Stay modern while staying home with these virtual resources
In the past month, historic sites, museums, nonprofits, and cultural institutions have shown their resiliency by rapidly transitioning to provide online resources for their audiences during this time of social distancing. It's a lot to keep track of, and we know you just want the good stuff - so we've done the hard work and compiled some of the best modern resources in one place for you. From virtual tours to YouTube channels to academic journals, we hope this list keeps you occupied until it's safe to meet again in person.
Doris Curry and Jacques Brownson House
Jacques Calmon Brownson has received praise for his civic buildings, especially as chief architect of the award-winning Chicago Civic Center (1965, renamed Richard J. Daley Center in 1979) during his time with C. F. Murphy Associates. In the 1990s, Paul Gapp, architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune, listed it among the city’s ten most important postwar works of architecture.
Ellen Newby and Lambert Ennis House
The house William Deknatel designed for prominent Northwestern University English literature professor Lambert H. Ennis and his spouse, Ellen Newby Ennis, reflects Deknatel’s training at the Taliesin Fellowship. Deknatel—along with his spouse, Geraldine, John H. Howe, and Wesley Peters—was among the charter applicants for membership at Wright’s school when it was established in 1932. While in temporary quarters, he and his colleagues worked directly under Wright on construction of the Fellowship buildings. This gave Deknatel hands-on experience with Wright before setting out to establish his own practice.
Lucile Gottschalk and Aaron Heimbach House
The house for Dr. Aaron and Lucile Gottschalk Heimbach in the city of Blue Island, south of Chicago, is one of a handful of single-family houses designed by Bertrand Goldberg. After starting his own independent practice with the commission of the Harriet Higginson House (1935) in the city of Wood Dale (northwest of Chicago), he designed this family residence and physician’s office.
Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-1975
Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929–75, co-authored by Susan Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino, is the first survey of the classic twentieth-century houses that defined American Midwestern modernism. The authors survey dozens of influential houses by architects whose contributions are ripe for reappraisal, such as Paul Schweikher and Winston Elting, Harry Weese, Keck & Keck, and William Pereira. Offered for the first time here is a excerpt of four selected homes that we hope will expand your understanding of modern in the middle.
Michael McKinnell, in Memoriam
When we started the Heroic Project in 2007 there was a very good chance that Boston’s City Hall, which had been in a state of active neglect for over a decade, was in danger of being sold and demolished. The prevailing attitude to the building then was that it was the ugliest in the world, as certified by the now-defunct website virtualtourist.com. It was at this moment that my co-authors reached out to the office of Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood to talk through the origins of the building, the competition, and the resulting structure.
Nine ways you can support Modernism while social distancing
If you're looking for ways to support issues you care about in these challenging times, here's a list of nine ways you can help while social distancing. Many of these items could apply not just to Docomomo but to other historic preservation organizations as well.
Storm brewing over Noguchi's 'Landscape of Clouds'
Isamu Noguchi's artwork in the midcentury skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue (originally the Tishman Building) has not escaped the pressures of the New York City real estate market. It has been modified over the years to maintain the building's profitability. Now, the current owner wants to remove Noguchi's work completely.
Coalition urges preservation of Rudolph's Hurley Building
Docomomo US/New England and the Boston Preservation Alliance have issued individual letters to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which will soon decide the fate of Paul Rudolph's Boston Government Services Center. Letters from Docomomo US
Docomomo US joins Climate Heritage Network
Docomomo US has signed on as an endorsing organization of the Climate Heritage Network, a voluntary, mutual support network of local and city, state/provincial and regional, indigenous peoples’, and national arts, culture and heritage governmental and quasi-governmental boards, offices, ministries and site management agencies as well as NGOs, universities, businesses and other organizations committed to aiding their communities in tackling climate change.
Docomomo US Response to Draft Executive Order
Docomomo US became aware in the last few weeks of a draft executive order that is circulating for consideration by the White House officials that would designate “classical” architecture as the preferred style for federal buildings. This significantly alters the long-standing Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture written in 1962 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan which states that Federal architecture and new buildings should place major emphasis “on the choice of designs that embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought.” The policy continues to explicitly state, “The development of an official style must be avoided. Design must flow from the architectural profession to the government and not vice versa”.
The '70s turn 50
Docomomo US announces its thematic focus for 2020: the '70s turn 50. Love it or hate it, architecture of the 1970s now has another label: historic. The 1970s turn 50 in 2020 and Docomomo US will spend the year looking at a time of great change and an even greater variety of forms, technical advances and ideas of architectural thinking.
Enjoy a stay at this early passive solar home, thanks to preservationists
The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation has completed Phase I restoration of the historic Ball-Paylore home designed by architect Arthur T. Brown, FAIA in 1952 for clients Phyllis Ball and Patricia Paylore. The property is now available for limited tours and overnight stays.
Glass House joins Explore Modern Houses Partnership
Docomomo US believes one of the best ways to foster increased awareness and appreciation for significant sites is to experience them firsthand, which is why we started the Explore Modern Houses Partnership. Today, we are excited to welcome the Glass House to the partnership.
State places Hurley Building at a crossroads
Just as Boston seemed to be embracing its Brutalist heritage - restoring its infamous City Hall and plaza, and even throwing it a 50th birthday party - news broke earlier this month that the State plans to redevelop the Paul Rudolph-designed Government Services Center.