by Gretchen Buggeln, Valparaiso University
The Chicago VAF conference this past June began with an excellent and provocative lecture by Professor Davarian Baldwin that centered on the fate of Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge blues club. In the Q&A following the talk, Louis Nelson, architectural historian at the University of Virginia, raised important questions about the way we think about historic preservation in the United States, the language of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and whether VAF members could and should push for a new definition of historic preservation. Nelson's remarks sparked a lively conversation that rippled through the conference.Professor Baldwin graciously agreed to let us reprint a portion of his June lecture in this issue of the VAN. In addition, I've asked three VAF members to respond. First, Louis Nelson reiterates his questions and critique. Jennifer Baughn, Architectural Historian for the State of Mississippi, responds with a current practitioner's perspective. Finally, Jennifer Cousineau will adds Canadian perspective. All of these essays appear in the President's Blog section of the web site with open comments sections. We hope that this online conversation will elicit your engagement. Please join in!