however, the basic ideas of complementing the form, proportions, window and door design, and details of the main home as described in previous posts still holds true. You can also find design inspiration in home magazines from this time period, which can be found at garage sales, on e-bay and on-line. For example, the plans for the shed shown above are available on Flickr. The additional pages with links are posted below (click on the image to see it large enough to read). For more design help, please call us at (813) 333-2249 to discuss your Mid-century Modern shed design.

  • As a historic preservation consultant, I find writing about historic preservation and its numerous benefits one of the more difficult tasks to tackle. I have a passion for saving and restoring old buildings and feel good about the positive effects to communities, the environment and the economy, but never feel that I can convey that enthusiasm adequately when I write. Sometimes I feel like I am stating the obvious, spouting out common sense that doesn't need to be said; other times it just comes out too dry and leaves out the very real human factor in preservation.Judy L. Hayward, education director for Restore Media, LLC, publisher of Traditional Building magazine and Period Homes magazine, among other accomplishments, does not have this problem when she writes about historic preservation. She recently wrote a "Dear President Obama" forum post that outlines the benefits of historic preservation, tying in the economic, public and personal benefits in a very humble and practical manner. Most importantly, she does not lay the task of preserving and restoring our communities and their historic resources at just the government's feet, but calls all citizens to action.

  • Contrary to many people's impression and understanding, historic preservation is not about nostalgia for the past.Rather, it is about continuity. Places with historic buildings give people a sense of their place in time; understanding that others came before them, living their lives in similar yet different ways, and that others will come after us.It is about community. Places with neighborhoods served by walkable commercial centers foster community interaction and pride, building a sense of belonging.It is about character. Places that people love and care about do not spring up overnight; they are built over time, giving them a sense of those who came before and developing character that is unlike anywhere else.It is about the future. Historic preservation helps keep exciting, viable, interesting places for future generations.