Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Other People’s Digital Tools: Adaptive Reuse, Cold War History, and the GSA’s Real Property Utilization and Disposal Website

Beaton, Brian (2012) Other People’s Digital Tools: Adaptive Reuse, Cold War History, and the GSA’s Real Property Utilization and Disposal Website. The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy (2). ISSN 2166-6245

[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


This essay focuses on a property disposal website run by the General Services Administration (GSA). The website inadvertently grants intimate access to Cold War–era buildings and built environments that were previously “Off Limits” to civilians, including students and scholars of Cold War history. I begin the essay by discussing the heavy building that occurred within the mainland US during the Cold War era and explain why, in the 1990s, US policymakers suddenly came to view themselves as having too much defense-related property. I then discuss the online auction website currently used by the GSA to dispose of Cold War properties and outline the website’s key features. I also provide an example of a large military base in California that was sold through the GSA’s website and subsequently re-developed for new and unrelated purposes, a process that many architects and planners call “adaptive reuse.” In Part 2 of the essay, I explain how the GSA property disposal website can be used for teaching purposes despite its intended goal of serving private land developers. In my discussion, I borrow the term “adaptive re-use” and elaborate it into a digital humanities concept.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beaton, Brian
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy
Number: 2
Publisher: The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2166-6245
Official URL:
Related URLs:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 16:40
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item