New Orleans, Louisiana. Another mid-century modern building may be demolished in the Crescent City. Edward Durell Stone’s World Trade Center, built as the International Trade Mart, has been under threat since the mid-1990s. Begun in 1959 and partially occupied by 1966, the ITM set the standard for other such structures worldwide. Designed to promote foreign commerce through the Port of New Orleans, the ITM was home to the trade organization, the Dock Board, stevedores, international consulates, shipping companies, a women’s clinic, modistes and an art gallery.
East-West Dialogues: Modern Architectures in Florida is a two-part symposium designed as forum to investigate the multiple forms and meanings of mid-century architecture across the State of Florida. The symposium was organized to solicit critical reflections on modern Florida through the lens of the architects who defined it, and to further survey the discourse among them. These architects, and the diversity of their work, have received varying attention as individuals, but little recognition as a group. This symposium is particularly inspired by the architectural legacy of Mark Hampton, a critically acclaimed Florida architect with work spanning the state from Tampa to Miami.
Docomomo US/Noca is currently advocating for the preservation of a mid-century movie theater in San Jose, California. The Century 21 Theater, located at 3161 Olsen Drive in San Jose, was constructed in 1963 and opened in 1964. The theater was designed by Bay Area architect Vincent G. Raney with a futuristic dome shape. The Century 21 Theatre in San Jose was one of the first venues built specifically for Cinerama and was the first Century dome theater to be constructed in what would become a chain, ultimately expanding to Southern California, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Many dome theaters in the chain have already been demolished.
After years of hopeful deliberation, a Southern California chapter of Docomomo US is finally taking off. A small organizational committee worked together to establish the mission and geographic scope of this chapter, which will cover the entire Southern California region: from Santa Barbara to San Diego and everything in between. Working with local preservation organizations throughout the vast region, Docomomo US/SoCal hopes to assist with advocacy efforts and increase awareness of Modern resources and regional movements.
It has been two months since The Fight for the Melnikov House was first published and while advocacy for the house has been ongoing, with major international agencies joining in on the discussion, the Melnikov House is still in danger and construction work continues.
May 13, 2013 photo: “Not in the zone of influence” … Melnikov House & the construction site in one photo.
Though little known nationally, the residential complexes in Washington, D.C.’s Southwest Redevelopment Area in Washington, D.C., collectively constitute one of the finest fully integrated examples of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design in the North America from the post-World War II era.
Image (left): Tiber Island, 1961-65, Keyes, Lethbridge & Condon, architects. Photo: Richard Longstreth, 1991.
Attendees of the conference enjoyed an unforgettable sunset reception on the second evening of the program. Paul Rudolph’s open-air 1952 Sanderling Beach Pavilion, located along the shoreline, offered stunning views toward the Gulf. The breeze and white-sands made it even more enjoyable to discuss the day’s inspiring events and topics over refreshments. Reception sponsored by Guy Peterson OFA and Mary Kenealy Events.
Sarasota, Florida became a home-away-from-home in mid-April for Docomomo US chapter leaders, the Docomomo US Board, and our growing and dynamic network of members, professionals, academics, and enthusiasts – proving to us all that, Modern Matters.
In architecture, the 1960’s decade exceeds its temporal limits; and today, it is more alive than ever. And so is Modernism - although it has been transformed, along the last hundred years, from avant-garde to tradition. Besides, when critically considered, several of the current architectural and urban professional practices can have their roots traced back to the heritage and legacy of the optimistic, progressive and fertile years 1955-75.
The extended 1960s decade is a rich period of significant events, works, trends and debates. The X DOCOMOMO SEMINAR BRASIL 2013 wants to be an appropriate opportunity to explore, without depleting, some ofthat decade’s themes. It proposes a more focused approach on the Brutalism, and welcomes the possibility ofopening-upas many paths as possible to approach this subject. It aspires to stimulate and inspire a plurality of contributions, aiming into a comprehensive and variedparticipationand debates.
