Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Modernism in America Awards

Docomomo US is pleased to announce ten winners of the 2016 Modernism in America Awards program. These projects are exemplary of the efforts going on all over the country as the awareness of the importance to advocate, restore and celebrate the architecture, landscapes and typologies of postwar society in the United States continues to expand.

Tour Day 2016

Tour Day 2016

Modernism in Your Backyard 
October 8, 2106

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).

Register Here for Tour Day 2016

 

Modern Havana December 2016

Modern Havana
December 3, 2016 – December 10, 2016
Havana, Cuba - Melia Cohiba Hotel (6 nights)
Tour Leader: Belmont Freeman
Guest: Eduardo Luis Rodríguez 
 
Docomomo US is pleased to announce registration for a third educational travel tour of modern architecture in Havana, Cuba. Guests will experience the rich architectural past of this long elusive Caribbean island located just 90 miles south of U.S. soil. Modern Havana offers a unique travel opportunity in a small group setting featuring access to modern homes and buildings considered off the beaten path or not ordinarily open to the public.
 
Image: Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964)
 

 

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.

Breuer Buildings Threatened

With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of the newly renovated Met Breuer in New York this week, Docomomo US is following recent developments concerning two other important Marcel Breuer buildings: the Central Public Library (1980) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Pirelli Tire Building (1970) in New Haven, Connecticut. Nearly a decade after the earlier calls for Atlanta Central Public Library demolition and replacement, local officials are currently recommending a smaller Central Library contrary to the request of a bigger building in the proposal from 2008. Consistant deferred maintenance and reduced circulation at this downtown location make it a likely target for development, closure or demolition.

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