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    Modern Sculpture in the Garden State
    by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

    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.

    What is it? Modernism and public art at Baltimore’s public schools
    by info, posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

    By Eli Pousson, Director of Preservation and Outreach for Baltimore Heritage, with contributions from Ryan Patterson, Public Art Administration for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

    Baltimore’s public schools are home to over 120 public art commissions—most of these works tied to a local boom in school building construction during the 1960s and 1970s. While some are the work of nationally known modern artists and designers, like Michio Ihara, Gyorgy Kepes, and Harry Bertoia, others are the work of artists, architects and designers with a regional practice or local following; some of whom had few commissions outside of Baltimore, or no public work outside of these midcentury school buildings.

    Docomomo US welcomes two new Directors
    by info, posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Docomomo US Board of Directors is pleased to welcome two new members to the board: Todd Grover and Christopher Barley.

    Mural Art in Quito: The implementation of mural art in the works of the Modern Movement
    by info, posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Text and photographs by Glenda Puente

    The context in which modern architecture developed in Quito was one that not only fostered a reinvention in the building realm but also throughout the arts.

    Musings on Isamu Noguchi’s Hart Plaza
    by info, posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

    By Jenny Dixon, Director
    The Noguchi Museum

    Detroit’s first ideas for a vast urban plaza at the terminus of Woodward Avenue and fronting on the Detroit River were laid in 1924, when the Detroit branch of the American Institute of Architects commissioned Eliel Saarinen to design it. The project was never fully realized. Perhaps Isamu Noguchi knew of this history when he responded to the invitation by the City of Detroit to submit plans for the Horace E. Dodge & Son Fountain at that same location just shy of fifty years later.

    Upgrading the Mechanical Systems in Louis Kahn’s Richards Building
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

    By Matthew S. Chalifoux, AIA, Principal
    EYP Architecture and Engineering, Washington, DC

    Louis I. Kahn’s Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Laboratory (Richards Building) at the University of Pennsylvania holds a unique place in the history of 20th century culture as one of the most influential buildings of the post-war era. Designed 1957-58 and completed in 1961, the Richards Building received international attention for its design before it was even completed, garnering a solo exhibition of the design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but its considerable functional shortcomings have been the target of much venom for over fifty years.

    Post Modern Architecture: Documentation and Conservation
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

    By Peter Meijer, Docomomo US/Oregon

    At the Docomomo US, Modern Matters, conference April 2013 in Sarasota, Florida, Docomomo US/Oregon presented a debate on the merits of Michael Graves Portland Building and on the larger context of Post Modernism in general. A lively debate at the end of the presentation centered on the merits of Docomomo incorporating Post Modern under the mission of the organization. In general, the support, or lack of support, for an expanded interpretation separated into two distinct viewpoints.

    Aluminum Finishes in Postwar Architecture
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

    By Thomas C. Jester

    The twentieth century witnessed an explosion of new materials and assemblies for construction. Avant-garde architects who subscribed to the tenets of Modernism embraced reinforced concrete and glass to create remarkable new buildings. If concrete and glass were the first two critical material legs of the stool for Modern architecture, metals were the important third leg.

    A Chip Off the Old Block: Restoration of Concrete Masonry Units
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

    By Christa J. Gaffigan, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C and Anne E. Weber, FAIA, FAPT

    Concrete block developed in the early 20th century as an inexpensive yet durable material for vernacular construction. It was used extensively in industrial and commercial construction, and was also marketed heavily for agricultural and residential construction. By the 1950s, block was in wide use for schools and similar structures, and was available in many sizes, face finishes, and shapes.

    Bath House after restoration. Credit: Brian Rose
    Saving and Reimagining Modern Academic Buildings
    by info, posted on Friday, April 22, 2016

    By Leland Cott, FAIA
    Founding Principal, Bruner/Cott & Associates

    My inspiring encounters with some of modernism’s masters while an architecture student at Pratt Institute and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the 1960s shaped my early practice and laid the groundwork for our firm’s work today. Philip Johnson invited us to occasional evening talks at his New Canaan residence and project charrettes in his office. Paul Rudolph gave us and our professor Sybil Moholy-Nagy an animated tour of his new Art and Architecture building at Yale; and Josep Lluis Sert, dean of Harvard GSD, took us on site visits to his recently completed works there and at Boston University, projects my firm would renew decades later.
     
     
    IDS Center, Minneapolis
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

    By Todd Grover

    A series of fortunate events in the late 1960s lead Investors Diversified Services (IDS), Inc. to commission architect Philip Johnson to create a new interpretation of the glass skyscraper to serve as the company’s headquarters. The result is a property (we always say that IDS Center is more than just a building!) that has become a symbol of the region, but is also a story where persistent and thoughtful maintenance has sustained the iconic curtain wall.

