It's open season on Chicago modernism

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.

The Case to Restore Portland’s Memorial Coliseum

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.

Architect Bhavnani Revisits Roosevelt Island

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 WireDesigning Better Affordable Housing is part of a series of programs related to the exhibition: Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy.

Flashback: Ennobling the Ordinary: Postwar Mass Housing and the Challenge of Change

Welcome to another installment of our Flashback series. This month we are highlighting an article on post war mass housing titled "Ennobling the Oridinary: Postwar Mass Housing and the Challenge of Change" first published in the Docomomo Journal No. 39 - September 2008: Public Housing. Docomomo US is co-sponsoring and moderating the upcoming symposia Designing Better Affordable Housing taking place at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday, December 1st. The lecture is part of a series of programs related to the exhibition: Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy.

The Docomomo Journal is published twice a year and is a benefit to Docomomo US International members. To renew or join as an International member, click JOIN.

Cuba’s Vanishing Modernity: The Architecture of Nicolas Quintana (1925-2011)

By Josef Asteinza

The architecture of the Cuban Modern Movement is represented in a broad collection of exceptional and original buildings, especially in Havana and Varadero. In spite of their quality, duly recognized in Cuba and abroad, the survival of many of these works is threatened by neglect, lack of resources, or more recently, the forces of development, as the fate of Nicolás Quintana’s works clearly demonstrates.

2016 National Symposium: Beyond Modernism?

2016 National Symposium: Beyond Modernism?

 Docomomo US and Docomomo US/Michigan will launch the 2016 National Symposium Beyond Modernism? The Legacy of Renewal and Revitalization. The two-day symposium will look at the diverging design and theory of the late 1970 and early 1980s through examining its leading architects and designers and their iconic architectural contributions. Beyond Modernism seeks to broaden the discussion and expand our understanding of how those examples fit into the discourse of modernism.

Date information
Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:30AM

Saving a Cold War Era Building in Seattle

By Docomomo US/WEWA

The Nuclear Reactor Building at the University of Washington

In the wake of World War II, the atomic technology that sealed victory for the United States was welcomed by the American public as a source of cheap and efficient energy. With enthusiasm for the new technology, the University of Washington and many other universities sought to establish programs in nuclear engineering.

Postmodernism Preserved: Michael Graves' Reinhold Apartment

By Timothy Rohan

Inside a Brooklyn Museum warehouse is a remarkable relic of postmodernism: a suite of rooms designed and built between 1979 and 1981 by Michael Graves for Susan and John Reinhold’s apartment at 101 Central Park West, New York. This little known artifact has never been publicly displayed since being dismantled and donated to the museum in 1986. Part of a larger duplex, the suite consists of a library and child’s bedroom. Built-in bookshelves, wall paneling, and multi-tiered ceilings define the rooms, forming a completely designed, cohesive interior recalling French boiserie in concept. The suite exemplifies Graves’ signature style of muted colors and abstracted classicism, best known from his landmark Portland Building of 1982.1


Campaign to Restore Kiley Garden

By: Amanda Brown and Friends of Kiley Garden

A Dan Kiley designed landscape without trees or water features is a sad sight. Yet, the Tampa garden that now bears the name of landscape architect, Dan Urban Kiley, is just that. Dan Kiley was the leading American modernist landscape architects working in the postwar period, known for his work on the Lincoln Center plaza, Fountain Plaza in Dallas, Miller house garden and US Air Force campus garden designs.

Save The Church of the Nativity, in Manhattan

By Joseph Masheck 

I am a member of Docomomo because at the principal Mass of my parish church, Corpus Christi, I long sat in front of the indomitable Dorothy Miner (1936-2008). Dorothy, as many of you may know, received a medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York for her defense of the landmark preservation law. When she invited my wife and me to join the NY/Tristate chapter we were 2% of the membership because there were only a hundred members! I am now faced with a discouraging prospect, and I wish Dorothy were here for advice: the closing, and likely demolition of, the Church of the Nativity, on Second Avenue in Manhattan. Preservation aside, this is unfortunately part of a larger general program of the Archdiocese of New York to close and merge parishes, destroying buildings for the land – and indeed, another Saint Dorothy may be involved.

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