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SA+P Spring 2022 Lecture Series 01: Jeremy Kargon



The architectural history of Baltimore has traditionally depended upon a consensus about local buildings, whether built or unbuilt. The consensus was this: architects' work was illustrated in archival records, in the physical fact of construction, and in the memories of those who experienced those buildings. These days, however, we've come to suspect that archival media are unreliable. We tear things down faster than we build things up. Worse yet, our memories become increasingly faulty with each passing day.

What does architectural history look like without a consensus about historical facts?

Among the epistemological models competing with the historical one is capital-D "Design." Design has always been about "what could be," a form of counterfactual projection towards the immediate future. In this presentation, Jeremy Kargon will present illustrated excerpts from Baltimore's alternative past, with an emphasis not on "what was" but on "what should have been." There may be important lessons in this for would-be architectural historians and, more so, for the readers of their work.


Jeremy Kargon is an architect with CRGA Design, a Baltimore-based firm specializing in healthcare. Before joining CRGA, Kargon was Associate Professor in the department of Graduate Built Environment Studies at Morgan State University, where he taught for 13 years. A native of Baltimore, Kargon is said to have been born some time between the publication of the Poppleton Map and the election of William Donald Schaefer as the city's mayor.

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  • Samia Kirchner

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