Recent updates

The Case to Restore Portland’s Memorial Coliseum
by info, posted on Friday, November 20, 2015

By: Docomomo US/Oregon

It’s been six years since Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum was saved from demolition and three years since plans to restore the building were stalled by city council. This past August, The Veterans Memorial Coliseum Option Study was released by the Mayor’s office which found that the building still provided a viable civic purpose and its restoration would contribute to economic growth and development. Despite these findings and the City Council’s rejection of Commissioner Steve Novick’s most recent proposal to redevelop the site for affordable housing, the building’s future still remains uncertain.

Architect Bhavnani Revisits Roosevelt Island
by info, posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015

It is with great sadness that Docomomo US acknowledges the passing earlier this year of Ashok Bhavnani, architect and artist, and former partner of John M. Johansen. Co-designer of Island House and Rivercross on Roosevelt Island, Ashok graciously led a number of walking tours of Roosevelt Island for Docomomo US and other organizations over the years. As Docomomo US prepares for our upcoming symposia, Designing Better Affordable Housing taking place at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday, December 1st, we thought it would be appropriate to share this interview with Ashok revisiting his work on Roosevelt Island. The article was originally published in the September 13, 2014 issue of The Mainstreet WireDesigning Better Affordable Housing is part of a series of programs related to the exhibition: Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy.

2016 Membership Drive Winners
by info, posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's membership drive. As promised, those who renewed or became a member before October 31st, were entered to receive one of five complimentary registrations to the 2016 National Symposium, set to take place in Detroit, Michigan May 5-8th.

Your membership support allows our community to organize, speak out and advocate for a significant site that is threatened with demolition. Thank you to everyone for participating and for renewing your support.

Flashback: Ennobling the Ordinary: Postwar Mass Housing and the Challenge of Change
by info, posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Welcome to another installment of our Flashback series. This month we are highlighting an article on post war mass housing titled "Ennobling the Oridinary: Postwar Mass Housing and the Challenge of Change" first published in the Docomomo Journal No. 39 - September 2008: Public Housing. Docomomo US is co-sponsoring and moderating the upcoming symposia Designing Better Affordable Housing taking place at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday, December 1st. The lecture is part of a series of programs related to the exhibition: Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy.

The Docomomo Journal is published twice a year and is a benefit to Docomomo US International members. To renew or join as an International member, click JOIN.

Cuba’s Vanishing Modernity: The Architecture of Nicolas Quintana (1925-2011)
by info, posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

By Josef Asteinza

The architecture of the Cuban Modern Movement is represented in a broad collection of exceptional and original buildings, especially in Havana and Varadero. In spite of their quality, duly recognized in Cuba and abroad, the survival of many of these works is threatened by neglect, lack of resources, or more recently, the forces of development, as the fate of Nicolás Quintana’s works clearly demonstrates.

Recap: Tour Day 2015
by info, posted on Friday, November 6, 2015

Explore Modern

This Tour Day, thousands of participants took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and explored both modern masterpieces and local gems all across the United States. Some sites celebrated anniversaries, some victories, while others were rediscovered, but all the tours and events brought attention to our rich modern heritage and the necessity to preserve it. We are extremely grateful to Martie Lieberman and The Architect's Newspaper for being our official Tour Day sponsors and to all of our chapters, partners, and participants who joined us in exploring modern. Save the date for Tour Day 2016, which will be held on Saturday, October 8th!
Threats to Chicago's Late Modernism
by info, posted on Friday, October 23, 2015

As we go to press in the newsletter, Docomomo US has been made aware of demolition threats to a number of Chicago's significant examples of late modernism. In addition to demolition plans already in the works for the 1971 Gene Summers designed Malcolm X College, the James R. Thompson Center and McCormick Place Lakeside Center are also being discussed as potential redevelopment sites. 

Saving a Cold War Era Building in Seattle
by info, posted on Friday, October 23, 2015

By Docomomo US/WEWA

The Nuclear Reactor Building at the University of Washington

In the wake of World War II, the atomic technology that sealed victory for the United States was welcomed by the American public as a source of cheap and efficient energy. With enthusiasm for the new technology, the University of Washington and many other universities sought to establish programs in nuclear engineering.

Flashback: Preserving MoMo-interiors in the USA
by info, posted on Friday, October 23, 2015

For the third installment of our Flashback series we are highlighting an article on preserving modern corporate interiors written by Docomomo US president, Theodore Prudon titled "Preserving MoMo-interiors in the USA" first published in the Docomomo Journal No. 22 - May 2000: Modern Houses.

The Docomomo Journal is published twice a year and is a benefit to Docomomo US International members. To renew or join as an International member, click JOIN.

