After previous efforts for redevelopment and a series of talks failed earlier this year, a five-member selection committee representing the city has reviewed qualifications from 11 potential developers and narrowed the field to five. At stake is Edward Durell Stone’s 33-story monument to the city’s foreign commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans. Begun in 1959 and partially occupied by 1966, the NRHP-listed building has been vacant since 2010.
As 2014 comes to a close, we've compiled all of our favorite images into one amazing slideshow. From the inaugural Modernism in America Awards to the National Symposium, Tour Day and other events around the country, these images showcase the active participation of our members as we continue to advocate for Modern architecture.
All Images courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects
Designed as an inclusive space for public entertainment, education, culture and recreation, Ontario Place is an internationally renowned, urban waterfront park in Toronto. With its integrated environment of parkland, lagoons and megastructures, Ontario Place crystallized avant-garde ideas in architecture and urbanism of the 1960s. Partially closed since 2012, the entire park will soon be the site of a major rehabilitation project. In this context, it has recently been officially recognized as a cultural heritage landscape of provincial significance.
Docomomo US' Tour Day 2014 proved to be a tour de force - come rain or shine. More than 1,000 participants across the nation laced up their walking shoes and went on a tour in 31 cities across 19 states making this the most successful event to date.The tours not only provided participants with the chance to see unique modern architecture in their back yard, but generated excitement around the modern architecture that has played a significant role in shaping the community. Mark your calendars for Tour Day 2015 scheduled for October 10, 2015.
Following the success of its inaugural Modernism in America Awards program in 2014, Docomomo US now invites submissions for the 2015 Modernism in America Awards. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Design, Inventory/Survey, and Advocacy. The 2015 Design awards will be given out in the areas of Residential, Commercial and Institutional or Civic architecture.
Docomomo US is pleased to present the fourth annual Docomomo US Holiday Book List. This year we are featuring 28 of our favorite books including a number that were just recently published. As we begin to catch up on all this reading, we hope you bookmark this list and return here throughout 2015 for expanded reviews. And when you decide to purchase one of these books through the links below, every purchase includes a small donation to Docomomo US, via our partnership with Amazon Associates. Additionally you can make sure EVERY purchase includes a donation to Docomomo US by using http://smile.amazon.com/ and then choosing Docomomo US as your chartiable organization.
Buffalo has long been known as the home of iconic works of architecture by H. H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. But Buffalo’s architectural legacy did not end with the demolition of Wright’s ill-fated Larkin Administration Building in 1950. It has an incredibly rich modernist heritage, and some of that heritage is now under siege. As a way to begin to counteract misconceptions about Buffalo’s modernism and bring awareness to the rich sites that dot Western New York, I taught a graduate seminar, “Preserving Modern Heritage,” last spring in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning. The students’ semester long project was to choose a Buffalo Modern and document it for the Docomomo US Registry. Until this year, only two buildings in Buffalo were listed in the Registry, and one of those had been demolished in 1950! (The New York Central Terminal Railroad Station, an Art Deco masterpiece from 1929 and Wright’s 1906 Larkin Administration Building, demolished 1950, were the only two Buffalo buildings listed.) Seven modern sites were ultimately listed as part of the class, with several more in the wings for later this year.
While many modernist buildings are celebrated, the industrial buildings that inspired the modernist movement are less well known. In the shift to the post-industrial, these important buildings face challenges in common with many of America’s redundant industrial sites. This article considers three examples featured in Le Corbusier’s Vers une Architecture, highlighting their importance to the early modernists, how their significance is understood today and the contemporary reuse models that could help secure their future.
Photo (Left): Sculptural cylinders of the Marine ‘A’ Grain Elevator (1925) in Buffalo (Photo Credit: Miriam Kelly, 2013)
The origins of the Port
With a population of a quarter of a million, Gdynia is the twelfth largest city in Poland and home to one of several Polish ports on the Baltic Sea. Established after World War I, the city is a consequence of the then political and economic situation. Having regained its independence as a result of World War I, Poland had been given a short stretch of the Baltic Sea coast. With no seaports along the Polish coastline, the state authorities decided to build one. In 1920 a site was designated, not far from the small village of Gdynia, followed by the Polish Parliament’s resolution in 1922 to build the port. Divided into several construction stages, the modern port was ready in the late 1930s. The original small village had turned into a city. Gdynia was growing fast and in 1939 reached a population of 120,000. As it is often said, Gdynia was “built at American speed”.
The architecture of IBM has been enjoying a moment of high visibility. With attention trained on the preservation of Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens has come a resurgence of interest in Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames’s neighboring IBM Pavilion, the multimedia “information machine” that seems in retrospect to have been 50 years ahead of its time. Alongside the ongoing popularity of this monument, explorations of the company’s aesthetic history, such as John Harwood’s recent book The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976 and the interactive exhibition “Think,” held at Lincoln Center in honor of IBM’s centennial in 2011, have helped solidify IBM’s image of as an early adopter of digital spectacle. Yet before IBM became an information machine, it operated out of its modest first home, the site called simply “Plant No. 1” in Endicott, NY. It was in Endicott that Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines from 1914 to his death in 1956, attempted to define the architectural image of such a business, combining the hand labor of manufacturing with the intellectual work of engineering.