BART to the Future: A Historical Perspective of Modern Transit Design

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Around Mid-Century, the boldly conceived BART system attracted worldwide attention as the nation's first high-speed electrified light rail system that also facilitated the development of the first regional master plan for several San Francisco Bay Area counties.

When the futuristic BART vision came to fruition in 1972, it was at a time when standardization in the building industry was considered rather innovative. Yet BART's progressive mandate to diversify individual Bart station designs as conceived by prominent leaders of the Bay Area's Mid-Century Modern Design Movement such as Ernest Born, William Wurster, SOM and Gardner Dailey resulted in unique structures that responded to the context of their assigned sites while engaging the local environment. The HUD Honor award for BART's "overall design excellence" and AIA's "Collaborative Achievement in Architecture Award "were both conferred with national acclaim.

Almost half a century later, the BART system continues to be relevant as it regenerates itself, embracing uniform designs and conventional building materials to renovate or replace existing Modern structures. As "the new modern" era of the BART system commences, it is imperative to understand and evaluate the original vision of BART's Mid Century design and architecture, illustrated by selected case studies of SF Bay Area's Modern BART stations.

Palo Alto, CA
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Historic Preservation
Urban Planning & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
To understand the history and original vision of BART system and transit station designs

How to evaluate attributes of Mid-Century architectural designs

How historic transit station designs facilitated dynamic urban spaces for public use

To learn about Mid-Century modern construction techniques of BART stations
JulieAnn Murphy; Sandhya Sood; David Weinstein; Christopher VerPlanck
Website Registration
Course Codes
California Preservation Foundation

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