The Recent Past: Strategies for Evaluation


Examine nationwide trends in mid-20th-century houses and neighborhoods, with an emphasis on the evaluation of large suburban developments, construction methods, and house types and plans. Review era-specific factors that help to identify and categorize these buildings. Evaluate survey methodologies and consider the impact of neighborhood zoning, subdivision design review, urban renewal, and owner associations. Discuss how to determine the significance and integrity of resources when evaluating eligibility for federal and state programs, such as the National Register and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

Detailed Agenda


James C. Massey, Assoc. AIA, architectural historian and planner, historic preservation consultant with a particular interest in the mid-20th century, and former HABS chief and contributing editor to Old-House Journal

Evaluation Comments

"It enriches my knowledge in historic preservation . It opened the door to all the issues confronting the recent past."

"[It brought up] current professional opinions regarding the topic and upcoming challenges."

"Thought provoking . good information on materials and style markers."

"I am much better able to place modern buildings with the decade in which they were constructed."

"Helped structure my thinking. The manual is excellent, too."

"[It gave me] a better appreciation for post-WWII vernacular architecture: typologies, materials, architectural features."


Architectural historians; architects; planners; federal, state, and local agency cultural resource managers; preservation consultants.

Related Trainings

Historic Windows: Managing for Preservation, Maintenance, and Energy Conservation
Identification and Evaluation of Arts and Crafts, Ready-cut, and Prefabricated Houses
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards: An Overview

Locations and Dates

  • In-person seminars will resume in 2021; please check back for updatesClick here or go to About NPI for an update on training during COVID-19.
  • Fairfax, VA
    September 15-16, 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19; to be rescheduled in 2021
    in cooperation with the
    Department of Planning and Development, Fairfax County

Location, Hours, and Hotels

Confirmation of registration is sent out to registered participants one month prior to the seminar date. The confirmation includes the seminar location, hours, and a list of conveniently located hotels. Seminars generally are held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is recommended at least 6 weeks prior to the seminar to secure a place and to avoid cancellations due to low enrollment.

Cost (see Register for more information)

$550 (6-week advance registration); $600 (regular registration)

Customized/On-Site Training

NPI also offers this seminar as customized on-site training to meet specific organizational needs. Seminars can be tailored to create single- or multiple-day workshops at a location and time convenient to the sponsor. Contact NPI at 703.765.0100 or for further information.