Historic Albany Foundation – Behind the Scenes at the Egg
Executive Director of the Egg, Peter Lesser took 25 Historic Albany Foundation, Society of Architectural Historians and members of the general public through the Egg's two beautiful and very different auditoriums, their curvaceous concrete lobbies, and the service spaces below grade. Attendees saw where rehearsals happen and sets are made and transported via a unique circular elevator. The group also heard about how the building was originally designed for government meetings, which is why the acoustics play such an important part into the design and make it perfect for performances.
Photo (above): Inside the Egg. Photo credit: Historic Albany Foundation
Indiana Landmarks - Landmarks Experience: Columbus
On October 11, Indiana Landmarks hosted Landmarks Experience: Columbus. The day-long immersion in modern architecture began with tours of the Miller House and First Christian Church. Lunch was at the Cummins’ Irwin Conference Center, formerly the Irwin Union Bank. Alex White, Cummins’ Director of Architecture and Workplace Planning, led the renovation and spoke about the building’s design and recent renovation. Guests interacted with Modern architecture experts during an afternoon panel addressing Columbus’s Modern legacy and future. The panel, moderated by Indiana Landmarks’ Mark Dollase, included Columbus architect Louis Joyner and art consultant Richard McCoy, both Indiana Modern affinity group board members.
Photo (right): Inside the First Christian Church. Photo credit: Indiana Landmarks
La Jolla Historical Society – La Jolla Modern Home Tour
We were excited to have the La Jolla Historical Society, in partnership with Docomomo US/SoCal join the Tour Day line-up this year. As part of the La Jolla Historical Society’s modernism program, and in conjunction with San Diego’s ARCHTOBERFEST program, the first La Jolla Modern Home Tour was held on October 18, 2014. One hundred attendees gathered at the La Jolla Historical Society’s Wisteria Cottage to register for the tour, and view the exhibition The Irving Gill Photographic Project, in which contemporary photographers interpret the work of early-modernist architect Irving Gill, before embarking on a self-guided tour of three outstanding modern homes. On tour were Case Study House 23c designed by Ed Killingsworth, the Forester Residence designed by Russell Forester, and the Mansfield Mills House designed by Dale Naegle. A team of volunteer docents guided the visitors through each of these remarkable midcentury modern homes.
Photo (above): Forester Residence. Photo credit by Rudy Vaca, 2014
Montgomery Modern - Montgomery Modern Bike Tour
On the wet day of Saturday October 11, nineteen hearty bikers went on the Montgomery Modern Bike Tour to visit mid-century modern resources along the Rock Creek Park trail. Participants toured houses in Hammond Hill (1950) and Hammond Wood (1951) designed by architect Charles M. Goodman. One house was expanded with a sensitive kitchen addition, one was renovated within the original footprint, and one with very high integrity was hosted by its original owner. Following lunch and informative talks, the group toured North Chevy Chase Christian Church designed by Jack Samperton, built 1959.
The tour concluded at Samperton's North Chevy Chase Pool Bathhouse, a rare example of surviving modernist recreation building. A tour guidebook, written by Clare Lise Kelly of the MNCPPC’s Montgomery County Planning Department, is available online. This Docomomo Tour Day event was presented in partnership by the Montgomery County Planning Department's Historic Preservation office and AIAPV. This event was part of the Montgomery Modern initiative which aims to raise awareness of Montgomery County Maryland’s rich mid-century modern resources.
Photos: (top) Biker touring Hammond Hill and Hammond Wood. (bottom) Outside the North Chevy Chase Pool Bathhouse. Photo credit: Clare Lise Kelly
Post War Architecture Task Force – Modernism by Lightrail
Another addition to the great Tour Day events was the tour put on by the Post War Architecture Task Force in partnership with Modern Phoenix. Attendees gathered at The Newton, a commercial mixed-use community space housed in the iconic Beef Eaters. The building honors the 1961 foundation of what was once Arizona’s largest restaurant and lounge, and was reinvigorated to now house the Changing Hands Bookstore and First Draft Book Bar, Southern Rail Restaurant, and Southwest Gardener. Jon Kitchell of Venue Projects spoke with the group about the transformation and many partners that invested to create this space and adaptive reuse.
