Portland’s Epidemic of Teardowns

By: Liz Waytkus

Real estate in Portland, Oregon, like most places in the country, is at a premium right now. While good for sellers it has created a reverse incentive in Portland for tearing down older modest homes and maximizing lot coverage. As hundreds of these homes come down one by one, thanks to a hot real estate market and a fortuitous demolition loophole, neighbors and neighborhood associations are stepping in to save as much as they can, rallying to close the loophole and preserve each neighborhood’s character and heritage.

NOLA World Trade Center Update

By Keli Rylance

After previous efforts for redevelopment and a series of talks failed earlier this year, a five-member selection committee representing the city has reviewed qualifications from 11 potential developers and narrowed the field to five. At stake is Edward Durell Stone’s 33-story monument to the city’s foreign commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans. Begun in 1959 and partially occupied by 1966, the NRHP-listed building has been vacant since 2010.

Ontario Place, Toronto

By: James Ashby and Michael McClelland
All Images courtesy of Zeidler Partnership Architects
 

Designed as an inclusive space for public entertainment, education, culture and recreation, Ontario Place is an internationally renowned, urban waterfront park in Toronto. With its integrated environment of parkland, lagoons and megastructures, Ontario Place crystallized avant-garde ideas in architecture and urbanism of the 1960s. Partially closed since 2012, the entire park will soon be the site of a major rehabilitation project. In this context, it has recently been officially recognized as a cultural heritage landscape of provincial significance.

 

National Symposium MN: Modernism on the Prairie

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Minnesota will launch the third annual Docomomo US National Symposium--Modernism on the Prairie: Rural to Metro Regional Interpretations of the Modern Movement. The three-and-a-half-day symposium seeks to celebrate and bring national attention to the unique cultural heritage, preservation, and advocacy of significant modern architecture and landscape architecture throughout the state of Minnesota. The symposium will include a multifaceted schedule of events featuring: peer reviewed presentations, panel discussions, exclusive tours, and networking events.


Date information
Thursday, June 4, 2015 11:45AM

Details including registration will be announced in November 2014. 
www.docomomo-us-symposium.com

As the only national event working to explore and build consensus on the preservation of Modernism, the symposium will bring together world renowned designers, scholars, students, and professionals from the state of Minnesota and from around the country.

Holiday Book List 2014

Docomomo US is pleased to present the fourth annual Docomomo US Holiday Book List. This year we are featuring 28 of our favorite books including a number that were just recently published. As we begin to catch up on all this reading, we hope you bookmark this list and return here throughout 2015 for expanded reviews. And when you decide to purchase one of these books through the links below, every purchase includes a small donation to Docomomo US, via our partnership with Amazon Associates. Additionally you can make sure EVERY purchase includes a donation to Docomomo US by using http://smile.amazon.com/ and then choosing Docomomo US as your chartiable organization.
 
 
 
 
 
 

October is Membership Month!

While it might be hard to remember what the preservation field was like twenty years ago, our grassroots efforts have brought the preservation of Modern architecture into mainstream discussions. Back then, many would have called this architecture ugly, now it is featured on the front page of newspapers and in major architecture, travel and fashion magazines. These achievements have been made by the dedication of people such as yourself and our growing network of professionals, institutions, businesses and individuals. As we get ready to celebrate our 20th anniversary, renew your membership today and support our unified voice for Modern preservation.
 


Date information
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 1:30PM

Membership is at the heart of who we are, what we do, and accounts for approximately 75% of our annual income. Help us reach our goal to register 400 new or renewing memberships during the month of October. Those who renew or become new members this month will be entered to win* complementary registration to the 2015 National Symposium in Minnesota (June 4-6, 2015). Members will receive (1) contest entry for memberships $65 and under and (2) contest entries for memberships $100 and over. Note we have a new online membership portal that makes processing membership easier than ever before!

 

Please consider renewing your membership to Docomomo US today, and I thank you for your continued membership and support.

Sincerely,

Theo Prudon
President

*All memberships received between 9/1/2014 and 10/31/2014 will be entered to win. Five individual National Symposium registrations will be given away. Prizes are non-transferable and do not include travel, accommodations or additional special events or tours. Winners will be notified by mail and announced in the November newsletter.

Following Function: Putting the Industrial Buildings that Inspired the Modernist Movement Back to Work

By Miriam Kelly

While many modernist buildings are celebrated, the industrial buildings that inspired the modernist movement are less well known. In the shift to the post-industrial, these important buildings face challenges in common with many of America’s redundant industrial sites. This article considers three examples featured in Le Corbusier’s Vers une Architecture, highlighting their importance to the early modernists, how their significance is understood today and the contemporary reuse models that could help secure their future.

Photo (Left): Sculptural cylinders of the Marine ‘A’ Grain Elevator (1925) in Buffalo (Photo Credit: Miriam Kelly, 2013)

Plant No. 1: The 'Birthplace of IBM' 100 Years Later

By Julia Walker

The architecture of IBM has been enjoying a moment of high visibility. With attention trained on the preservation of Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens has come a resurgence of interest in Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames’s neighboring IBM Pavilion, the multimedia “information machine” that seems in retrospect to have been 50 years ahead of its time. Alongside the ongoing popularity of this monument, explorations of the company’s aesthetic history, such as John Harwood’s recent book The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945-1976 and the interactive exhibition “Think,” held at Lincoln Center in honor of IBM’s centennial in 2011, have helped solidify IBM’s image of as an early adopter of digital spectacle. Yet before IBM became an information machine, it operated out of its modest first home, the site called simply “Plant No. 1” in Endicott, NY. It was in Endicott that Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines from 1914 to his death in 1956, attempted to define the architectural image of such a business, combining the hand labor of manufacturing with the intellectual work of engineering.

Powerhouse: Marcel Breuer at Grand Coulee

By: Charlene Roise, President, Hess, Roise and Company, Historical Consultants, Minneapolis MN

Marcel Breuer and Associates had a unique opportunity in the 1960s when hired by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to design the Third Powerplant at Grand Coulee, a massive irrigation and hydroelectric project straddling the Columbia River near Spokane, Washington. The resulting structure is a significant design statement of the era, admirably displaying both the solid strength of reinforced concrete and the expressive forms that it can produce.

 

 

 

 

Chicago or Bust!

By Jessica Smith

This past June, the Docomomo US office traveled to Chicago for the 2014 AIA National Convention. Our time there yielded numerous conversations about the impact of the loss of Prentice Women’s Hospital, what's worth saving today, and the role that Docomomo US is playing in current efforts to save significant modern architecture. We rounded out our time with a heartbreaking visit to the demolition site of Prentice, and toured Chicago's finest architecture that, of course, included two Mies masterpieces, Crown Hall and Farnsworth House.  

 

 

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