PETITION: Stop Demo of Antonin Raymond Buildings

DOCOMOMO members and friends:DOCOMOMO Japan and other preservation advocates in Tokyo are asking DOCOMOMO US members and friends to help save two important buildings designed by Antonin Raymond on the campus of Tokyo Women’s College. The College alumni are circulating an online petition that will be delivered to the college administration and board. You may have read about Antonin and Noémi Raymond in the last DOCOMOMO US New York/Tri-State newsletter or attended the chapter’s September tour that included the Raymond house in Bucks County, PA and the exhibition ”Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noémi Raymond” at the University of Pennsylvania. Here are a couple of links for those who missed the above: Japan has already sent a letter to the College administration and major Japanese newspapers have run articles on this issue. Please consider signing the petition and asking colleagues and friends who support the preservation of Modern movement architecture to do the same. THE PETITION TEXT translated:At the annual meeting in June 2006, alumni learned that the Tokyo Women’s College had decided to demolish two buildings of the campus—the dormitory and the gymnasium. The campus is a beautiful collection of nine buildings designed by Antonin Raymond in the 1920s and 1930s. These two buildings should co-exist with the other seven buildings already registered as National Historic Buildings. At that time the dormitory and gymnasium were not registered, which led the College to believe that these buildings were not as important as the others. This is not true. Both the dormitory and the gymnasium have important meanings in Japanese society. Based on the educational concept of the first principle, Inazo Nitobe, each room was designed for single occupancy so that students could take a moment every day to be alone to look back on the day, review what good/bad they did and pray for themselves and others. Construction of the gymnasium also had a significant meaning as it helped promote awareness of women’s health internationally. Alumni of the Tokyo Women’s College, and architects and architectural preservationists in Japan strongly request that the College reverse its decision to demolish the dormitory and gymnasium.THE WEBSITE AND ONLINE PETITION ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH. CLICK “ENGLISH VERSION” IN THE UPPER LEFT CORNER.LINK FOR PHOTOS AND ONLINE PETITION the petition, CLICK “Signature campaign appeal”Thank you for taking the time to read this message. We hope it inspires some action.Prepared by:Mari Nakahara, Kathleen Randall, John ArbuckleDOCOMOMO US New York/Tri-State