Written by the Georgia Tech and UPenn studios - See end for details
Through a series of fortunate circumstances a unique collaboration has developed between the University of Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Graduate Program and Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture around the future of the Philadelphia Police Headquarters affectionately and not so affectionately known as the “Roundhouse”. Designed in 1962 by Geddes, Brecher, Qualls and Cunningham with structural engineer August Komendant, a cross-discipline collaboration has united the UPenn historic preservation graduate studio with a 3rd and 4th year architecture design studio in an effort to contribute to the conversation in Philadelphia about the future of this important building.
Photo: UPenn and Georgia Tech students site visit, Credit: Suzanna Barucco
By: The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Docomomo US
Images: Dr. Emily T. Cooperman
In the spring of 2012, the Greater Philadelphia Chapter was invited to participate as a consulting party in the federal review (Section 106) process of a proposed lobby addition on the Casa Farnese in Philadelphia. Originally known as Casa Enrico Fermi (renamed in 2004 in memory of its developer, Philadelphia attorney Andrew N. Farnese), was designed and built in 1964-1966 by the architectural firm of Stonorov and Haws. The building is 19-story, reinforced-concrete, senior citizen housing apartment building set at the western edge of the Washington Square West neighborhood of downtown Philadelphia. Casa Fermi was the first senior housing development to be created in Philadelphia under the Section 202 housing program of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and thus corresponds to the enduring “group housing” practice of important Philadelphia modernist Oskar Stonorov (1905-1970) into the last phase of his career.
In just two short months Docomomo US will kick off its sixth annual Tour Day 2012 featuring a wide array of programs that seek to celebrate modern architecture. Already with over 30 tours in more than 20 states, Tour Day 2012 continues to be the largest national event devoted to the appreciation and preservation of modern American architecture. Participants can enjoy a variety of events from a historic neighborhood circuit on a double decker bus to an interiors tour of six private residences constructed by six different architects. The number and location of tours continues to grow daily.
If you missed any of our 2010 articles on the preservation of the modern movement, DOCOMOMO US e-news briefs are now archived online. Articles for 2010 include: the Christian Science Center complex in Boston, Tour Day 2010, the Given Institute in Aspen, and the continuing work of our New Orleans, Louisiana chapter to preserve the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School and the George Washington Carver Junior-Senior High School.