Postmodernism Preserved: Michael Graves' Reinhold Apartment
by info, posted on Thursday, October 29, 2015

By Timothy Rohan

Inside a Brooklyn Museum warehouse is a remarkable relic of postmodernism: a suite of rooms designed and built between 1979 and 1981 by Michael Graves for Susan and John Reinhold’s apartment at 101 Central Park West, New York. This little known artifact has never been publicly displayed since being dismantled and donated to the museum in 1986. Part of a larger duplex, the suite consists of a library and child’s bedroom. Built-in bookshelves, wall paneling, and multi-tiered ceilings define the rooms, forming a completely designed, cohesive interior recalling French boiserie in concept. The suite exemplifies Graves’ signature style of muted colors and abstracted classicism, best known from his landmark Portland Building of 1982.1

 

Campaign to Restore Kiley Garden
by info, posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015

By: Amanda Brown and Friends of Kiley Garden

A Dan Kiley designed landscape without trees or water features is a sad sight. Yet, the Tampa garden that now bears the name of landscape architect, Dan Urban Kiley, is just that. Dan Kiley was the leading American modernist landscape architects working in the postwar period, known for his work on the Lincoln Center plaza, Fountain Plaza in Dallas, Miller house garden and US Air Force campus garden designs.

Save The Church of the Nativity, in Manhattan
by info, posted on Friday, September 25, 2015

By Joseph Masheck 

I am a member of Docomomo because at the principal Mass of my parish church, Corpus Christi, I long sat in front of the indomitable Dorothy Miner (1936-2008). Dorothy, as many of you may know, received a medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York for her defense of the landmark preservation law. When she invited my wife and me to join the NY/Tristate chapter we were 2% of the membership because there were only a hundred members! I am now faced with a discouraging prospect, and I wish Dorothy were here for advice: the closing, and likely demolition of, the Church of the Nativity, on Second Avenue in Manhattan. Preservation aside, this is unfortunately part of a larger general program of the Archdiocese of New York to close and merge parishes, destroying buildings for the land – and indeed, another Saint Dorothy may be involved.

UPDATE: The Looming Threat to Orange Coast College
by info, posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Our June Brief brought attention to the potential threat facing the buildings designed by Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander and Garrett Eckbo designed landscapes on the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California as a result of the district’s new master plan titled “Vision 2020.” Since then, an Environmental Impact Report, including a Historical Structures Report and Alternatives, has been completed. The district recently held a public forum to discuss their plans to move forward with Vision 2020, and though these buildings have been deemed worthy of designation on the National Register, their future is still threatened.

Modern Cuba Travel Tour 2016
by Liz Waytkus, posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Modern Cuba: Continuity of Past and Present
May 14, 2016 – May 23, 2016
Havana, Cuba - Hotel Capri (8 nights)
Tour Leader: Belmont Freeman
Guest: Eduardo Luis Rodríguez 
 
Due to popular demand, Docomomo US is pleased to announce registration for a second 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 Cuba 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.
 
Visiting Breuer's House in the Garden
by info, posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015
By Meredith Arms Bzdak 

Images: Liz Waytkus

Last December, the DOCOMOMO US Board of Directors had a special opportunity to spend several days at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in Pocantico Hills, NY. Many happy hours were spent engaged in strategic planning meetings, but there was also time to explore the beautiful estate. The Pocantico Center is managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and includes a range of historic structures. While many are familiar with Kykuit, the John D. Rockefeller Estate completed in 1913, fewer are aware that the Pocantico Center also serves as the home of a Modern residence designed by Marcel Breuer.

Docomomo US welcomes three new Directors
by info, posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Docomomo US Board of Directors is pleased to welcome three new members to the board: Monica Schaffer, Bradford White, and Barbara Yanni. 

Flashback: Rediscovering a Dwelling Machine
by info, posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015
Welcome to the second installment of our Flashback series that revisits past articles featured in the Docomomo Journal. 
 
This issue highlights an article on prefabrication by James Ashby titled "Re-discovering a dwelling machine: Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House (1928-45)" first published in the Docomomo Journal No. 22 - May 2000: Modern Houses.
Foster Gunnison and his Magic Homes
by info, posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015

By Connie J. Zeigler

Pre-fabricated housing pioneer, Foster Gunnison, cut his modernist teeth on lighting design. His works illuminated New York’s Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre. The machine-age aesthetic of these buildings influenced design across the nation.

Uncertain Future for the Neal Blaisdell Center
by info, posted on Friday, August 21, 2015
CHAPTER REPORT: Docomomo US/Hawaii
 
The Neal Blaisdell Center opened in 1964 as the Honolulu International Center, a world-class arts and entertainment campus. At its opening ceremonies, the Center was dedicated as a war memorial to Hawaii’s service members, with the expressed hope that the Center “will give every opportunity for growth of the minds and hearts of the people of Hawaii.”
 
The Neal Blaisdell Center. David Franzen, © Franzen Photography
Inside the Great Sapphire: Experience a Modernist Sacred Space
by info, posted on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Soaring space and jeweled light give medieval cathedrals their breath-taking effect. The Fish Church's architect, Wallace K. Harrison, was the first architect in North America to use dalle de verre stained glass in load-bearing walls to saturate the interior with magnificent color. His innovative contribution inspired hundreds of dalle de verre windows in sacred and secular buildings throughout the world. It is, as Harrison remarked, “like being inside a giant sapphire.”

Register now for the Inside the Giant Sapphire Forum-Dialogue taking place on Saturday, September 26,2015
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