On Saturday, October 10, 2015, the Northern California chapter hosted a tour through 5 stations within the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. Planned in the 1950s, designed in the 1960s, and completed in 1972, the BART system exemplifies many Modern planning and design principles. Starting with an overview of the system’s history, tour attendees gathered at Glen Park Station, which was designed by Ernest Born. After a station tour, the group rode BART to Montgomery Station for a walk-through of SOM’s design and views of its connection to Lawrence Halprin’s Market Street plan. During the ride to MacArthur Station, the tour discussed the construction of the Transbay Tube and the industrial design of BART’s futuristic train cars.
After a quick stop to view the artwork and Macarthur Maze views at MacArthur Station, the group walked around Downtown Berkeley Station, where the main entrance will be dramatically altered next year. Upon departing Berkeley, tour attendees learned about the graphic design of BART’s logo, additional station architects not included on the tour, and the artwork program for the system. The tour concluded at Lake Merritt Station, designed by Gardner Dailey and the original location of BART’s headquarters and central train dispatch. Overall, the tour sought to highlight the great variations in Modern architecture and design found throughout the stations of the BART system, many of which are likely to be altered over the next decade as the system approaches 50 years of service.
Additional highlights and images
Schweikher-Langsdorf Home & Studio Tour | Schweikher House Preservation Trust
For the fourth year in a row, the Schweikher-Langsdorf Home & Studio located in Schaumburg, IL opened its doors for Docomomo US’s Tour Day event. Tours of Modernist architect Paul Schweikher’s 1938 home featured Schweikher’s masterful integration of brick, glass and wood, including an iconic brick fireplace, passive solar room, cantilevered construction, exposed wood beams, built-in furniture, a Japanese soaking tub and gardens designed by the Midwestern landscape architect Franz Lipp. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects as one of the top 150 architectural sites in Illinois.
Uncommon Modern | Houston Mod
Developed as a preview of the November 2015 photographic exhibit of the same title, in partnership with AIA Houston, "Uncommon Modern Bus Tour" explored midcentury commercial vernacular structures hidden in plain sight throughout the city. The discussion centered around the under-valued mid-century architecture found there and included visits to commercial mid-rise towers, banks, industrial centers, a shopping mall, and other structures that are commonly over looked as part of the daily backdrop of Houston.
Modern Minimalism and Louis Kahn | Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
The tour of the FDR memorial began at 11am on Saturday, October 10th under clear, blue skies. Made up of a diverse group of architecture enthusiasts, some of whom were members of the Conservancy or Docomomo US. Tour guide and architect for the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, Stephen Martin began the tour at smallpox hospital and lead participants through the memorial; taking time to point out small, yet significant details of the design such as the craftsmanship of the stone, metal handrails, and even the type and placement of the trees. Stephen worked on the memorial, completed in 2009, and provided great insight into Louis Kahn's inspiration and original design. As the tour completed, many of those in attendance lingered at the memorial and took advantage of the beautiful day.
Modern Claremont along Route 66 | Claremont Heritage
As part of the annual 2015 Home Tour Weekend, Claremont Heritage once again partnered with Docomomo US to celebrate Tour Day. Saturday, October 10th. Participants took a walking tour of some of the more significant mid-century commercial and institutional buildings in Claremont on the famous Route 66, visiting the former Pomona First Federal Bank (now US Bank) designed by Millard Sheets, Claremont United Methodist Church designed by Richard Neutra, Claremont School of Theology designed by Edward Durell Stone, Pereria & Luckman, and Criley & McDowell as well as the campus of Harvey Mudd College designed by Edward Durell Stone. The tour will concluded at the design studio of Hartman/Baldwin, a local design build firm who specializes in restorations. Prior to the walking tour, a special lunch presentation took place at Harvey Mudd College featuring Neutra scholar, Barbara Lamprecht who shared examples of Neutra's work in Claremont from her dissertation.
Newark Liberty International Airport | New York/New Jersey Port Authority
The Tour began with a brief history of the airport, particularly the development of the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and associated Domestic Terminals A, B and C. The timeline progressed with the first of a series of modifications to incorporate International functionality to Terminal B, beginning during the early 1990’s through the most recent Modernization Program substantially completed in 2014. During this period, the building lived through a series of expansions, reconfigurations, and restorations.
Due to the secure nature of some of this work, photo boards were presented to highlight areas that were not able to be accessed during the tour, including the FIS Building (housing Customs and Boarder Protection) as well as security screening areas managed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). After the brief presentation, the tour worked its way from Levels 3 through 1, describing building highlights including the concrete hyperbolic paraboloid “umbrella” structure and the glass curtain wall and clearstories of the original terminal, as well as the modifications that have inserted themselves as part of the transformation into a relevant, modern international facility.
Let there Be Light Fall Tour | Salt Lake Modern
The Let There Be Light tour presented by Salt Lake Modern highlighted six churches that were built between 1955 and 1975. These churches are of varying denominations and are an integral part of their communities. This tour provided participants with information about the history of the congregations and historic architecture, as well as demonstrated sound preservation practices through the exceptional efforts toward rehabilitation and stewardship. A major purpose of the tour was to highlight the architecture that is unique to the post-war era, and continue to raise visibility, understanding, and recognition of historic mid-century modern architecture and about the owners of the properties.
Mid-Century Modern Tour | Shofuso Japanese Garden
A bright blustery day greeted 49 participants for the First Annual Shofuso Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour at George Nakashima Studios and Antonin Raymond Farm in New Hope, PA, highlighting two influential colleagues of Shofuso's mid-century architect Junzo Yoshimura. Guests toured seven structures built by Nakashima that incorporate Japanese aesthetics into Bucks County contemporary design, and explore Raymond's 1630s stone farmhouse that served as Raymond's architecture compound, adapted in the 1930s with Japanese design elements. Visitors left with an understanding of the interchange between Japan and the Mid-Atlantic region during the mid-20th century that culminated in Shofuso's 1954 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and its 1957 installation at its current location in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA.
Paradise Palms Tour Day 2015 | Paradise Palms, Las Vegas
October has come and gone, but Tour Day isn't over. Any day can be an opportunity to Explore Modern.
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