Docomomo US is pleased to welcome Landmark Columbus as our newest Friend Organization and continue to support the work and efforts being undertaken to preserve, protect, and cultivate the unique design heritage found in Columbus, Indiana. The organization, formed in 2015 as a program of Heritage Fund - The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, has organized a number of volunteer-based community events ranging from a panel discussion titled “2015 Columbus Conversation” that included Docomomo US President Theodore Prudon and Board Member Flora Chou in addition to walking tours, and landscape cleanup days at the Eero Saarinen designed North Christian Church.
With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of the newly renovated Met Breuer in New York this week, Docomomo US is following recent developments concerning two other important Marcel Breuer buildings: the Central Public Library (1980) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Pirelli Tire Building (1970) in New Haven, Connecticut. Nearly a decade after the earlier calls for Atlanta Central Public Library demolition and replacement, local officials are currently recommending a smaller Central Library contrary to the request of a bigger building in the proposal from 2008. Consistant deferred maintenance and reduced circulation at this downtown location make it a likely target for development, closure or demolition.
Docomomo Russia and the World Monuments Fund have recently launched a petition to restore Moscow's Shukhov Tower as part of the World Monuments Fund Watch Day taking place this weekend, March 19-20, 2016 in Moscow. The petition requests that decisive steps are promptly taken to scientifically restore the 1922 Constructivist tower in order to secure the structure from the ever looming threat of demolition.
The article below was written by Natalia Melikova, founder of the Constructivist Project, and was featured in our March 2014 newsletter. It chronicles the initial efforts to save the tower from being dismantled.
Docomomo US continues to support the efforts to save and restore the Shukhov Tower. Sign the petition here.
By Nonya Grenader
HOUSTON: UNCOMMON MODERN
AIA Houston ArCH Center, Nov. 24, 2015, Feb. 19, 2016 (Panel Discussion and Catalog Release, Feb. 15)
“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old buildings, I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent and expensive state of rehabilitation…but also a lot of plain, ordinary old low-value buildings…”
- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
By Theodore Prudon, FAIA
The upcoming fourth Docomomo US National Symposium carries the title: Beyond Modernism. This choice of title is a reflection of a discussion that has been taking place in Docomomo US and its various chapters for some time about what constitutes modernism to us and whether there is an approximate end date to what architects, buildings and styles we study and advocate for.
This past December, Princeton University’s School of Architecture hosted a two day and cross generational conference titled “Postmodern Procedures.” The event opened with a keynote address by award winning architect Denise Scott Brown, RIBA, Int. FRIBA and brought together fourteen of architecture’s leading professionals and educators to discuss not only the historical significance of postmodernism but its impacts on architecture today.
By Charles Rice
This article is excerpted from Charles Rice’s newly-published book Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America (Bloomsbury). The book uses Portman’s architecture, and in particular its famous ‘atrium effect’, as a lens through which to reconsider key issues of the 1960s and 70s: the expansion of a commercial imperative in architecture and urban development; growing social and economic instability in cities; and debates about the form and role of public space.
By Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo, Chris Grimley
This article is excerpted and adapted from Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston (The Monacelli Press, 2015) which examines Boston's unparalled concetration of concrete architecture built in the postwar decades, an era that initiated the city's wholesale transformation through powerful and often controversial policies of civic intervention.