Recent updates

Call for Papers: Docomomo International Conference, Seoul 2014
posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013

  Announcing the 13th International Docomomo Conference
  Seoul, Korea
  24-27 September 2014

  CALL FOR PAPERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vert-A-Pac
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Friday, October 18, 2013

By: A.M. Liles AIA with Stuart Hurt
Image Credit: All images copyright 2013 General Motors LLC. Used with permission, GM Media Archive.

Relying on calculations, engineers use geometric forms, satisfying our eyes through geometry and our minds through mathematics; their works are on the way to great art.

Le Corbusier, Towards an Architecture.
 
 
 
 
Docomomo US National Symposium 2014: Houston, Texas
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Docomomo US and Houston Mod are pleased to announce the second annual Docomomo US National Symposium will take place in Houston, Texas from March 13-15, 2014. Save the dates for what will be a lively and surprising context for the examination of modernism's legacy, and consideration of its future, in Houston and in Texas. Additional information, including tours and presentations, is forthcoming and will be available on the Docomomo US and National Symposium websites.
 
Photo: University of St. Thomas, Philip Johnson 1958
Mid-Century Modern Schools in Manhattan
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013

By: Erica Mollon

Unlike suburban schools, the public schools constructed in the years following World War II in Manhattan were designed to accommodate the specific challenges and needs of the urban environment. These schools, now of preservation age, continue to be underappreciated resources. 

Photo: JHS 22 Gustave Straubenmuller, Kelly & Gruzen, 1955-59, credit: Tianchi Yang

 

Lewis and Clark Branch Library Slated for Demolition
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013

By: Lindsey Derrington

The Lewis and Clark Branch Library, completed in 1963, was once the pride of the St. Louis County Library system. Designed by architect Frederick Dunn, FAIA with stunning stained glass windows by master artist Robert Harmon, it was constructed as part of a progressive mid-century building program which sought to re-envision libraries in the postwar era. Yet today, as it celebrates its fiftieth birthday, the building’s future hangs in the balance under the threat of demolition.
 
Photo (left): Exterior View, Main Facade, Northeast Corner, credit: Lindsey Derrington
 
Englewood Public Library
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013

By: Adi Sela Wiener

Located in Englewood, NJ, the Englewood Public Library (Delnoce Whitney Goubert, 1968) is one of the architectural gems of the city. The library still serves in its original use and offers full services for both communities of the City of Englewood and the Borough of Englewood Cliffs. The building remains in a very good physical condition and it is almost intact even after almost fifty years of use. 
 
Photo (left): The circular Englewood Public Library, View from Engle Street, Southwest, credit: Adi Sela Wiener, August 2012
Ten Case Study Houses now listed in the National Register of Historic Places
posted on Friday, January 3, 2014

Following nearly a decade of effort by the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee (ModCom), eleven Southern California homes from the renowned Case Study House program have gained national recognition for their historic and architectural significance.

On July 24, the National Park Service listed ten Case Study Houses in the National Register of Historic Places. Another was determined eligible for listing but not formally listed due to owner objection. Yet all eleven are officially deemed historic and will enjoy equal preservation protections under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
 
Edward Durell Stone's Vermont Campus
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

By Amy Lilly

Vermont is not known for its modern architecture. Whether that’s because the era — roughly the 1920s through the 1970s — corresponded to a statewide economic nadir or because Vermonters just didn’t care for the aesthetic is unclear. Either way, it’s difficult to imagine the Green Mountains as a setting for, say, the austere minimalism of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House near Chicago, or the sleekly functional midcentury modern buildings designed by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, Calif. But recent critical reappraisal of the era’s most prolific American architect, Edward Durell Stone, has brought new appreciation to a little-known treasure of Vermont’s architecture: the Landmark College campus in Putney.

Notes on Columbus, Indiana
posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

By T. Kelly Wilson

Columbus, Indiana is home to a body of modern architectural achievements far in excess of what would be expected to be found within a city of 42,000 inhabitants.  Since 1942, well over 100 works of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, interiors and public art, produced by internationally known practitioners have been built in the city.  In spite of this remarkable fact, the story of this designed fabric has more often been the basis of tourism articles in the popular press than the topic of substantive consideration within the design professions.  Attention in occasional New York Times articles, NPR radio pieces, Good Morning America TV coverage, and a sixth place designation amongst cities in the United States for architecture by the American Institute for Architecture, signals that something, indeed, of significance has been occurring here for 70 years.  Yet, aside from being promoted as a tool for boosting tourism, little of the architectural or social significance of the modern buildings in Columbus is understood by the outside world.  

