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Edward Durell Stone: A Belated Appreciation by Hicks Stone

Edward Durell Stone: A Belated Appreciation by Hicks Stone

Pops-Hicks-Agrigento-1959Edward Durell Stone was my father. Father and I had a tenuous and at times a difficult relationship. He would have found it both comically improbable and deeply touching if he had been aware that I had written his biography. Even though our relationship was distant, I had a closely-held but deeply-seated admiration for his achievements. The underlying impetus to write his biography extends back to my childhood in New York during the 1960s. Anyone who came of age during those years recalls them as a time when activists would champion the rights of people unjustly relegated to living life at the margins of society. It was this sensitivity to injustice and an activist’s desire to right wrongs that set me on the course that led me to submit a proposal to Rizzoli for my father’s biography in the spring of 2008. Simply stated, Father has been unfairly treated for over a half-century, and the time for him to be accorded the simple decency, recognition and respect that he deserves from the architectural community is long overdue.

 

 

Cuba on the Rise

Cuba is a hot topic following the announcement by President Obama of restored diplomatic relations and relaxed travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba. Within the world of architecture, the most important development has been the passing of esteemed architect Ricardo Porro whose legacy was the creation of Cuba's National Art Schools. Along with these developments, Docomomo US is exploring the possibility an educational tour of Cuba in the Fall of 2015, and there have been a rise in the number of noteworthy articles covering modernism in Cuba.

Photo (left): "Unfinished Spaces" by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray featured in the Dec. 29, 2014 article of The New York Times

The Tyrone Guthrie Theater

By Jane King Hession
All images are courtesy of the Ralph Rapson Papers (N187), Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.
 
When it debuted in 1963, the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre put Minneapolis on the national cultural map and ushered in a new era in American regional theater. The opening night performance of Hamlet by the talented repertory company riveted the audience, but the Guthrie’s new modern building dazzled as well. Designed by architect Ralph Rapson, it was like nothing anyone had seen before. 
 
Photo (left): The Tyrone Guthrie Theatre with original screen. Photograph by Warren Reynolds.

The Modern Theatre

By Meredith Arms Bzdak
 
The twentieth century brought new forms of drama and successive waves of technological advancement to the world of theatre. Architecturally, by mid-century, it also brought experimentation. The theatres and performing arts spaces designed and built in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s represent a range of Modern styles, from Neo-Expressionism to Brutalism. By definition, many of these theatres are now historic, having reached fifty years of age. Some have been recognized for their outstanding historical or architectural significance (Jorn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, completed in 1973, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007) and a handful are world renowned as important cultural landscapes (New York City’s own Lincoln Center), but many more are misunderstood or underappreciated. In fact, pieces of this heritage are increasingly threatened. 
 
Photo (left): The Morris Mechanic Theater in Baltimore, Maryland

The Grain Silo plopped atop the Alley

By Ben Koush
First published in the Houston Chronicle on December 17, 2014 
 
How inept is Houston at preserving its historic buildings? As a case study, consider what ought to be a best-case scenario: The Alley Theatre, one of the city's most culturally and architecturally significant buildings now finds itself in the middle of a $46.5 million remodeling job.
 
Photo (left): Proposed rendering of The Alley Theater. Credit: The Alley Theater.

Portland’s Epidemic of Teardowns

By: Liz Waytkus

Real estate in Portland, Oregon, like most places in the country, is at a premium right now. While good for sellers it has created a reverse incentive in Portland for tearing down older modest homes and maximizing lot coverage. As hundreds of these homes come down one by one, thanks to a hot real estate market and a fortuitous demolition loophole, neighbors and neighborhood associations are stepping in to save as much as they can, rallying to close the loophole and preserve each neighborhood’s character and heritage.

NOLA World Trade Center Update

By Keli Rylance

After previous efforts for redevelopment and a series of talks failed earlier this year, a five-member selection committee representing the city has reviewed qualifications from 11 potential developers and narrowed the field to five. At stake is Edward Durell Stone’s 33-story monument to the city’s foreign commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans. Begun in 1959 and partially occupied by 1966, the NRHP-listed building has been vacant since 2010.

Ontario Place, Toronto

By: James Ashby and Michael McClelland
All Images courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects
 

Designed as an inclusive space for public entertainment, education, culture and recreation, Ontario Place is an internationally renowned, urban waterfront park in Toronto. With its integrated environment of parkland, lagoons and megastructures, Ontario Place crystallized avant-garde ideas in architecture and urbanism of the 1960s. Partially closed since 2012, the entire park will soon be the site of a major rehabilitation project. In this context, it has recently been officially recognized as a cultural heritage landscape of provincial significance.

 

Tour Day 2014 Recap

Docomomo US' Tour Day 2014 proved to be a tour de force - come rain or shine. More than 1,000 participants across the nation laced up their walking shoes and went on a tour in 31 cities across 19 states making this the most successful event to date.The tours not only provided participants with the chance to see unique modern architecture in their back yard, but generated excitement around the modern architecture that has played a significant role in shaping the community. Mark your calendars for Tour Day 2015 scheduled for October 10, 2015.
 
 
 

 

 

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