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.

 

 

Docomomo US Welcomes Three New Board Members in Houston

Docomomo US announced the election of three new members to its Board of Directors: Jennifer Magnolfi of New York, Robert Pullum of San Francisco and Robert Thomas of Boston. 

"Docomomo US is pleased to bring on Jennifer Magnolfi, Robert Pullum and Robert Thomas as new board members. Bob, Jen and Bob each bring a wealth of experience and dedication to modern architecture and design. Their knowledge continues to broaden the expertise and capabilities of the board, and strengthen the organization." 

 

That's a Wrap Houston!

By Jessica Smith

Preservation professionals and modernist enthusiasts from all over the country journeyed down to the Lone-Star State last month to celebrate Docomomo US’ second annual National Symposium where everything is big from the hats, hair, and modern architecture. Co-sponsored with Houston Mod, the Symposium took place at Houston’s University of St. Thomas, designed by Phillip Johnson in 1958, a location that facilitated the weekend’s discussions about modern architecture’s significance and role today. The jam-packed, three-day event offered guests a birds-eye view of modernism in Texas, the current state of preserving modernism, the ground-breaking work of architectural archivists and challenge to preserve the ephemeral. 

The Campaign to Save Shukhov Tower

By Natalia Melikova of the Constructivist Project

The Shukhov Tower on Shabolovka Street in Moscow made its first radio broadcast on March 19, 1922 and its first television broadcast on March 10, 1939. The first and largest of Vladimir Shukhov's hyperboloid towers, it is recognized as an engineering marvel and a masterpiece of constructivist architecture. In its 92 years of existence, it has come to be a symbol of progress, industrialization, and mass communication. With threats of dismantlement coming in just the last eight weeks, the Russian and international community have rallied behind its preservation.

Battelle/Talaris: Saving Seattle’s Newest Modern Landmark

By Eugenia Woo

Prompted by concerns for proposed future redevelopment plans for the former Battelle Memorial Institute Seattle Research Center (now Talaris Conference Center, 4000 NE 41st St) in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood, the Friends of Battelle/Talaris (FOBT), a grassroots community group, formed in early 2012 to advocate for the property's preservation and to produce a landmark nomination report. The 18-acre property has been owned by 4000 Property LLC (a holding company for Bruce McCaw, Telecom multimillionaire) since 2000. The group submitted a landmark nomination to the Seattle Historic Preservation Program in spring 2013. In Seattle, owner consent is not required before a nomination is submitted. The property was designated a landmark by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board in a unanimous vote on November 6, 2013.

Post World War II Collaboration: Robert Billsbrough Price, the American Plywood Association, and Prototype School Designs

By Caroline T. Swope

This article explores the collaboration between the Tacoma, Washington based Douglas Fir Plywood Association and Tacoma architect Robert Billsbrough Price that resulted in Henry F. Hunt Junior High School (1958) and Nell Hoyt Primary School (1959).[1] Both schools served as national prototypes for post-World War II plywood construction, and their designs were widely showcased in national and international publications with significant accolades for design, low cost, and short construction times.

The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford

"It’s like living inside a giant sapphire"

In the early 1950’s, the building committee of the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT was evaluating where to put a typical white-steeple New England church on their vacant 11-acre campus. A member of the committee had just returned from a business trip in Michigan. There he saw a church in Midland designed by Alden Dow, a modernist architect. The committee’s dialogue changed in mid-stream. The result was a exemplary, modernist sacred space designed by Wallace K. Harrison.

 

Abramovitz’s Temple Beth Zion "Cupcake" Synagogue

By: Sarah Sher

Synagogues can be found in all shapes, sizes, and styles in many places around the world. Jewish communities have historically adopted popular architectural styles to build their places of worship, and this remains the case to this day. Numerous prominent modern synagogues can be found across the United States designed by well known modern architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Minoru Yamaski, and Marcel Breuer.

As I am partial to both the city of Buffalo and mid-century modern uses of exposed concrete I want to focus special attention on Temple Beth Zion, designed by Max Abramovitz, located in the Delaware District of Buffalo, New York.

Saint Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church: Modernity and Continuity

By: Jason John Paul Haskins, Assoc. AIA, LEED BD+C

Robert Mather brought an impressive Modernist pedigree to the design of St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas (1958-1960). This Mid-century abstraction of the primitive Christian basilica represents a synthesis of international movements in architecture and liturgy uncovering archetypal models of inhabitation and ritual. The church will be featured on the upcoming tour “Modernity and Continuity in Austin's Religious Architecture” during the Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, April 9-13, 2014.
 

Paul Rudolph’s Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY Face an Imminent Threat

By: Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Paul Rudolph’s Shoreline Apartments, a 1974 complex of low-income housing which occupies 9.5 acres on the edge of downtown Buffalo, is facing the first of several projected phases of “upgrades” which call for demolition of currently unoccupied Rudolph-designed units and replacement with suburban like townhouses.
 
Photo: Shoreline Apartments. Side Elevation of a Rudolph-designed unit facing 7th Street. Credit: Barbara A. Campagna.
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