BLDGBLOG in Baltimore

With the BLDGBLOG Book still on my plate here, it might be another slow week on the blog – maybe not – but I do want to announce something else before it's too late: and that's that I will be giving an hour-long lecture next week in Baltimore, hosted by the American Institute of Architects.

Specifically, it's this year's Michael F. Trostel Lecture, sponsored by Preservation Maryland.
I'll be speaking about everything from the historical preservation of American highway infrastructure north of Baltimore to the curatorial problems associated with underwater archaeological sites in the Mediterranean Sea.
There will be stabilized ruins, abandoned prisons, a post-human Detroit, the architectural reuse of war debris, gene banks, epoxy-sealed Utah arches, and the slow fossilization of cities over eons of geological time. There will be liquid silicone, plaster casts of famous statuary, and old Hollywood film sets preserved by the desert sand.
You have to pay to get in, unfortunately – it's $15 – but I think it's free for students, and there might be some kind of discount if you are a member of the AIA. It's on Wednesday, March 19, at 6pm. It's in this building, which is located here.
So please come out! Keep me on my toes. Look at weird images. Laugh at bad jokes.
Somewhat incredibly, meanwhile, the lecture series only includes myself, Gregg Pasquarelli, Teddy Cruz, and Daniel Libeskind.

Finally, the AIA-Baltimore webpage says, incorrectly, that I am the founder and editor of Archinect – but that is Paul Petrunia, who founded Archinect nearly 11 years ago, in the fall of 1997. I am just one editor among more than a dozen there – and I'm not a very active one, at that! Apologies to Paul for the confusion.
Hope to see some of you next week in Baltimore! Seriously – it should be fun.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds great! Many apologies to you and to Paul Petrunia for the Archinect reference. We are attempting to fix that in all the places we can.

I am very much looking forward to your talk!

March 10, 2008 1:58 PM  
Blogger mv said...

might have to rent a car and come up!

March 10, 2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Hey Erin - Thanks for trying to fix the site - and I'm looking forward to the talk, too. Thanks for setting it up.

And, mr. v., you should definitely come up! Bring friends!

March 10, 2008 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Geoff, it's wonderful indeed to see you going from strength to strength over the past few years. However, this latest gig has me wondering a bit: have you caved in to the Establishment or have they caved in to you? Actually, I'm just teasing you a bit. Lot's of luck, guy.

March 11, 2008 6:36 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

John - We caved into each other...

March 11, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 11, 2008 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! I'll be there.

March 11, 2008 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought people here might like this

March 11, 2008 8:15 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi Geoff,
I've been a "silent" reader of your blog for some time now and I can't tell you how excited I am that you are coming to Baltimore! I'm really looking forward to attending your talk... I live across the street from the Brown Center, so logistics won't be a problem for me. I just hope there will still be tickets available! By the way, I wish you were here last week to see the exhibit next door "Anxious Climate: Architecture at the Edge of Environment". I think you would have liked it. Anyway, I took a few photos of it if you want to see:
See you next Wednsday!

March 12, 2008 3:55 PM  
Blogger Urban Palimpsest said...

Hey Geoff, It's Elizabeth who worked with you briefly last summer at The Next American City. Looking forward to your talk next week in my hometown. And to Chris from Baltimore, check out the article on the Metropolis website about Anxious Climate and David Gissen's concept of minor nature.

March 13, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Hey Elizabeth - it'll be nice to meet you; be sure to say hello.

And, Chris, I have a feeling there will be tickets! In fact, bring your friends. Or fake, inflatable people who can fill the extra seats...

In fact, I once met someone whose brother had formed a company that did nothing but supply inflatable people for the background shots of films - so instead of expensive extras, you just inflated people for crowd scenes. The same inflatable crowds thus pop up here and there in different movies, movies we've no doubt seen. I've always wondered if there are urban design implications... I'm serious, too. It's a real company.

Anyway, Ilya, I'll hopefully see you there, too.

March 13, 2008 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great talk last night, it was very entertaining & I was especially inspired when you showed the Finnish Photographer working on the containerized landscapes reminded me of our own National Parks.
thanks jeff

March 20, 2008 10:12 AM  
Blogger Monica h said...

Hey Geoff, Its Monica from Postopolis during the summer. So happy to be in touch with you agian. I tried to make it to your conference, and I am sure that it was as exiting as it promised to be.
So sorry I couldnt make it. Please let me know when you are in Ny agian. Would love to hear about how things are going with dwell, your book and everything else. I am working with an interesting landscape firm now. Balmori associates .( have you heard of them? )
take care

March 20, 2008 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the stabilised penitentiary ruin Geoff mentioned in his talk:

I found that very interesting and I am happy that somewhere out there there exist projects such as is. Ruins have their appeal too and I don't think the goal should always be to restore buildings to their former glory.

I wonder if they showed you the ruins in Baltimore on your tour. Just like any Rust Belt city there is a lot of abandoned industrial and commercial buildings. In fact the former central commercial district just minutes away from the Harbot is sitting mostly abandoned right now.

March 20, 2008 12:41 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Hey Monica! Exciting news about Balmori - congrats on the new job, and good to hear from you. I'll be in NY again this summer, I think, but possibly for as little as two nights. Hope you're well, and having a good time out there.

Jeff, glad you made the talk and enjoyed it - I'll be posting a kind of recap of the lecture in the next few days, I hope, once I get back to San Francisco; I'll mention the "Museum of Nature" again in that post. But thanks again for coming out - I appreciate the interest, and for making the trip out on a rainy night.

Anonymous, you can see more photos of Eastern State Penitentiary in this series of images by photographer ShaunO'Boyle, who I mentioned during the talk. Shaun also photographed Bannerman's Island, which I did not mention but is well worth a long look.

And thanks again to everyone who was there, and for all the questions at the end, and for sitting through more than an hour's worth of stabilized ruins and flooded landscapes and fossilized cities - and thanks to the AIA and to Preservation Maryland for making it all happen! You can see a few photographs of the evening here.

Expect more soon.

March 21, 2008 11:19 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

PS: Anonymous, they did actually take me through the more run-down/abandoned sections of Baltimore, including east and north of Johns Hopkins.

March 21, 2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff- Great lecture. I was pleased to see that you expanded the traditional definition of 'preservation' and enjoyed every topic. And cheers for trying to change the perspective of the preservation community... One thing that I can't quite resolve in my head is the role of preservation in a world where production of infrastructure (buildings, roads, experiences) is growing exponentially. Layer onto that an increasingly temporal quality of built elements and I am not sure where preservation ends and natural decay begins. At any rate it is amusing to think that Robert Moses might have a stake in a significant portion of modern archeology... he would certainly be proud of the non-trivially braided freeway interchange buried just outside the lost city of Baltimore...

March 23, 2008 8:55 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks, Jonas! Glad you were there. And interesting thought about Robert Moses and the archaeology of Manhattan.

March 24, 2008 11:03 AM  

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