July 2010 E-News Brief

THREATENED: George Washington Carver High School

George Washington Carver High School

Photo: Francine Stock

DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana continues its efforts to save the George Washington Carver Junior-Senior High School in New Orleans, LA. The School Facilities Master Plan of Orleans Parish has ignored and consistently threatened to eradicate important mid-century modern public schools from New Orleans’s historic neighborhoods. From the outset, DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana identified the George Washington Carver Junior-Senior High School as one of the most architecturally significant buildings of its generation.
 
In the early 1950s, the nationally recognized New Orleans-based architectural firm of Curtis and Davis won a design competition, and responded by creating an elegant school complex. The most compelling structure is a dramatic cast in place concrete auditorium building.

The monumental structure utilized parabolic concrete hinged arches that extend beyond the building and rest on hinged concrete buttresses, creating a modern stoa that shelters one from rain and sun. The Federal Emergency Management Agency assessed the building's innovative auditorium as eligible for the National Register, thereby triggering the National Historic Preservation Act’s Section 106 Process.

DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana, in an effort to save the building, agreed to participate as a Consulting Party in the Section 106 Process. DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana advocates for the adaptive reuse of George Washington Carver’s auditorium space: allow its inspiring vaulted

space to continue its function as a gathering space for new generations of Ninth Ward students. The Recovery School District intends to clear the entire campus and build new on the site.
Demolition is imminent.

For more on DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana visit: http://docomomo-nola.blogspot.com/

THREATENED: The Given Institute

Given Institute

The Given Institute in Aspen, CO designed by Harry Weese and built in 1971 is scheduled to be demolished within the year. The current owner, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has planned to sell the building this fall siting a hardship in operating costs of some $200,000 a year. In a move to save the building, the Aspen Historic Preservation Commission is in the process of nominating the Given Institute to the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, there is no consensus on preserving the structure.

SAVED: Minoru Yamasaki's Architectural Records

Yamasaki Archive

Photo: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, via Flickr

The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office along with the Michigan State Archivist took on a last minute effort to save the papers of Minoru Yamasaki's after being notified the archive was to be destroyed the following morning. Ted Ayoub, the last Yamasaki employee, alerted the Society of Architectural Historians of the impending destruction of the papers, which in turn alerted the Michigan state offices. The archive includes slides, photographs, drawings, and Minoru Yamasaki’s personal library.

For more information and images visit the Michigan Modern website.


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