    Docomomo US/Philadelphia Update
    by info, posted on Monday, April 25, 2016

    By Grace Ong Yan, President of Docomomo US/Philadelphia

    As a spring awakening is upon us, the Philadelphia chapter of Docomomo US is also experiencing a re-awakening with new and exciting Spring and Fall events, active social media updates, and a new web presence.

    A Modernism on the Prairie Update
    by info, posted on Thursday, April 7, 2016

    By Docomomo US/Minnesota

    There have been some exciting changes at Docomomo US/MN! Our Board President, Todd Grover, has joined the National Board of Docomomo US, and we’re pleased to have him engaged at this higher level. Todd is stepping down from his local duties, and in his place, Amy Meller, an Architect at MacDonald & Mack Architects, was nominated and accepted the role of the new Minnesota Chapter President.

    Florida Tour of William Morgan's Police Administration Building
    by info, posted on Tuesday, April 5, 2016
    By Glenda Puente, President Docomomo US/Florida

    Docomomo US/Florida members and guests took a tour of William Morgan’s Police Administration Building (1971-75) in Jacksonville on February 6, 2016. The tour was led by Gary R. Dickinson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Staff, and included the interior of the building as well as the roof terrace.

    Photo Credit: Andrea Puente
    Welcome Landmark Columbus
    by info, posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Docomomo US is pleased to welcome Landmark Columbus as our newest Friend Organization and continue to support the work and efforts being undertaken to preserve, protect, and cultivate the unique design heritage found in Columbus, Indiana. The organization, formed in 2015 as a program of Heritage Fund - The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, has organized a number of volunteer-based community events ranging from a panel discussion titled “2015 Columbus Conversation” that included Docomomo US President Theodore Prudon and Board Member Flora Chou in addition to walking tours, and landscape cleanup days at the Eero Saarinen designed North Christian Church.

    Mitchell Park Domes Threatened
    by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016
    Docomomo US is following developments after an announcement last week by The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) regarding the indefinite closing of Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (known as The Domes) due to pieces of concrete found on the floor of the Arid Dome that appear to have fallen from the facility's frame. A beloved landmark and tourist attraction, the Domes were designed by architect Donald Grieb and completed in phases between 1959 and 1967. Essentially a pre-cast reinforced concrete space frame and glazing system, the Milwaukee County Parks website goes on to state the "three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes are 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high and offer 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display. Each dome (Desert, Tropical, and Floral Show) has a distinct climate and exhibit plants in a naturalistic setting."
    Breuer Buildings Threatened
    by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016

    With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of the newly renovated Met Breuer in New York this week, Docomomo US is following recent developments concerning two other important Marcel Breuer buildings: the Central Public Library (1980) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Pirelli Tire Building (1970) in New Haven, Connecticut. Nearly a decade after the earlier calls for Atlanta Central Public Library demolition and replacement, local officials are currently recommending a smaller Central Library contrary to the request of a bigger building in the proposal from 2008. Consistant deferred maintenance and reduced circulation at this downtown location make it a likely target for development, closure or demolition.

    Update: The Campaign to Save the Shukhov Tower
    by info, posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Docomomo Russia and the World Monuments Fund have recently launched a petition to restore Moscow's Shukhov Tower as part of the World Monuments Fund Watch Day taking place this weekend, March 19-20, 2016 in Moscow. The petition requests that decisive steps are promptly taken to scientifically restore the 1922 Constructivist tower in order to secure the structure from the ever looming threat of demolition. 

    The article below was written by Natalia Melikova, founder of the Constructivist Project, and was featured in our March 2014 newsletter. It chronicles the initial efforts to save the tower from being dismantled. 

    Docomomo US continues to support the efforts to save and restore the Shukhov Tower. Sign the petition here.

    Houston: Uncommon Modern
    by info, posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016

    By Nonya Grenader

    HOUSTON: UNCOMMON MODERN
    AIA Houston ArCH Center, Nov. 24, 2015, Feb. 19, 2016 (Panel Discussion and Catalog Release, Feb. 15)

    “Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old buildings, I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent and expensive state of rehabilitation…but also a lot of plain, ordinary old low-value buildings…”
    - Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

    Beyond Modernism: A question and a challenge
    by info, posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016

    By Theodore Prudon, FAIA

    The upcoming fourth Docomomo US National Symposium carries the title: Beyond Modernism. This choice of title is a reflection of a discussion that has been taking place in Docomomo US and its various chapters for some time about what constitutes modernism to us and whether there is an approximate end date to what architects, buildings and styles we study and advocate for.

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