Surprise demo permit for Paul Rudolph's Burroughs Wellcome causes outcry
Since taking ownership in 2012, United Therapautics has claimed it would reuse the remaining portions of Paul Rudolph's Burroughs Wellcome building. It came as a surprise to many earlier this month when news came that a demolition order had been pulled. Preservationists have rallied in support of the building.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Redesign
The Hirshhorn Museum, the first modernist building on the National Mall, is getting an overhaul of its sunken sculpture garden as well as improvements to the building envelope. This will be the second time the garden has been redesigned. Docomomo US and Docomomo US/DC continue to participate as part of the Section 106 process.
Docomomo US announces Be:cause Modern: The Auction for Modernism
Docomomo US is excited to be launching its first online auction this November. The auction entitled be:cause modern will feature one-of-a-kind items, drawings, book, experiences and modern home stays. The be:cause modern auction will benefit the ongoing work of Docomomo US and support its mission during the challenging times we find ourselves in.
The Denver Art Museum: Gio Ponti's [American] “Dream come True”
Gio Ponti´s contact with North America dates from 1928 when he was invited to participate in an interior and furniture design exhibition organized by Macy´s department store, but it was only at the beginning of the 1950s that Ponti would return his attention to the American continent. During that period, his many travels included Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States, and were marked by the enunciation of some of his key design principles that would be taken further in the decades to come.
Preservation win for a Googie-style building in Denver
Googie design was a hot topic of conversation in the summer of 2019, when the question of preserving Tom’s Diner was a frequent headline. The Diner was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places more than ten years ago and featured in local publications, but the term Googie was not widely known or understood even though the building was highly recognizable and well loved by many. Fortunately, through community support and creative partnerships the most intact Armet and Davis design in Colorado survived and is set to thrive again soon.
The Simple Buildings: The Career of William Robb in Fort Collins
The adoption of Modern architecture is a ubiquitous feature of most American cities following the Second World War. However, the preferences and architectural palettes within the Modern movement varied considerably based on the tastes of locals and the architects they commissioned. The City of Fort Collins is using the work of northern Colorado architect William Robb to better understand its local trends within the Modern Movement.
The United States Air Force Academy
On July 23, 1954, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) was awarded the contract to design and construct the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The site itself was chosen from over 580 submissions by a Site Selection Committee that included Reserve Brigadier General Charles A. Lindberg, while over 300 architectural firms applied for the commission – one of the largest government construction projects of the Cold War era. Constructed during Eisenhower’s presidency, the Air Force Academy was intended to complement the established military academies West Point and Annapolis.
Buffalo's Willert Park Courts to receive Modernism in America Advocacy Award
Willert Park Courts, the first housing complex for African Americans in Buffalo and an early example of International Style design, will receive the Docomomo US 2020 Modernism in America Advocacy Award of Excellence. The organization's top advocacy prize honors the work of Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) and the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation (MSPC) who for over 15 years maintained their stance that the complex is “one of the single most historic places in the City of Buffalo.”
SurveyLA Citywide Historic Context Statement: Late Modern, 1966-1990
This historic context statement was prepared for the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Office of Historic Resource as a part of the SurveyLA initiative, the largest and most comprehensive survey ever completed by an American city. Architectural historian Daniel Paul provides an overview of Late Modern architecture, its character-defining features, and selected subtypes.
A Three Day House Museum: The Ackerman Estate Sale
On August 7, 2020, I went to the estate sale at the former home of midcentury American designers, Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman. It felt almost like visiting a house museum — one that was open to the public for only three days. It was akin visiting the Eames house, frozen in time as Ray left it when she passed away. It was rather magical to be in the Ackerman’s home and see their backyard studio where so much of their work had been imagined and created.
The '70s Turn 50: Divergences in American Architecture
American Architecture in the 1970s was fraught with divergent reactions to Modernism and responses to sociopolitical and environmental crises. The decade was one of exploration, experimentation, and reckoning that would shape the directions of architecture through remainder of the twentieth century. As the 70s turn 50, we are faced with the new task of trying to comprehend and contextualize these buildings, sites, and landscapes in order to steward them into the future.
A new developer's impulses clash with Buffalo's 1970s concrete skyscraper
An energetic D.C. real estate mogul has swooped into Buffalo to bring the city’s tallest building, SOM’s Marine Midland Center, back to life. The result is an unfocused mish-mash of interventions on what once exemplified the sophistication of its original architects and their client.
The '70s Turn 50: Building the Context
As 2020 marks the first year that the 1970s turn 50 years old, we find ourselves seemingly in the same place as in 2010, 2000, 1990, and the beginning of each past decade: Having to make the case that buildings and sites that seem so young can be considered historic. Just as the public has gained an appreciation for Midcentury Modern and the preservation community has developed the intellectual and technical expertise to evaluate and preserve 1950s and 1960s resources, we are now at the starting point of a new decade needing to reestablish these baselines. Like the previous decades, there will be places from the 1970s that are important and worthy of preservation. Our eyes and personal tastes will gradually adjust to see the beauty in what many now consider to be outdated, ugly, and mundane.
Mapping the '70s in Northern California
In an effort to celebrate and better understand the 1970s, Docomomo US/Northern California has embarked on a project to map the buildings, sites, and landscapes of the era in Northern California. Some of the buildings mapped are iconic examples of Modernism in the region, while others are more controversial or diverge from Modernism.
Jerome and Evelyn Ackerman Estate Sale
In 1956 Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman purchased a home in Culver City and converted a portion of it into a design studio. This Friday through Sunday, August 7-9, an estate sale will be held of the home where they lived and created for more than 60 years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a piece of their life work and items they collected and cherished.
100 members in 30 days
Whether you are a longstanding member of Docomomo US or have yet to join, we are grateful that you are here and that you care about preserving our modern legacy. Today we are asking you to take the next step and join or renew your membership by August 31 to help us hit our goal of 100 members in the next 30 days.