NEWSLETTER

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.

 

 

Marion Greenwood: A Modern Woman in Modern Mexico

By Angelica Martinez-Sulvaran

During the first three decades of the twentieth century, Mexico experienced several social and political transformations. As a nation transitioning from a dictatorship to a democratic state, Mexico needed to find an identity as a modern and liberal country. The economic and political reconstruction materialized through the arts and architecture, and these transformations were most evident in the Mexico City; not only the capital of the country but also its creative hub. It was here that American artist Marion Greenwood’s murals and artwork contributed to one of the first projects that would embody post-revolutionary ideals: the Abelardo Rodriguez Market.

Philemon Sturges: Rhode Island’s Modernist Architect

By Catherine W. Zipf - Executive Director, Bristol Historical and Preservation Society

The Citizen’s Bank Building, in Bristol, Rhode Island, is like no other. Located at the end of a row of mid-nineteenth century structures, its dynamic concrete facade and curious decorative symbols mark an abrupt change from the past. Most viewers remember it vividly.

Unfortunately, its architect has been forgotten. The Citizen’s Bank Building, formerly the Old Stone Bank Building, was designed by Philemon Sturges, one of Rhode Island’s premier Modern architects. Well known during the 1960s, today only his buildings are left document his ideas, and the prominent role he played in Rhode Island’s architectural community.

Unexpected Modern: Valparaiso University’s Chapel of the Resurrection

By Amy Borland, Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA)

I have a confession to make: When I first started my career in historic preservation 15 years ago, I wasn’t a fan of Modern architecture. It simply didn’t interest me. You may be asking how that is possible when the modern Mecca of Columbus, Indiana, is less than an hour away. Modern buildings just seemed cold and stark. There simply wasn’t that hook to draw me in. Then in 2009 a coworker and I happened upon the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University located in northwest Indiana and designed by architect Charles E. Stade.1My thoughts on Modernism changed.

Ambassador Grill and UN Plaza Hotel Lobby designated as a New York City Interior Landmark

Docomomo US is pleased to announce our efforts to landmark Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo’s Ambassador Grill and UN Hotel Lobby interior (now ONE UN New York) have been successful. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the spaces making them New York City’s 118th Interior Landmark. The Ambassador Grill and UN Hotel Lobby join the ranks of many celebrated interiors including Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall and the Ford Foundation (also designed by Roche).

Chapters kick off 2017: Advocacy, Tours, Lectures and more

Docomomo US/Greater Philadelphia's January One Building One Brew event

In additon to national events like the National Symposium in Phoenix, the Modernism in America Awards, and Tour Day and monitoring ongoing advocacy issues like the Parker Center, Thompson Center, Peavey Plaza and more, Docomomo US chapters and friend organizations have planned amazing tours and lectures, launched initiatives and are monitoring advocacy issues of their own.

Below are some of the highlights taking place in the coming months.

Update: The Fate of the Parker Center to be decided soon

UPDATE from the Los Angeles Conservancy:

On January 10, the City of L.A.'s Entertainment and Facilities Committee held a meeting to review the City’s environmental analysis for Parker Center (renamed from the Police Facilities Building in 1966 to honor Chief William H. Parker), calling for the demolition of the historic building. Following a lengthy discussion and public comments, the committee, chaired by Council member Mitch O'Farrell, decided to continue the item until the pending Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) nomination is addressed. The nomination is awaiting to be scheduled and heard before the City Council Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee.

Parker Center continues to face threat of demolition

This past week, The Los Angeles Conservancy reported that the City of Los Angeles' Municipal Facilities Committee recently voted in favor of demolishing Parker Center based on the Bureau of Engineering’s (BOE) claim that the preservation alternative will cost nearly $107 million more. The plan to replace the building was presented before the City’s Entertainment and Facilities Committee on Tuesday, January 10, 2017Read more about why the Parker Center is being demolished for the wrong reasons and view the Conservancy's alternative proposal.

Save the Historic Lexington Center

In 1966, Hideo Sasaki, Norman Fletcher, and Walter Pierce, all renowned practitioners of modernism and residents of Lexington, Massachusetts, produced a “Plan for Lexington Center,” an elegant design to turn a drab suburban center into a series of “living rooms” in which the community of Lexington could congregate. This design, executed in 1967, has been highly successful and has stood the test of time, as evidenced by a 2008 Tufts University study designating Lexington as a “Model Town Center.” However, now this iconic streetscape is threatened.

What is in store for 2017

 

As we head into the new year, Docomomo US is excited to build upon the positive developments that took place during 2016. However, there is still much at stake as we face an unknown political environment that could jeopardize long and hard fought preservation efforts. See what is taking place in 2017.

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