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  • Ellen Mirro

A Planned Conference Goes Virtual

The Society of Architectural Historians’ 73rd Annual International Conference was set to be held in Seattle this week. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the SAH decided to hold a virtual conference, taking place yesterday and today.

Since May 2019, Ellen and Audrey have been preparing a paper to present at the conference. They were honored to be selected for a panel called “Sites Unseen: Other Cultural Landscapes of the Pacific Northwest,” and have been working steadily over the last year to expand their research, visiting their Yesler Terrace site, archives, libraries, and conducting massive amounts of online research. Principal Emeritus and firm founder Larry Johnson was instrumental in encouraging them to submit an abstract for the conference, and assisted with early research (thank you, Larry!).

Yesterday Audrey and Ellen presented their paper “What Was a Slum: Before Yesler Terrace,” discussing the largely lost history of part of the First Hill neighborhood in Seattle.

This marks a milestone in Audrey’s career, as she now meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Professional Qualifications as an Architectural Historian. She already holds a degree in Architecture with coursework in Architectural History, and with this paper she can add “substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of American architectural history” to her list of bona fides. Congratulations to Audrey!

The “Sites Unseen” session was chaired by J. Philip Gruen of Washington State University and James Buckley of the University of Oregon. Other panelists included Anne Marshall from the University of Idaho, who discussed sites of Indigenous Education in Idaho; Richard Freitas of the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, who discussed community buildings of Seattle’s LGBTQ community between 1965 and 1975; and Ray Rast, who discussed the overall Latinization of the Pacific Northwest in broad scale.

Audrey and Ellen pre-recorded their presentation and participated in the live Q&A afterwards

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