January 10, 2023,

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January 10, 2023, our Tuesday Luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club brings us Anne Essner, Chair of Architecture Sarasota plus the new Executive Director. She will speak about our architectural treasures here in Sarasota and the plans of Architecture Sarasota.  Sarasota is one of the leading sites for landmark midcentury modern architecture.  I expect the visual part of this talk to be memorable, plus YCS is getting one of the earliest glimpses of the new Executive Director, Marty Hylton.

Morris (Marty) Hylton has more than 25 years experience documenting, interpreting, and advocating for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage. Trained as an architect and historic preservationist, Marty specializes in closely collaborating with community residents and help raise awareness and address the distinct conservation challenges of the 20th century heritage, particularly sites and buildings of the post-World War II era.

Like Paul Rudolph, Marty is a native of Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky where he received, in 1996, both a Bachelor of Architecture (five-year degree) and Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a concentration in mid-20th century art and architecture(ca.1945-1980). In 1998, he received his Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University where his thesis explored the challenges of preserving modernist schools built after the Second World War. He practiced architecture with a focus on preservation planning and rehabilitation during and after graduate school before becoming the strategic Initiatives Manager for the World Monuments Fund (WMF) – an international non-profit with a mission of saving endangered heritage globally.

At WMF Marty oversaw the documentation, restoration, and preparation of an easement to preserve the 1939, International Style A Conger Goodyear House by renowned architect Edward Durrell Stone. He also worked with founding sponsor Knoll, Inc. to develop and launch the Modernism at Risk Program at WmF the included funding to help support efforts to preserve Paul Rudolph’s Riverview High School (1958) in Sarasota. He also served as curator of the Modern at Risk: Modern Solutions for Saving Modern Landmarks traveling exhibition that was mounted in some 40 venues across the United States and Europe between 2009 and 2019.

While Director of Historic Preservation at University of Florida (2007-2021), Marty helped document and research the modernist structures of the Sarasota School of Architecture with a focus on the public schools commissioned by Philip Hanson Hiss III ( 1910-1988). Tje Building Itself Teaches: Sarasota, Florida”s Public School Program (1954-1960) exhibition was curated by Marty and mounted at the County Visitor Center to coincide with the first Docomomo-US National Symposium themed  ‘Modern Matters’, that he helped organize in Sarasota in 2013. Leading into the conference, he initiated the public workshop that led to the creation of Sarasota MOD Weekend in 2014, where he presented his research on the contributions of Philip Hiss as the “impresario” of the Sarasota School. A primary focus of this research has been the role of modernist design in support of democracy.

More recently, Marty led a statewide survey and authored a report on Florida’s Mid-Century Modern Architecture [1945-1975] that received the 2019 Docoomo-US 2020 Modernism in America Documentation Award of Excellence for Inventory and Survey. He helped create and served as the modernist buildings and postwar neighborhoods. From 2012-2017, Marty was appointed as an advisor to the Royal Institute of Art of Sweden for the country’s mid-century modern architecture and other endangered heritage. He currently serves as the inaugural Historic Architect for Climate Change for the U.S. National Park Service where his work continues to advocate for mid-20th century architecture and resources at risk to coastal and other hazards.