On a busy stretch of midtown Manhattan, a somewhat unknown and unloved modern building has quietly been demolished. The Donnell Library (1955), a modest piece of design nestled among the likes of Philip Johnson, Edward Durell Stone and Yoshio Taniguchi, stood on the south side of West 53rd Street and was designed by Edgar I. Williams and Aymar Embury II. One would not generally use the term ‘handsome’ or ‘elegant’ to describe the Donnell library, especially when comparing it to its high profile neighbors, but the library’s architecture was a unique hybrid, a sort of transitional form of modernism.
DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana reports that less than 24 hours after receiving notice from RSD Superintendent John White, demolition of the historic Phillis Wheatley Elementary School (Charles Colbert, 1954) in the Treme-Lafitte neighborhood of New Orleans began late Friday afternoon. The New Orleans chapter had worked tirelessly to save the structure, with the strong support of local residents, former students, and actors from the critically-acclaimed HBO series Treme, including Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc who witnessed the demolition first-hand: http://docomomo-nola.blogspot.com/2011/06/wheatley-demolition-accelerated.html.