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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.  

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.
 

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.

 

 

 

Summer Modern Get-A-Ways
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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.

 
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.
Welcome Docomomo US SoCal
posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013

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.

Melnikov House Update
posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Text and photos by Natalia Melikova
 
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. 
The Southwest Urban Renewal Area in Washington, D.C.
posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013

By Richard Longstreth

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.

Docomomo US Wraps First National Symposium
posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013
By Brittany Reilly
 
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. 
 
 
X DOCOMOMO SEMINAR BRAZIL
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

X DOCOMOMO SEMINAR BRAZIL
MODERN AND INTERNATIONAL: brutalist connections 1955-75
Curitiba, Oct/15-18/2013

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.
 
Is “Green” Being Used to Validate Removal of Our Layered Cities?
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Monday, April 15, 2013

By Barbara Campagna

My last posting was a plea to stop viewing everything as black or white – architecture, politics, life.  The last sentence in that posting was, “So, while green has been the color of the decade, maybe gray should be the color of the next.“  And now I think that’s the perfect sentence to start off this essay with.
HemisFair ’68 at Risk
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Monday, April 15, 2013

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.
 
Save the Date: Tour Day 2013
posted on Monday, April 1, 2013

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.

Docomomo US 2012 Annual Report
posted on Friday, March 15, 2013

 Annual ReportEach 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.

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