Recent updates

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

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.

Postmodern Procedures
by info, posted on Friday, March 4, 2016

This past December, Princeton University’s School of Architecture hosted a two day and cross generational conference titled “Postmodern Procedures.” The event opened with a keynote address by award winning architect Denise Scott Brown, RIBA, Int. FRIBA and brought together fourteen of architecture’s leading professionals and educators to discuss not only the historical significance of postmodernism but its impacts on architecture today.

The Atrium Effect
by info, posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016

By Charles Rice

This article is excerpted from Charles Rice’s newly-published book Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America (Bloomsbury). The book uses Portman’s architecture, and in particular its famous ‘atrium effect’, as a lens through which to reconsider key issues of the 1960s and 70s: the expansion of a commercial imperative in architecture and urban development; growing social and economic instability in cities; and debates about the form and role of public space.

by info, posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016

By Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo, Chris Grimley

This article is excerpted and adapted from Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston (The Monacelli Press, 2015) which examines Boston's unparalled concetration of concrete architecture built in the postwar decades, an era that initiated the city's wholesale transformation through powerful and often controversial policies of civic intervention. 

UN Plaza Featured NY Times Advocacy Continues
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Last week, Docomomo US' efforts to landmark Kevin Roche's UN Plaza Ambassador Grill and Hotel Lobby made headlines in The New York Times calling for the protection of these high-significant yet undervalued spaces. The New York Times article calls out our Request for Evaluation (RFE) to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on January 8th and refers to the newly formed coalition of preservation organizations including the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Preservation League of New York State, Historic Districts Council, Municipal Art Society in addition to independent preservationists.

Photo: Nicole Crane for The New York Times (February, 2016)

Pershing Park Update
by info, posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016
By Charles A. Birnbaum, president & CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation
The legacy of M. Paul Friedberg’s modernist and postmodernist works of landscape architecture is finite and delicate. Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis, MN, the genesis of Friedberg’s “park plaza” typology, narrowly avoided demolition thanks to a sustained campaign from 2011 to 2013 to save it that drew a national audience (an effort recognized with Docomomo US’ first-ever Advocacy Award of Excellence in 2014 for The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, and Docomomo US/Minnesota).
St. Augustine By the Sea
by info, posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016

The annual historic preservation “Experts” lecture series, sponsored by the Historic Preservation Program, Department of American Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa; Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, offers seven free public lectures. This year’s theme explores current issues and opportunities in preserving historic churches and other religious buildings throughout Hawai’i.

The article below is written in conjunction with the featured lecture, “St. Augustine by the Sea: Preservation and Improvement of a Modernist Site,” by architect Glenn Mason, FAIA whose firm is responsible for the preservation of the building and site and who will be presenting the lecture on March 3rd.

First Southern Baptist Church of Pearl Harbor
by info, posted on Friday, February 19, 2016

By Docomomo US / Hawaii Chapter

Along the freeway headed west towards the Honolulu International Airport, the undulating folded plate roofline of the First Southern Baptist Church of Pearl Harbor appears above a flat sea of houses like an island rising from the ocean. Nestled amidst military housing behind Camp Catlin, the church was originally built in 1961, and over the years it has endured considerable development surrounding its site, numerous congregation turnovers, and an impending loss of its lease.

Fates vary for Detroit’s Gruen shopping centers
by info, posted on Monday, April 11, 2016
By Kim Silarski, Docomomo US/Michigan
As many of Detroit’s 1.8 million residents and their employers sprawled away from the city center in the early 1950s, the Motor City’s dominant downtown retailer, family-owned J.L. Hudson Company (known commonly as Hudson’s), did the same, albeit grudgingly. The region’s largest post-war development at the time, the modernist $30 million, two-million-square-foot Northland Center, opened in 1954. It was the brainchild of Austrian émigré architect Victor Gruen (b. 1903, d. 1980), the “father of the shopping mall” who convinced Hudson’s to follow its customers to the suburbs of Detroit, then the nation’s fifth largest city. Northland and its three sister “directional” malls initially thrived and expanded, but all suffered modifications, modernization, and additions that disguised their modernist bones over time.
REGISTER TODAY: 14th International Docomomo Conference 2016
by info, posted on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Every two years docomomo (the international committee for documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement) organizes an international conference, bringing together docomomo members and friends from its 70 national Working Parties, as an opportunity for in-depth exploration of an important theme or aspect of the Modern Movement.

Picture: Alberto Pessoa, Pedro Cid, Ruy Athouguia, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, 1969. Gardens by Viana Barreto e Ribeiro Telles. © AFCG, Mário de Oliveira, 1969.

Update on Roche UN Plaza Ambassador Grill
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Thursday, January 21, 2016

It has been a busy few days since Docomomo US announced this past Monday the imminent demolition threats to Kevin Roche’s UN Plaza Ambassador Grill and Hotel Lobby. Considered by many to be Roche’s most important interiors and among the best modern public spaces in New York City, we have received numerous letters and emails of support to designate the spaces as an Interior Landmark.

Docomomo US Chapter Updates
by info, posted on Friday, September 23, 2016

In addition to the Docomomo US Enews Dispatch and Brief, many of our chapters and friend organizations send out their own newsletters and email updates on the issues affecting the significant modern architecture their neighborhoods and communities.

To stay informed and in the loop about what is taking place in the Docomomo US network, sign up for one or all of the newsletters below, and don't forget to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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