Is Mid-Century Old Enough to Be Historic?

We're coming to an interesting intersection in American preservation. The point where we have to ask, "Are mid-century homes and buildings historic?" And, "If so, what are the defining characteristics?"

I've touched on the subject once or twice, but I'm just a fan of mid-century and good architecture. I don't want to even start suggesting I have the answers — or expertise that would qualify me to give the answers. But NPR started asking some interesting questions in a story I heard the other day.
The Miami Herald's old headquarters on Biscayne Bay have been sold to a developer who wants to tear it down. Historic preservationists are working to stop the demolition, saying the hulking, boxy building is a prime example of Miami modernism architecture from the 50's and 60's. Demolition proponents — which include some prominent architects — say it's a clumsy building with no sense of style and not a "MiMo" design worth saving.

Is it NIMBYism or mid-century preservation? For a while, it might be hard to tell.


  1. I'm all about preserving buildings by significant mid-century architects, but we obviously can't save every building built between 1950 and 1965, some of which are simply unattractive commercial property (which I think is an apt description of the Herald building). As in everything else in life, I think we have to choose our battles.

    1. I'm with you on this one Dana. That particular building is really not representative of what needs to be saved but I'm sure there are lots more in Miami that should be.