The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2016 Historic Preservation Book Prize to Barbara Miller Lane for Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945-1965. The Center annually awards a prize to an author whose book has the most potential for having a positive impact on historic preservation in the United States.
“This compelling book distills previous scholarship on suburbia into a new narrative about American merchant builders and their engagement with the public,” according Cristina Turdean, assistant professor of historic preservation and chair of the book prize jury.
Published in 2015 by Princeton University Press, the book presents comprehensive research on the more than 13 million suburban tract homes built in the U.S. after World War II, illustrating the impact that the developers and buyers had on their communities and American culture today.
“In the next few years, increasing numbers of these postwar houses will be eligible for recognition as historic buildings,” said Turdean. “Historic preservationists will look to this book to understand how they originally appeared and functioned.”
According to the jury, the work foreshadows both the development of larger houses and McMansions as well as the tiny house movement. It also anticipates a new appreciation for the houses, developments and communities.
Lane’s book also has been awarded the 2016 PROSE Award in Architecture and Urban Planning by the Association of American Publishers and the 2015 Athenaeum Literary Award for Art and Architecture by The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
Established by the Center for Historic Preservation in 1988, the annual book prize focuses on literature that breaks new ground or contributes to the intellectual vitality of the preservation movement. This year’s jury included preservation academics and professionals from universities across the U.S. Other UMW representatives on the jury were Associate Professor Andrea Livi Smith and Student Sarah Rogers.
For more information about the award, contact Michael Spencer, assistant professor and director of the Center for Historic Preservation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.