Making their way on foot, participants next were able to tour the Landmark Towers which opened in 1963 as the Camelback Towers. On display were original marketing materials and breathtaking views from the roof deck, plus a surprised tour of a ground floor garden of eden apartment. The light rail took the group to the next leg of thier journey. On the way, participants saw many local landmarks such as The Phoenix Financial Center also know by locals as “The Punchcard Building.” The next stop was Al Beadle’s pair of semi-subterranean white and black buildings that fostered a discussion by Ned Sawyer on how these spaces, now adaptively reused, are examples of a yin yang relationship. Once again on the modern light rail, the group embarked to The Trolley Museum for a snapshot of the past and how until 1948 public transit looked in Phoenix. While riding the light rail back to The Newton, participants were surprised with a performance by Jackie Fountaine, who’s lounge act pays homage to the acts that did perform at the Beef Eater’s.
Photos: (top) Outside of The Trolley Museum. (bottom) A Light Rail performance by Jackie Fontaine. Photo credit: Marshall Shore
Southfield Historical Society – Southfield Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Eighty people attended the 2014 Southfield Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour on Docomomo US Tour Day. The tour included an inspection of the restored 1957 model home that was given away by the Builders Association of Metropolitan Detroit to a person who correctly guessed that there were 77,757 nails in a jar. Attendees also had the opportunity to see the beautiful Shaarey Zedek Synagogue and explore the interior (very jealous!) of Minoru Yamasaki’s Reynolds Aluminum Regional Sales Office (1959) which is currenly undergoing rennovations.
Photo (right): Interior of the Reynolds Aluminum Regional Sales Office. Photo credit: Ken Siver
Claremont Heritage – Architectural Walking Tour of the Claremont Colleges
Another exciting addition to Tour Day this year was the tour offered by Claremont Heritage in sunny California. Fifty attendees took advantage of the perfect weather and saw firsthand the buildings and master plans of the Claremont Colleges that were designed and built by some of the leading architects during that time.
One example was Edward Durell Stone's master-planned Harvey Mudd and Claremont School of Theology. Also seen was the forward-thinking master plan for Pitzer College in addition to buildings on virtually every campus in Claremont developed by the successful partnership of Theodore Criley Jr. and Fred W. McDowell. More recent architects such as Robert A.M. Stern and wHY architects have also left there mark on the Ponoma College campus. Award winning architect Rafael Vinoly, created the outstanding Kravis Center at Claremont McKenna College in 2011.
Photo credit: Eddie Gonzalez
First Presbyterian Church, Stamford – Visit the Fish
The Fish Church once again opened its doors again to vistors to come and experience the master work of Wallace K. Harrison. Docents led tours that introduced attendees to the unique sanctuary with more than 20,000 pieces of glass in 86 hues, the dalle de verre glass in 86 hues, the magnificent Visser Rowland organ and the 56 Bell carillon. The church's superior acoustics were demonstrated by the church’s minister of music who was on hand for the tours, and visitors had the opportunity to climb to the top of the carillon tower and hear it played throughout the day.
At 1 p.m., Wes Haynes and Kyle May gave a talk titled “The Fish Church: Design / Build”. Wes Haynes is the Executive Director of Stamford’s Historic Neighborhood Preservation and a circuit rider with the CT Trust for Historic Preservation. Kyle May is a Principal at Abrahams May Architects in New York as well as Editor in Chief and Cofounder of CLOG, a quarterly architecture publication.
Photo (above): Outside of the First Presbyterian Church. Photo credit: Jessica Smith
Schweikher House Preservation Trust
We were excited once again to partner with the Schweikher House Preservation Trust. Close to 50 people attended the tour that took place on October 11th, and attendees saw the 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, and gardens designed by the noted Midwestern landscape architect Franz Lipp.
Photo (right): Tour-goers admiring the interior of the Schwiekher House. Photo credit: Schweikher House Preservation Trust.
Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation – North Side Modernism Bus Tour
13 attendees took advantage of the tour offered by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation that showcased modern architecture on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Tour sites included the Alcoa Corporate Centre, former IBM Branch office building, Pittsburgh Schiller School, the former New Brighton Theater, and Manchester Bidwell Corporation Headquarters.
Photo credit: Louise Sturgess, PHLF
Other great additions to Tour Day 2014 were the multiple day events hosted by Tucson Modernism Week, Palm Springs Modernism Week, and Sarasota MOD's inaugural event, Sarasota MOD Weekend. Many other great tours took place in Las Vegas, New Haven, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Ohio, Detroit, and Texas that highlighted and brought attention to significant modern architecture threatened and beloved.
THANK YOU once again to our sponsors, chapters, partners, and participants who are responsible for made Tour Day 2014 a huge success!
Be sure to mark your calendars for Tour Day 2015 set to take place on October 10th!