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Marlene Elizabeth Heck's work focuses on the architectural and social history of 'America in the age of Jefferson.' She is particularly interested in vernacular building traditions and the way 18th-century building design was altered to respond to new social and cultural practices adopted during the early national period. She is at work on a pair of articles on America's 18th-century Palladian architectural tradition, and has begun research for an architectural and social history of Portsmouth, NH in the years just following the Revolution. Extensive travel in the Near and Middle East has permitted her to document the work of American architectural firms who built in those regions during the 1970s and 1980s. As a founding partner in the Austin, TX-based cultural resource management firm of Hardy.Heck.Moore & Associates, she has conducted architectural surveys throughout the country.
The Palladian House in Virginia: Domestic Buildings in a Social Landscape (work in progress).
"Mind the Gap: Rewriting Sir John Summerson's American Architectural History," in Summerson and Hitchcock: Centenary Essays on Architectural Historiography (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).
"Architecture: 1880-1930," in the Encyclopedia of New England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
"'Appearance and Effect is Everything': The James River Houses of Samuel, Joseph and George Cabell," in The American Home: Material Culture, Domestic Space and Family Life (Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum; and Hanover, NH: University PressNE, 1998), 5–23.