Video: The Midcentury Mindset

At Modern All Over Again, our annual conference on October 2, we convened an exceptional array of industry experts to discuss how to best revitalize and retrofit midcentury commercial buildings, public housing, and energy infrastructure in New York City. For the first time, we are sharing videos from those discussions.

Author Thomas Mellins set the stage at our conference with opening remarks about "The Midcentury Mindset” and its expression through architecture and the built environment. In his remarks, Mellins paints a picture of postwar optimism and ambition that fueled an unprecedented building boom in New York City—one whose “promoters thought would last forever. Midcentury optimists contended that technology would not only improve our daily lives,” says Mellon, but would in fact “unleash possibilities for a world without limits; unfettered by conventional constraints and not yet burdened by any sense or concern for sustainability.”  Watch the video to see how midcentury thought contributed to ideas as far-reaching as the United Nations, the Jetsons, the Seagram’s Building, and Buckminster Fuller’s proposal for a two-mile dome over New York City. See the full set of videos on the Conference’s web page

Thomas Mellins on the Midcentury Mindset

About the authors

Urban Green Council
Dedicated to transforming buildings for a sustainable future.