National Symposium 2017: Phoenix, Arizona

National Symposium 2017: Phoenix, Arizona

Docomomo US is pleased to announce we are partnering with our colleagues at Modern Phoenix to host the 2017 National Symposium in conjunction with the annual Modern Phoenix Week. Dates for the Symposium: March 29th through April 2nd are a bit earlier in the year to take advantage of the milder spring weather in Arizona. Additional details including tours and lectures will be released in early November 2016. SAVE THE DATES!

Date information
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:00PM

Reflections on Beyond Modernism

By Theodore Prudon, FAIA

The title of this symposium could easily have been: Preservation and Advocacy of Modern Architecture and the March of Isms. Not only has most of our built environment been constructed in the decades after WW-II but the final quarter of the 20th Century has been prolific in stylistic expressions. Regardless of personal preference, all of this has to be considered as an integral part of our collective heritage.

Testimony needed in support of the Ambassador Grill

In a stunning turn of events, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to hear the UN Plaza Hotel (now ONE UN New York owned by Millennium Hotels and Resorts) lobby and Ambassador Grill as the city's 118th interior landmark. 

The public hearing date has been set for November 22, 2016 and Docomomo US requests the participation of willing individuals to deliver testimony and all who are available join us in a collective show of support for this important designation.

Ambassador Grill calendared for Interior Landmark Designation

In a stunning turn of events, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously this week to hear the UN Plaza Hotel (now ONE UN New York owned by Millennium Hotels and Resorts) lobby and Ambassador Grill as the city's 118th interior landmark. 

Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair of the LPC said in her remarks this was an exciting designation for a number of reasons as it reflects the values of its time, and is different from any designation the Commission has ever seen before. Described as remarkable examples of "cusp architecture", Kevin Roche's lobby is in fact the first example of postmodernism to be considered for calendaring in New York City. Chair Srinivasan added that this designation confirms the evolution over time of the Commission and strongly recommended the spaces for a hearing and designation. The public hearing date for the spaces has been set for updated November 22, 2016 (October 25, 2016). 

Ralph Haver: Everyman's Modernist

Next spring, the Docomomo US National Symposium is heading west to the desert paradise, Phoenix, Arizona where attendees will get a chance to experience not only Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West and Paolo Soleri's Arcosonti, but also the rich heritage of modern architecture designed by its regional architects.

Below is an article by the founding editor of, Alison King, on Ralph Haver; one of the local architects responsible for shaping modern Phoenix and who will be featured during the symposium, which takes place March 29 through April 1, 2017. Click here to see the full Ralph Haver Archive.

Docomomo US begins next phase of new website

After more than a year of planning, research and development, Docomomo US is pleased to be embarking on a next phase for the Docomomo US website. Redesigned to be more visual with a simpler user experience, the new site feature new functionality as well as content from the current website and Docomomo US’ important Register of modern buildings and sites.

Tour Day 2016

Tour Day 2016

Modernism in Your Backyard 
October 8, 2016

Tour Day is Docomomo US’ annual national event that works to raise the awareness of and appreciation for buildings, interiors and landscapes designed in the United States during the mid-20th century. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Tour Day invites organizations and people across the country to take stock of significant 20th century built design in their state, city, region or neighborhood and celebrate that work with a tour. 

Date information
Saturday, October 8, 2016 12:00AM

Image above: Albert Frey House I (Palm Springs, Calif.), 1954, Julius Shulman, photographer. Credit: © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10).

Visit Tour Day 2016

Register Here for Tour Day 2016


Paul Rudolph buildings in Buffalo and Boston under threat

Docomomo US has been made aware of a looming threat to Paul Rudolph's Blue Cross/Blue Shield building (1960) in Boston. The city is considering five proposals from firms to develop a prominant site next to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield building. Four out of the five proposals pose no threat to the Rudolph designed building and one proposal is unclear of its effects on the building. The proposal from developer Trans National plans to demolish the building during the second phase of construction. Candidates will be interviewed in the beginning of June. Docomomo US and Docomomo US/New England are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.


Future use of Breuer Library is unclear

By Docomomo US/Georgia

For several years members of the Atlanta/Fulton County Library Authority, the agency responsible for area library service, have proposed abandoning its Central Library, Marcel Breuer’s last built project before his death, for a new “iconic” library. The structure is similar in character to the recently restored and adapted Met Breuer, the former Whitney Museum in Manhattan. The stated justification for this proposal is one part criticism of Brutalist architecture and one part failure to maintain the relevancy of the library system in a time when the primacy of the printed book is being called in to question by a plethora of digital offerings.

What is it? Modernism and public art at Baltimore’s public schools

By Eli Pousson, Director of Preservation and Outreach for Baltimore Heritage, with contributions from Ryan Patterson, Public Art Administration for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

Baltimore’s public schools are home to over 120 public art commissions—most of these works tied to a local boom in school building construction during the 1960s and 1970s. While some are the work of nationally known modern artists and designers, like Michio Ihara, Gyorgy Kepes, and Harry Bertoia, others are the work of artists, architects and designers with a regional practice or local following; some of whom had few commissions outside of Baltimore, or no public work outside of these midcentury school buildings.

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