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.
Cliff May’s Western Ranchos
Hidden in plain sight lie hundreds of forgotten Cliff May homes in the heart of Las Vegas. Architect Cliff May’s designs first appeared in Las Vegas in 1954 with the construction of a pair of identical homes on Van Patten Place, a half-mile west of Las Vegas Boulevard. That same year, Cliff May’s take on modernism would be brought to the masses with the purchase of 103 homesites by Burns Construction from land developer Ernest Becker. Located in the third unit of the relatively young Charleston Heights Tract, the subdivision drew its name from the elevation created by the large fault line which runs north/south through west-central Las Vegas.
Wexler and Harrison: The Hammond Steel Home
In 1962 the City of Henderson commissioned the Palm Springs architecture firm of Wexler and Harrison to design a new, state-of-the-art City Hall. Incorporated only nine years earlier, Henderson already found itself outgrowing its original City Hall – a barracks structure dating from the construction of Boulder Dam that was moved from Boulder City. George Tate, who had begun practicing architecture in Henderson in 1960, acted as the local architect on the new steel structure.
A Paradise Worth Waiting For
Due east of the Las Vegas strip lies one of the most well-known treasure troves of midcentury homes in Las Vegas: Paradise Palms. In 1960, fresh off their build of nearby Sunrise Hospital, local developers Irwin Molasky and Merv Adelson (who later in the decade would form Lorimar Television Productions) formed Paradise Development Corporation and Paradise Homes, with the intention of opening up Las Vegas’ Paradise Valley east of Maryland Parkway along Desert Inn Road for development and creating a wide-range of upscale housing on a 720-acre plot of vacant desert.
Paul R. Williams in Las Vegas
Legendary midcentury architect Paul Revere Williams had a long-standing involvement with Las Vegas that began in the early 1940s and lasted through the 1960s. Williams, widely regarded as the first African American member of the AIA in 1923, had built a successful Southern California practice designing over 2,000 residences ranging from humble bungalows to sprawling estates for Hollywood’s elite.
Jones and Emmons: Modernism for the Las Vegas Masses
Architects A. Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons made a successful name for themselves in the midcentury era as the preferred architects for prolific developer Joseph Eichler. While not exclusively employed by Eichler, it was their work with another well-known West Coast builder that would first bring them to the Las Vegas market.
SPECIAL EDITION: Diverse Designers
Last year, Docomomo US and our chapters focused our attention on the work of diverse designers through our annual advocacy theme "The Diversity of Modernism." Since then, we have continued to document and represent architects and designers of color and women who made significant contributions to the Modern Movement. The July 2020 Special Edition newsletter is dedicated to highlighting some of these designers. Thank you to our chapters and partners for their continued efforts with this, and a special thank you to Jerome A. Robinson for his contributions.
Summer Real Estate Round Up
This summer we are all about the at-home amenities. Luckily, there are plenty of modern homes that offer just that. Light-filled interior spaces, large windows that bring the outdoor surroundings in, and outdoor living space are just some of the features to be found in this summer real estate round up.
Is this Eames "music house" calling your name?
The Meyer House in Huntsleigh, Missouri, was designed by Charles Eames and Robert T. Walsh. John and Alice Meyer commissioned them after seeing another of their designs, St. Mary’s Church, in Helena, Alabama. The playfulness of Charles and Ray Eames’ later designs for items such as chairs, textiles, tables, and children’s toys, that they are most well known for, are clearly evident.
Preservationists unite to find steward for Mitchell/Giurgola-designed home
The Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia is well-stocked with modernist homes of impressive architectural pedigrees. Nestled on Glengarry Road, there is the Dorothy Shipley White Residence, designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and completed in 1963. Preservationists kept an eye on the house for many years as it deteriorated, and worked together to gain local landmark status for the home.
Buffalo renews push to demolish Willert Park Courts
Willert Park Courts is significant culturally, historically, socially and architecturally as the first housing complex for African Americans in Buffalo and as an early International Style design, but its demolition has been in the works for many years under the ownership of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
The Worst Thing That Can Happen: Gertrude and Howard
When Howard Barnstone landed in Texas in 1948, fresh out of Yale, it seemed as if he and Gertrude Levy were fated to meet in Houston’s contemporary art scene. With a job offer to teach at the new University of Houston architecture school, Howard moved to town and settled in. That was the opening scene in the marriage play starring Gertrude Levy and Howard Barnstone.
Barnstone’s Jewish Houston: Lillian Guberman and Gerald S. Gordon House
A number of important Houston Jewish families were drawn to Braeswood in its first decades, including the Gordons, Rauches, Brochsteins, Battelsteins, and Kaufmans, and they often employed Jewish architects such as Joseph Finger, Irving Klein, and Lenard Gabert, as well as Barnstone, to design their houses.
A Constructive Connection: Barnstone and the Menils
Barnstone’s office produced multiple schemes for the proposed Menil art center, which would house art storage primarily, along with offices, a conference room, and a small public gallery. The program grew to include a library for 3,700 volumes of “spiritual and philosophical” books, a workshop, and a small theater.