By Kim Barker on behalf of the Docomomo US/MidTexMod Chapter
Changes are planned for San Antonio’s world’s fair site, HemisFair ‘68, and they have fans of modern architecture concerned. Intended to celebrate the city’s 250-anniversary and a confluence of cultures, HemisFair ’68 was a six-month exposition opened by First Lady Ladybird Johnson in April 1968. Typical of a world’s fair, various states, nations, and corporations built new exhibition halls in the styles of the period, some of which are exceptional examples of modern architecture. Given San Antonio’s established preservation ethic, they also retained and repurposed some of the nineteenth century residential buildings already on the site before the rest of the neighborhood was sacrificed for fair construction. HemisFair ’68 attracted 6.3 million visitors but under-utilization since is now prompting redevelopment plans.
Join us for the 7th annual Docomomo US Tour Day on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Save the date for this annual event gathering chapters, members, students, architects, historians and the general public to celebrate the modern movement in the US. Click here for more information.
Each year, Docomomo US and our chapters takes some time to look back at our achievements of the previous twelve months and highlight the events and people who continue to work tirelessly to raise the awareness of modern architecture in the United States. Included in the report are summaries from the chapters, contact information as well as the Year in Architecture, a visual archive of the sites we won, the sites we lost and those still threatened.
By Katherine Malishewsky
Image: Modern League organizers (l-r) Eliana Gallego, Julie Rosen, Adam Rubin and Brittany Reilly in the Sackler Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the second annual Scavenger Hunt
The Docomomo US young professional’s initiative, the Modern League, continues to grow and improve since its inception in September of 2012. Working with like-minded professionals in New York, Boston and now Florida, Docomomo US and Modern League organizers recap recent events and initiatives.
Designed by the Russian avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov and completed in 1929, the well-known and highly praised Melnikov House currently finds itself in imminent danger. Natalia Melikova, a recent MFA graduate student of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, writes from Moscow about the threats to the house in her ongoing project on Russian avant-garde architecture.
With the gradual and general acceptance, in the US and abroad, that modern heritage like any other heritage is to be preserved, has come the realization that proper professional expertise is needed and to how to best prepare them for that task. Putting definitional or nomenclature issues aside – such as whether we call it preservation or conservation or whether we use modern versus recent past or mid-century – the question of whether the academic curriculum is the same or different and, if not the same as traditional preservation education as existing today, how does it differ. While the scale and ubiquity of modern heritage is often presented as a challenge, it is fundamentally a management challenge and does not require any substantial educational changes. Establishing significance and the related methodologies remain largely unaltered, although scholarship and knowledge that serves as a base will continue to expand as it does for any period.
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.
Join Docomomo US and OHNY on Saturday, February 9thSaturday, March 9th (rescheduled due to snow storm) for the 2nd Annual Modern Architecture & Design Scavenger Hunt. Spend the day exploring the city and taking photographs of the best examples of modern architecture and design in New York for a chance to win great prizes!
Hunt alone or as a team and learn about modernism in New York - the buildings and public spaces as well as the architects who designed them. The hunt begins with an opening event at Room & Board in SoHo at 11:00am and concludes back in SoHo with a special closing reception at the Trespa Design Centre New York, where hunters can enjoy a drink and commiserate about their experiences.
Edward Durell Stone: A Belated Appreciation by Hicks Stone
Edward Durell Stone was my father. Father and I had a tenuous and at times a difficult relationship. He would have found it both comically improbable and deeply touching if he had been aware that I had written his biography. Even though our relationship was distant, I had a closely-held but deeply-seated admiration for his achievements. The underlying impetus to write his biography extends back to my childhood in New York during the 1960s. Anyone who came of age during those years recalls them as a time when activists would champion the rights of people unjustly relegated to living life at the margins of society. It was this sensitivity to injustice and an activist’s desire to right wrongs that set me on the course that led me to submit a proposal to Rizzoli for my father’s biography in the spring of 2008. Simply stated, Father has been unfairly treated for over a half-century, and the time for him to be accorded the simple decency, recognition and respect that he deserves from the architectural community is long overdue.