The third annual Docomomo US National Symposium is officially underway! This year's Symposium will be our largest gathering ever with guests joining us from all over the country and the world. Over the next four and a half days, attendees will hear the latest in modern preservation efforts, have the opportunity to experience the unique architecture throughout the state of Minnesota, and enjoy a multifaceted schedule of special events and exclusive tours.
The schedule at a glance is now posted on the symposium website and tickets are available at the door. To see what's taking place each day, follow Docomomo US on Facebook (DOCOMOMO US), Twitter (@docomomo_us), and Instagram (@docomomous) and follow along with the hashtags #ModPrairie and #Doco2015MN.
By Michael R. Allen
Update by Lindsey Derrington
Docomomo US Friend Organization Modern STL led the hard-fought campaign to preserve North St. Louis County’s Lewis and Clark Branch Library from 2012 to 2014. The library, designed by Frederick Dunn, FAIA with stunning stained glass windows by nationally-prominent artist Robert Harmon, opened to acclaim in January 1963. Less than fifty years later, however, it was marked for demolition and replacement by the St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees. This was because of its age and in open disregard of its reuse potential, which Modern STL demonstrated through sustained outreach efforts focused on the building’s excellent condition and ideal suitability for a financially-responsible addition to meet SLCL’s stated programmatic needs. Modern STL’s board, members, and partners are the grateful recipients of Docomomo US’ 2015 Modernism in America Awards Citation of Merit for their efforts, but the timing is bittersweet.
By Adrian Scott Fine, Director of Advocacy, Los Angeles Conservancy
Slated for demolition and redevelopment, Parker Center in Downtown Los Angeles and efforts to save it hit a snag in early May but ultimately there may be a resolution in sight. For years there has been a much-debated question of whether or not the building should even be preserved. Now, after nearly six months of efforts to designate the building as a local landmark, a procedural error by the City forces the process to begin again from start. The good news is the City has just introduced a motion to study another preservation alternative that hopefully will find the right balance between preservation and limited demolition of the building. What Parker Center and efforts to save it illustrate is a similar conversation happening in places all over the United States, as aspects of growth and politics come together either for or against preservation.
Docomomo US has the pleasure to announce eleven selected winners of the 2015 Modernism in America Award program. These exceptional projects are emblematic of the work going on all over the country and represent buildings and building typologies of postwar society in the United States.
By Jessica Smith
This past March I journeyed down south of the border to Buenos Aires, Argentina with classmates from Pratt Institute's Historic Preservation program. Like many South American countries, colonial and traditional architecture reigns supreme in Argentina - especially in Buenos Aires. However, it was the brutalist architecture by renowned architect Corindo Testa, and the stark contrast to the surrounding architecture that his buildings incite that I found most interesting.
By Angelica Martinez
Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 - the current architectural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City plays a significant preservation role by gathering images of significant modern buildings that need to be known for their contribution to the historic development of Latin America. However, in Mexico many modern buildings have been neglected for years or no longer exist. The question, then, is: what is the future of modern architecture in Mexico?
By Glenda Puente
In an effort to promote appreciation towards an unjustifiably unknown heritage, both locally and internationally, this essay will depict the economic, political and cultural context in which mid-century modern architecture took place in Ecuador with a focus on work in Quito, the capital city. The selection of work – see accompanying slide show - excludes single family housing and instead highlights medium and large scale projects built between 1955 and 1980, the same timeframe as that of the current exhibit on Latin American Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.