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 ModernPhoenix.net, 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.

Musings on Isamu Noguchi’s Hart Plaza

By Jenny Dixon, Director
The Noguchi Museum

Detroit’s first ideas for a vast urban plaza at the terminus of Woodward Avenue and fronting on the Detroit River were laid in 1924, when the Detroit branch of the American Institute of Architects commissioned Eliel Saarinen to design it. The project was never fully realized. Perhaps Isamu Noguchi knew of this history when he responded to the invitation by the City of Detroit to submit plans for the Horace E. Dodge & Son Fountain at that same location just shy of fifty years later.

Upgrading the Mechanical Systems in Louis Kahn’s Richards Building

By Matthew S. Chalifoux, AIA, Principal
EYP Architecture and Engineering, Washington, DC

Louis I. Kahn’s Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Laboratory (Richards Building) at the University of Pennsylvania holds a unique place in the history of 20th century culture as one of the most influential buildings of the post-war era. Designed 1957-58 and completed in 1961, the Richards Building received international attention for its design before it was even completed, garnering a solo exhibition of the design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but its considerable functional shortcomings have been the target of much venom for over fifty years.

Aluminum Finishes in Postwar Architecture

By Thomas C. Jester

The twentieth century witnessed an explosion of new materials and assemblies for construction. Avant-garde architects who subscribed to the tenets of Modernism embraced reinforced concrete and glass to create remarkable new buildings. If concrete and glass were the first two critical material legs of the stool for Modern architecture, metals were the important third leg.

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