Recent updates

Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Modernism in America Awards
by info, posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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.

GE part of a national move away from big, suburban office parks
by info, posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016
By Tom Condon
This article was originally published in the CT Mirror on May 26, 2016
 
When General Electric first suggested that it might pull its corporate headquarters out of Connecticut, in June of 2015, the company’s rationale appeared to be taxes and the business climate. But when it made the actual announcement in January that it would move to Boston, the message had changed.
A Short History of Pepsi’s Architecture
by info, posted on Thursday, June 16, 2016

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)

General Motors Technical Center
by info, posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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.

Update: Bell Labs reopened and reimagined
by info, posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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 
Modern Havana December 2016
by info, posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016

Modern Havana
December 3, 2016 – December 10, 2016
Havana, Cuba - Melia Cohiba Hotel (6 nights)
Tour Leader: Belmont Freeman
Guest: Eduardo Luis Rodríguez 
 
Docomomo US is pleased to announce registration for a third educational travel tour of modern architecture in Havana, Cuba. Guests will experience the rich architectural past of this long elusive Caribbean island located just 90 miles south of U.S. soil. Modern Havana offers a unique travel opportunity in a small group setting featuring access to modern homes and buildings considered off the beaten path or not ordinarily open to the public.
 
Image: Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964)
 

 

Paul Rudolph buildings in Buffalo and Boston under threat
by info, posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

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.

 

Well attended Docomomo US/Chicago lecture on Cuban Modernism at IIT and first Chicago chapter meeting for 2016
by info, posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

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. 

Future use of Breuer Library is unclear
by info, posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

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.

New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition
by info, posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

On March 1, People for the Pavilion and the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched the New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition, an “anything goes” approach to radically reimagine one of New York City’s most iconic buildings and a defining landmark of Queens.

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.
 
 
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