Session 15: Groundbreaking Again: Contending with the Legacy of Urban Renewal Through Re-Use

Hotel Marcel

500 Sargent Dr
New Haven, CT


Jack Murphy

Barrett Reiter

Rami el Samahy

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Groundbreaking Again: Contending with the Legacy of Urban Renewal Through Re-Use


Increasingly, architects and preservation practitioners are grappling with how best to contextualize the monuments of urban renewal while celebrating and finding opportunities in their architectural legacies. Half a century later, can these buildings and sites be given second chances to shape their communities in ways that honor the complexity and multifaceted nature of their histories? The speakers in this session will present a series of ideas, discussions, and project case studies that show how the reuse of midcentury architecture provides opportunity not only for environmental consciousness and architectural preservation, but also for thoughtful discourse about the complicated legacy of urban renewal.

Speakers & Abstracts:
  • Six Urban Renewal Projects in Pittsburgh
    Rami el Samahy, Founding Principal at OverUnder.
  • Petromodernity in Houston: Learning from 800 Bell (Formerly the ExxonMobil Building) as a Case Study for the Rise, Fall, and Potential Reuse of Midcentury Oil Architecture
    Jack Murphy is Managing Editor of The Architect’s Newspaper.
  • Preservation Architecture in San Francisco's 1960s Marketplaces
    Barrett E. Reiter, Cultural Resources Planner and Associate at Page & Turnbull. 
  • Katie Horak, architectural historian and Principal at Architectural Resources Group

Hotel Marcel, 500 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT, 06511