Docomomo US is pleased to announce ten winners of the 2016 Modernism in America Awards program. These projects are exemplary of the efforts going on all over the country as the awareness of the importance to advocate, restore and celebrate the architecture, landscapes and typologies of postwar society in the United States continues to expand.
By Jimmy Stamp
The corporate campus for PepsiCo, designed by Edward Durell Stone, has served as the company's world headquarters since their move to the suburbs in 1967. After an estimated $243 million dollar renovation beginning in 2013, and despite company-wide downsizing, the campus continues to exist as it was originally designed despite the national trend of corporations moving back to city-centers.
The article below examines the events surrounding Pepsi's decision to move from its New York City headquarters and the influences that defined Stone's iconic design. A version of this article originally appeared on Smithsonian.com (September 2013)
During the Docomomo US National Symposium in Detroit this past week, attendees had the unique opportunity to visit the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Hosted by General Motors and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, the tour not only allowed us to see the incredible architecture and design of Saarinen's corporate masterpiece but also showed the care and stewardship as the complex continues to age.
The excerpt below takes a look back at the vision that both Eero Saarinen and Harley Earl had for General Motors and how it redefined the image and perception of what the corporate campus could and should be.
By Gwendolyn Horton
After being abandoned in 2007, the preservation and use for Saarinen's Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey has been a reoccuring topic of discussion over recent years. Purchased by Somerset Development in 2013, the vision of Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development to reinvent the space as a "New Urbanist Hub" has begun to be realized.
Mayor Hinds, 230 students and 50 companies participated in the recent job fair hosted by Bell Works
Docomomo US has been made aware of a looming threat to Paul Rudolph's Blue Cross/Blue Shield building (1960) in Boston. The city is considering five proposals from firms to develop a prominant site next to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield building. Four out of the five proposals pose no threat to the Rudolph designed building and one proposal is unclear of its effects on the building. The proposal from developer Trans National plans to demolish the building during the second phase of construction. Candidates will be interviewed in the beginning of June. Docomomo US and Docomomo US/New England are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
By Serge Ambrose, Chair, Docomomo US/Chicago
The Docomomo US/Chicago chapter is being reenergized and kicked off the spring season with a chapter meeting and lecture on the conservation of Mid-Century Modernism in Cuba.
By Docomomo US/Georgia
For several years members of the Atlanta/Fulton County Library Authority, the agency responsible for area library service, have proposed abandoning its Central Library, Marcel Breuer’s last built project before his death, for a new “iconic” library. The structure is similar in character to the recently restored and adapted Met Breuer, the former Whitney Museum in Manhattan. The stated justification for this proposal is one part criticism of Brutalist architecture and one part failure to maintain the relevancy of the library system in a time when the primacy of the printed book is being called in to question by a plethora of digital offerings.
Text and Images By: Meredith Arms Bzdak
Public sculpture in New Jersey is plentiful (numbering over seven hundred pieces statewide), with works by significant artists that tell many fascinating stories about our history, our values, and our aspirations. Generally, the sculpture created for placement in the public realm in New Jersey and beyond during the 19th and 20th centuries was always more stylistically conservative than sculpture created for broad artistic purposes, even within the oeuvre of a single artist. During the Modern era, this continued to be the case, with most works produced in a representational rather than abstract style.