Oak Hills Historic District, Beaverton, Oregon
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013

Authors: Kirk Ranzetta, Leesa Gratreak, Patience Stuart, URS Corporation

Oak Hills was a precedent-setting master-planned community in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Planned Unit Development (PUD) is distinguished by its harmonious combination of clustered residences, open space, circulation patterns that balanced both pedestrian and automobile needs, and the architectural eclecticism emblematic of mid-1960s land use planning and architectural design. Oak Hills is Oregon’s first designated mid-century modern Historic District, celebrating its recent 2013 listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

El Lissitzky's Ogonyok Printing Plant Under Threat
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Monday, August 19, 2013

By Natalia Melikova

El Lissitzky was an influential Russian artist, designer and architect in the early 20th century in the Soviet Union. While his architectural designs of horizontal skyscrapers on paper are well known, it was not until 2007 that an existing building was discovered in Moscow, the only one in the world. Like the Melnikov House, Lissiztky's Ogonyok Printing Plant is a valuable cultural landmark and threatened by construction. In this case, the construction is of the “Lumiere” elite residential complex for the Cinematographers Union by Inteko. The construction site’s proximity to the protected zone of Ogonyok and the nearby Zhurgaz Journalist residential building (also a landmark) threatens the integrity of the structures much like those at the Melnikov House.

Tour Day 2013 Sneak Peek
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The seventh annual Docomomo US Tour Day event is just a few months away and as usual is filled with unique and exclusive events looking at important examples of modern architecture, sites, interiors and landscapes all across the country. While we won’t be announcing the full list of events until September, here is a sneak peek that will have you wishing you could be several places at once.  

The Little-Known Public Spaces of Isamu Noguchi: Detroit’s Hart Plaza
posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

by Alexandra Kirby

While Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) is well known for his abstract sculptural work, much of which is housed at the Isamu Noguchi Museum, his spatial designs have largely been forgotten – either due to never coming to fruition or because a majority are hidden behind private gates. Noguchi’s imaginative spaces vary from playgrounds to suburban corporate courtyards, such as the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (now CIGNA) campus in Bloomfield, CT. His early spatial designs included a handful of unrealized commissions for the City of New York (many plans are cast in bronze at the museum), and numerous east coast projects with SOM architect Gordon Bunshaft including the sunken gardens at Chase Manhattan Plaza and Yale’s Beineke Library.

Neutra’s Visitor Center and the Genius Loci of Gettysburg
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

by Ted Cleary, ASLA

JULY of 1863: following earlier Confederate victories that spring, Robert E. Lee has pushed northward into Pennsylvania.  His Army of Northern Virginia bumps up against Union troops in the small town of Gettysburg, and skirmishes escalate.  By the early afternoon of July third, two days of intense fighting has built to a climactic showdown, when Lee sends in a 12,000 troop offensive to cut the North’s Army of the Potomac’s flanks in half.  After launching the largest artillery barrage the western hemisphere has ever seen to soften Union defenses, the cannons’ acrid smoke and thunderous noise, heard as far as forty miles away in Harrisburg, ceases from both sides.
 

Summer Modern Get-A-Ways
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer solstice is here, and our afternoon daydreams are filled with wanderlust. One can quiet those thoughts of beautiful buildings and expansive landscapes with an overnight stay in a modern home. There are now many creative opportunities, offered by websites like Airbnb and FlipKey, that allow home owners access to vacation and rental markets, along with providing travelers unique home stays both near and far. Here are some of our favorite offerings, a few classic, and those surely not-to-be missed.

 
Dallas Statler Hilton
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013

On Saturday, April 27, the North Texas chapter of Docomomo US (Docomomo US NTX) and Preservation Dallas conducted two tours of the historic Statler Hilton Hotel and the adjacent Dallas Public Library, both located in downtown Dallas. Over 100 modern enthusiasts joined the tours, which included the public areas of both buildings as well as the room floors of the hotel.

 

 

 

Living Modern in Wallingford, Pennsylvania
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013

The eye-catching cover of the Atomic Ranch Summer 2013 Issue offers an inviting backyard view of a home custom-built in 1960 in a wooded area of Wallingford Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. Following this exciting feature, Docomomo US sat down with Bobbie Ann Tilkens-Fisher, current owner of the home and founding board member of the Docomomo US/Greater Philadelphia Chapter – two important adventures and contributions that she has shared with her husband, Matthew Fisher. Having purchased the home from the original owners in 2010, Bobbie shares with us insight about modern activity in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania winters, and their close interaction with architect Irwin Stein as they maintain and enjoy the property for years to come.

Image (left): The back of the home circa 1960 before balcony was enclosed and side patio dug out.

World Trade Center threatened in New Orleans
posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013

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 Symposium: Call for Papers
posted on Friday, June 14, 2013

Tampa, October 25- 26, 2013

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.

Century 21 Dome in San Jose Threatened by New Development
posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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.
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