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College of Environment and Design

Kodachrome Commerce: American Commercial Architecture 1945-1980



Call for Proposals
Who Should Submit and How?
Presentation Format


Deadline: June 28
Acceptance notifications sent: July 19

The College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia seeks proposals for its one-day digital symposium, Kodachrome Commerce: American Commercial Architecture, 1945-1980. The symposium will live-stream on October 25, 2019.

The economic boom and suburbanization of the post-World War II period in the United States led to an unprecedented rise in building upstarts. Numbers of scholarly works have identified the defining characteristics and significance of residential structures; however, an evident dearth of guidance documents and context statements regarding commercial properties currently exists. As millions of these potentially historic resources reach and surpass the National Park Service’s 50-year threshold to be considered ‘historic,’ these resources require thorough examination as to their potential significance to the nation’s architectural, social, and cultural heritage.

The utilitarian aesthetic, universal construction methodology and ubiquity of commercial structures of this period present a unique challenge for the interpretation and preservation of this resource group. The term, “commercial architecture,” serves as the moniker for unknown numbers of building sub-types, each with its own defining characteristics, integrity challenges, and significance. Nationwide, commercial buildings have undergone material replacement and major alterations in order to maintain and attract in-person clientele. A national discourse is needed to identify major challenges in developing typologies, integrity issues, construction methodology, and materials for millions of extant structures. This symposium will address the need for a structured, replicable methodology for identifying and determining the potential eligibility of postwar commercial architecture.


Proposals are invited for prerecorded presentations related to one or more of the following conference topics:

  • Commercial Typologies (ex. Auto-related, recreational, financial institutions, recreational architecture, office parks, single retail, etc.)
  • Classification systems for commercial resources
  • Post-war construction methodology
  • Post-war building materials
  • Roadside attractions
  • Differences in urban, suburban, and rural mid-century architecture
  • National Register nominated commercial properties
  • Determining eligibility for commercial architecture
  • Documentation and evaluation methods for mid-century architecture
  • Real world case studies


Individuals, teams, and collaborators including:

  • University and college faculty involved in the study of architectural history, historic preservation, or city planning
  • Architectural, Landscape, preservation, and urban historians or independent scholars
  • State Historic Preservation Office representatives
  • Private firms
  • Regulated entities including Department of Transportation representatives
  • Students or recent graduates

The submission deadline for proposals is Friday June 28, 2019. Click Here to submit your proposal!


Once selected, presenters will submit a prerecorded 15-minute presentation on his or her topic. These presentations will air to a national audience during the symposium and each presenter should be available for Q&A during his or her assigned time slot.


For further questions related to proposal requirements or general symposium inquiries, please contact:

Laura Kviklys, FindIt Program Director