Modernism in America Awards Nominations

  DOCOMOMO US invites submissions for the Modernism
  in America Awards. The awards celebrate the
  documentation, preservation and re-use of modern
  buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United
  States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those
  building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation
  organizations that have made significant efforts to retain,
  restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of
  such places.

  DOCOMOMO US works to exchange knowledge, stimulate
  interest, and advocate for the appropriate protection and
  preservation of significant modern buildings, sites,
  neighborhoods and landscapes in the United States.
is committed to the principle that modern
  design merits the same attention to preservation currently
  received by earlier periods of architecture.

  Nominations closed on January 15, 2014.
  Winners will be announced in February 2014.



One award will be presented in each of the following categories:

Design: This juried award recognizes informed, thoughtful and creative design efforts to preserve, restore or adapt a modern building, structure or landscape of local, regional or national significance, securing its presence for future generations.

This juried award recognizes exceptional efforts to document, inventory and/or create a preservation plan for one or more modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance.

Advocacy: Presented by the DOCOMOMO US Board of Directors, this award recognizes outstanding efforts to preserve and advocate for threatened modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance through advocacy efforts. This award seeks to recognize preservation and advocacy organizations and other groups (including DOCOMOMO US chapters) who have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively to advocate for a modern site or structure.


The 2014 Modernism in America Awards will be chaired by James Polshek, FAIA. The founding partner of Polshek Partnership Architects, he was formerly the Dean of the Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and his distinguished career includes numerous awards for design excellence, including National AIA Honor Awards as well as local and regional awards. His design and rehabilitation work includes the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas; the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; and the rehabilitation of the Yale University Art Gallery (Louis Kahn, 1953) in New Haven, Connecticut.

Four renowned modern architecture authors, educators and speakers will join Polshek on the jury:

Alice Friedman is the author of such books as “American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture” and "Women and the Making of the Modern House." She is the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art at Wellesley College, where she researches and teaches classes on such topics as mid-century modern architecture and the social and cultural history of architecture in Europe and the United States from the eighteenth century onward. Friedman is the founding director of the Architecture Program at Wellesley College.

Joseph Heathcott is a writer, curator and educator based in New York. Heathcott teaches urban studies and design at The New School and he recently held the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair for the United Kingdom as well as a Senior Fellowship at the London School of Economics. Heathcott has served as a visiting scholar and critic at numerous institutions, including the Yale School of Architecture, University of Amsterdam, Art Institute of Chicago, MIT, and the University of Vienna.

Donna Robertson, FAIA is a partner and co-founder of macro design (formerly Robertson McAnulty Architects) located in Chicago, Illinois. She is a professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she was Dean of the College of Architecture from June 1996 to August 2012. Robertson served as Dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture from 1992 to 1996. President of the National Architectural Accrediting Board in 2003, Robertson is the current President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, a forum for educators.

Marc Treib is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of California- Berkeley. He is the co-author of “Garrett Eckbo: Modern Landscapes for Living,” and author of the forthcoming “Landscapes of Modern Architecture: Wright, Mies, Neutra, Aalto, Barragán.”


Winners will be officially announced at the DOCOMOMO US National Symposium in March 2014 in Houston, Texas and will be featured in DOCOMOMO US publications.

Eligibility and Guidelines:

All Submissions

  1. Buildings, structures and landscapes must be located in the United States or on U.S. territory and must have originally been completed between 1940 and 1980.
  2. Nominations must be the work of architectural design teams, preservation and/or advocacy organizations and persons located in the United States.
  3. All submissions must demonstrate significance of the building or site if not listed on the National Register of Historic Places or recognized by local landmarking laws.
  4. Submissions should have preservation as a core component of the treatment, design concept and/or strategy.
  5. Special consideration will be given to submissions that showcase an informed, well-executed, thoughtful, creative and holistic approach to the preservation of modern architecture.

Design and Inventory/Survey Submissions

  1. Preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of modern building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) must have been completed between January 1, 2009 and January 15, 2014.
  2. For design projects, original construction materials and/or design intent must have been retained and/or restored. A significant loss of such may cause a submission to be deemed void.

Advocacy Submissions

  1. Advocacy efforts should have been completed between January 1, 2009 and January 15, 2014 with an allowance for advocacy that is on-going.
  2. The building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) that are the focus of the advocacy initiative must have been threatened with demolition or significant alteration.
  3. Advocacy efforts of multiple partners, persons or organizations that have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively are encouraged.

Nomination Procedure:

Nominations for projects are to be submitted on the DOCOMOMO US website and must include:

1. The name(s) and contact information of the nominator(s), design team(s) or organization(s) responsible for the project and the project owner(s) or client(s). (Design and Inventory/Survey Projects ONLY: This is the only place that the design team or organization name(s) should appear in the nomination materials).

2. Narrative (up to 500 words) addressing:

  • The significance of the building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s);
  • The character-defining features of the building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) that influenced the content or design of the project;
  • Design projects: how treatment of materials, assemblies, finishes and interventions related to the preservation of the integrity of the historic fabric;
  • Inventory/Survey projects: how the project contributes to the advancement of knowledge and awareness of modern resources; the realized and potential impacts of the project in regards to furthering the understanding and awareness of the contributions of modern resources to history;
  • Advocacy projects: the scope of the advocacy efforts, impact on the site and community and the result of the work. Advocacy efforts will be given equal consideration in the case of preservation, demolition and on-going efforts.

3. Six (6) images of the project subject, project itself, or a combination of the two. Before and after photos (for Design Award submissions) are encouraged. One image should be representative of the entire project or effort and suitable for publication. One image should be a relevant historic image. Descriptions of the images and image credits should accompany the files.

4. A $150 processing fee per nomination (waived for Advocacy Award submissions) for submissions received by January 15, 2014. Nominations received on or before December 15, 2013 will be extended an early discounted processing fee of $100 per nomination. Processing fees can be sent via Paypal or check payable to DOCOMOMO US.


Early nominations must be submitted by 11:59 PM on December 15, 2013.
All nominations must be submitted by 11:59 PM on January 15, 2014.

Please contact DOCOMOMO US at awards(AT) regarding any questions or clarifications.

Download a PDF version of this announcement.

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