Translating Mies: Barnstone and Houston Modernism
During the English architectural critic Reyner Banham’s last visit to Houston, to write about the Menil Collection by Renzo Piano (with Richard Fitzgerald, 1986), he observed the interrelationships among three generations of architects--Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, and Howard Barnstone--who all left an indelible mark on modern architecture in Houston.
Making Houston Modern
Complex, controversial, and prolific, Howard Barnstone was a central figure in the world of twentieth-century modern architecture. Recognized as Houston’s foremost modern architect in the 1950s, Barnstone came to prominence for his designs with partner Preston M. Bolton, which transposed the rigorous and austere architectural practices of Mies van der Rohe to the hot, steamy coastal plain of Texas. Barnstone was a man of contradictions—charming and witty but also self-centered, caustic and abusive—who shaped new settings that were imbued, at once, with spatial calm and emotional intensity.
Docomomo US honors the call to condemn racism
At this time of profound sorrow and frustration over the murder of George Floyd, Docomomo US honors the call put forth by the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), “to condemn racism and take an active role in eliminating the racial biases that account for a myriad of social, economic, and health disparities, and most importantly, result in the loss of human lives."
Alterations to Federal Mogul Building on the table
The former Federal Mogul Staff Office Building has been unoccupied since 2015. Earlier this year, the auto supplier company Marelli announced plans to move its headquarters to the international-style site, designed by architect Louis Rossetti, a protege of Albert Kahn. As part of the move, Marelli plans to spend millions of dollars renovating the building, including replacing the façade with a non-descript glass wall and removing the geometric columns encasing the original portion of the structure.
Saving the Sun-n-Sand Motel
The Mississippi Heritage Trust has been advocating for a preservation solution for the Sun-n-Sand Motel for over 15 years. The following excerpts, from the Spring issue of Elevation, the Journal of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, illustrate the preservation battle from a variety of perspectives.
Nestled within a bevy of towering trees on a quiet street in the heart of Jackson, Mississippi sits one of our state’s most meticulously preserved modern gems, the Falk House. Homeowner John Hooks recalls discovering the house when he was a mere 19 years old. “I remember thinking the place was mysterious and unique,” he remembers. “The house has an energy that’s very special, very powerful.”
Green Before Green Was Cool
If buildings today were designed following visionary Mississippi builder and designer Carroll Ishee’s principles, we would have more interesting communities that respected the natural environment instead of wreaking havoc on this limited resource. Ishee is said to have built over 150 buildings, most of which were houses, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He tackled tricky terrain and conquered challenging sites others deemed unbuildable. His love for nature is visible in his work which was designed using sustainable principles and crafted with natural materials long before “green” was the norm.
Docomomo US launches Architectural Photography Competition
The iconic images created by photographers of the mid-20th century have forever shaped the way we view great works of modernism. Now Docomomo US invites you to put your own photographic imprint on modernism through the "I Spy Modernism" photo competition.
Deep South Modern
The first image that comes to mind when many Americans picture Mississippi’s landmark architecture is probably white-columned antebellum mansions built by wealthy cotton planters. But Mississippi’s historically agricultural economy boomed with new industry in the 20th century, and that gave rise to a diverse and complex architectural landscape. Jennifer Baughn, who along with Michael Fazio recently co-authored the book Buildings of Mississippi, explores some of Mississippi's modernist landmarks.
Docomomo US/Minnesota seeks research intern
The Docomomo US/Minnesota chapter seeks a temporary research intern to work with the Docomomo US/MN Registry Committee to identify potential contexts, themes, important builders, and geographic areas relating to the modern movement in need of further research.
Midland, Michigan: A Midcentury Modern Architectural Dream
Many cities have landmarks or elements that distinguish them from every other city or place. Midland, Michigan is unique because of the unbelievable quality and concentration of structures that create a cohesive expression of modernism in the Midwest.
16th International Docomomo Conference Postponed
Docomomo Japan and Docomomo International together regrettably came to a decision to postpone the 2020 conference for a year. The team continues to carefully monitor the situation in order to make a decision in setting a new schedule for the postponed conference.
Creating a Virtual Accessibility Experience at Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, one of eight Wright sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2019, recently implemented a new Virtual Accessibility Experience (VAE) created by AVA Inclusivity. The Los Angeles-based company, founded in 2017 by Astrid Reed and Gregg Leonard, worked with members of the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs and Department on Disability to meet the City’s standards and needs.
Take a trip through 1970s Minnesota
This year's Docomomo US Advocacy Theme is the '70s Turn 50. The Docomomo US/Minnesota has made it easy for your to explore modern in Minnesota by highlighting the state's 1970s sites on their Registry Map. Travel through 1970s Minnesota by navigating the map or clicking the plus sign next to “70s Selections” to browse by type, then let them know which sites of the '70s should make the top ten list!