Who is Hugh Taylor, and what does TB have to do with Modernist Architecture?

Taylor’s work emerged out of the Modernism movement from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This movement began in Europe and became intertwined with the desire for healthy buildings as a response to the tuberculosis pandemic. Sanatoriums became locations for tuberculosis patients to recuperate from the disease. They were designed with large windows to allow plentiful sunlight, flat roofs for expanded outdoor space, and little ornamentation for easier cleaning. These became defining elements in the Modernist drive for healthier homes for all.

More well known modernist architects and their intersection with healthy buildings has been well-explored. As Nevada Preservation got to know Mr. Taylor and his work, we became increasingly interested in how his desire to create healthy buildings for regular, working-class people had been left out of conversations around Modernism.

Over the last four years, we have stabilized the archive, catalogued it using museum software, and created ways that the public and researchers can see his work through our website. We are now looking to 2021 to fully bring Hugh’s work to the public through the development of an interactive app that will – if activated – alert users when they are near a Taylor building. It will provide information on the building and demonstrate how even architects like Taylor, who did not achieve great national fame, were working to implement Modernist principals to create healthy, comfortable homes for regular families.

By the end of 2020, we will completed curating the archive and making it available on our website, including new exhibits! Keep an eye out for our 2021 developments!

Leave a Comment