Docomomo US National Symposium 2014: Houston, Texas


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Docomomo US and Houston Mod are pleased to announce the second annual Docomomo US National Symposium will take place in Houston, Texas from March 13-15, 2014. Save the dates for what will be a lively and surprising context for the examination of modernism's legacy, and consideration of its future, in Houston and in Texas. Additional information, including tours and presentations, is forthcoming and will be available on the Docomomo US and National Symposium websites.
Photo: University of St. Thomas, Philip Johnson 1958


The Symposium’s host city Houston, Texas is the nation's fourth-largest city, and the largest city in Texas, with 2.3 million residents. At over 600 square miles, the City of Houston could contain the cities of New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami. Now rated as a global city, Houston has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large international community.
Since its founding in 1836, Houston's entrepreneurial can-do spirit has captured the imagination of forward-thinking generations in Texas and beyond.  Known for reinventing itself every few years, Houston is a city that embraces both old and new and remains a treasure trove of modernism, having led the way for much of what is "Modern in Texas."
Photo (right): Houston skyline, Credit: G. LYON PHOTOGRAPHY, Inc.
Modern landmarks in Houston include: Mies van der Rohe's Museum of Fine Arts, Gunnar Birkerts' Contemporary Arts Museum, Ulrich Franzen's Alley Theatre, and Philip Johnson's University of St. Thomas with a sprinkling of more recent works by Renzo Piano, Raphael Moneo, Yoshio Tanaguchi, and Thomas Phifer. On a smaller scale there are many fine examples of early residential modernism are found throughout the city and are located within Houston's 20 protected districts, including Glenbrook Valley, the most expansive locally designated mid-20th century historic district in the country.
Photo (left): Alley Theatre, Ulrich Franzen, 1968
The Modernism in Texas symposium will include a multifaceted schedule of events including presentations by leading minds in the fields of architecture and preservation on the current issues facing modern architecture and cultural heritage preservation. Exclusive tours and networking events will highlight exceptional examples of modernism in the greater Houston area as well as those sites that may be endangered. As the only national event working to explore and build consensus on the preservation of modern architecture, the symposium will bring together world renowned designers, scholars, students and professionals from the state of Texas and from around the country.
Docomomo US is thrilled to partner with Houston Mod a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting knowledge and appreciation of modern architecture and design in Houston and Texas. Founded in 2003, Houston Mod advocates the preservation of this cultural legacy and seeks support from its members and the general public in achieving this goal.
Photo (right): Kamrath House, MacKie & Kamrath, 1951