Docomomo US has recently learned Kevin Roche’s distinctive and beloved late-modern interiors for the UN Plaza Ambassador Grill and Lounge, and Hotel Lobby are in the processing of being closed by its operators and now pending demolition. Located today in what is called ONE UN New York Hotel, the spaces are remarkably intact and highly acclaimed examples of New York City Late Modernism. In an effort to preserve these spaces, Docomomo US filed a Request for Evaluation (RFE) last week to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate the UN Plaza Ambassador Grill and Lounge, and Hotel Lobby a New York City Interior Landmark.
Welcome to another installment of our Flashback series. This month we are highlighting a keynote lecture on Brutalism given by Anthony Vidler at the 12th Docomomom International Conference titled "Learning to Love Brutalism." The lecture was then included in the Docomomo Journal No. 47 - 2012/2: Global Design. The next Docomomo International Conference Adaptive Re-use. The Modern Movement Towards the Future will be taking place September 6-9, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. Visit the 2016 conference website for more information and to register.
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Since December 2013, Docomomo US/New England has been advocating for appropriate treatment of Charles and Ray Eames' exhibit Mathematica at the Boston Museum of Science. Board Member Marie S.A. Sorensen AIA was made aware of plans to change the exhibit by Harvard Professor Jay Wickersham, whose Graduate School of Design student alerted him that Boston Museum of Science maps showed the exhibit closing in January 2014. Sorensen, Wickersham, and the Docomomo US/New England Board generated an initial list of national contacts with possible connections to the Museum, and once Wickersham contacted the Museum's press office he learned that the exhibit was being refurbished. Despite repeated attempts to learn more about and advise on the treatment of the exhibit, no successful contact was made.
Photo by David Glomb. Courtesy of Marmol Radziner.
Last month we featured an update on potential threats to Chicago's late modern architecture. The following Op-Ed was submitted to the Chicago Tribune on October 16, 2015 by Bonnie McDonald, president and CEO of Landmarks Illinois and Gunny Harboe, preservation architect and president of Docomomo US/Chicago. The Op-Ed was never published.
By: Docomomo US/Oregon
It’s been six years since Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum was saved from demolition and three years since plans to restore the building were stalled by city council. This past August, The Veterans Memorial Coliseum Option Study was released by the Mayor’s office which found that the building still provided a viable civic purpose and its restoration would contribute to economic growth and development. Despite these findings and the City Council’s rejection of Commissioner Steve Novick’s most recent proposal to redevelop the site for affordable housing, the building’s future still remains uncertain.
It is with great sadness that Docomomo US acknowledges the passing earlier this year of Ashok Bhavnani, architect and artist, and former partner of John M. Johansen. Co-designer of Island House and Rivercross on Roosevelt Island, Ashok graciously led a number of walking tours of Roosevelt Island for Docomomo US and other organizations over the years. As Docomomo US prepares for our upcoming symposia, Designing Better Affordable Housing taking place at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday, December 1st, we thought it would be appropriate to share this interview with Ashok revisiting his work on Roosevelt Island. The article was originally published in the September 13, 2014 issue of The Mainstreet Wire. Designing Better Affordable Housing is part of a series of programs related to the exhibition: Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy.