Mid Tex Mod: Baby, It’s Cold Inside: Austin’s Air Conditioned Village

Mid Tex Mod: Baby, It’s Cold Inside:  Austin’s Air Conditioned Village
Baby, It’s Cold Inside: 
Austin’s Air Conditioned Village

DATE: Saturday, January 6
TIME: 2pm to 4pm
LOCATION: St. John’s United Methodist Church – Fellowship Hall (2140 Allandale Drive, 78756)
FREE! Space is limited, RSVP required

Air-conditioning and Central Texas go together like… well, let’s face it, they’re inseparable, and the prospect of even one summer day without AC is enough to plunge anyone into despair. This wasn’t always the case, though, and when air-conditioning went into widespread use at mid-century, it changed our lives and our architecture forever. Austin played a unique role in this process. Its experimental Air Conditioned Village, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and studied by scientists at UT, opened in 1954 to assess the effects of air-conditioning on middle class residential design. Most of the development’s 22 homes are still standing, and tell a fascinating story about our region’s role in this national revolution.

Join Mid Tex Mod to explore air-conditioning’s evolution, its impact on residential architecture, and Austin’s place in this important history. Presentations by Elizabeth Porterfield, Mid Tex Mod board member and Senior Architectural Historian with Hicks & Company Environmental Consultants, and Elizabeth Brummett, State Coordinator for Project Review with the Texas Historical Commission Division of Architecture, will be followed by a walking tour of the Air Conditioned Village.

This event is FREE, but space is limited! RSVPs to info@midtexmod.org by Monday, January 1 are recommended.

This event includes an outdoor walking tour of the Air Conditioned Village. Please dress appropriately.

As always, donations in support of Mid Tex Mod’s mission are greatly appreciated!

SPONSORED BY Dynamic Reprographics.

About Our Speakers:

Elizabeth Porterfield serves as Senior Architectural Historian with Hicks & Company Environmental Consultants in Austin, Texas. She received a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has 11 years of professional experience in architectural history, historic preservation, and cultural resource management. Her graduate thesis, entitled The Big Chill Out: Air Conditioning’s Transformation of the Way We Build and Live, documents air-conditioning’s evolution and impact.

Elizabeth Brummett, part of the Texas Historical Commission’s Division of Architecture for nearly a decade, is the State Coordinator for Project Review. She leads architectural staff involved with a diverse array of projects, including review under federal and state historic preservation laws, administration of Texas Preservation Trust Fund grant projects, and technical assistance to owners of historic properties. Formerly the project reviewer for East Texas, she was part of the agency’s disaster recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike. Before joining the Texas Historical Commission, Elizabeth worked as an architectural historian at Preservation Central, Inc. She studied architecture and art history at Rice University and holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Texas at Austin. Her master’s thesis on the Austin Air-Conditioned Village explored the introduction of air conditioning into tract homes in the mid-1950s.


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