Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Modernism in America Awards

Docomomo US is pleased to announce the eighteen recipients of the 2020 Modernism in America Awards. These projects highlight the best in preservation practice by today’s architects, designers, preservation professionals, and grassroots advocates. This year’s awards recognize model preservation efforts that are meticulous, innovative and continue to push the preservation field toward more inclusive histories and holistic approaches.

Now in its seventh year, the Modernism in America Awards program received more nominations this year than ever before, giving the distinguished jury members, led by jury chair Kim Yao, the difficult but rewarding job of reviewing dozens of worthy projects and narrowing it down to a small handful of recognized projects. Last year’s Awards program made it clear that preservation of modern landscapes, artworks, and interiors are no less significant than the buildings themselves, and this year’s awards continue that theme. The restored and celebrated Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice with its dedicated focus on increasing accessibility to the interior atrium landscape; James Rose’s renewed landscape for the Texwipe/EarthCam corporate Campus; Wayne Theibaud’s rare and delightful “Water City” tile mural at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Headquarters; the continued advocacy efforts for Willert Park Courts, one of the nation’s earliest housing complexes for African Americans; and the ambitious and inventive Virgil Cantini Mosaic in Pittsburgh are just some examples.

As preservationists it can be easy to become discouraged by the constant cycle of sites being threatened and demolished despite our best efforts. The Awards serve as a testament to the positive difference dedicated individuals and organizations can make through grassroots initiatives. Four projects, Las Vegas Uncommon Modern, modTEXAS, Pines Modern, and Queens Modern, are recognized for their innovative and hyperlocal approaches to documenting modernism in their own backyards and utilizing platforms that make information on less-well-known sites readily available to the public. These projects embody the “documentation” spirit upon which Docomomo was founded. It is further encouraging to have the strong institutional support of programs from The Getty Foundation and The Getty Conservation Institute, who have provided years of ongoing funding and guidance through the Keeping It Modern grant program and Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative, also recognized in this year’s Awards.


Speaking on the projects recognized and the impact of the Awards program, Docomomo US President Theodore Prudon noted, “Twenty-five years after Docomomo US was established, we continue to expand and deepen our understanding of modern sites and their preservation. The restoration efforts awarded this year remain true to the spirit of their original designs while creating spaces that are once again functional for modern needs.” Docomomo US Executive Director Liz Waytkus added, “in a year when we’ve been faced with many challenges, it is encouraging to be able to uplift modern preservation success stories, individual efforts to document modernism, and shed a light on advocacy efforts still ongoing.”

Mark your calendars

Join us for the 2020 Modernism in America Awards Ceremony



For the first time ever, the awards will be free to attend and will be presented during a live virtual ceremony on Thursday November 12, 2020 at 8 pm EDT. Along with Willert Park Courts, all of the 2020 Modernism in America Award winners will be announced during the live ceremony. The ceremony is free to attend but registration is required. 

Lead Sponsor

Design Within Reach

Design Within Reach makes authentic modern design accessible. When the company was founded in 1998, the classics were very difficult to find. DWR changed that, making innovative works by iconic designers accessible for the first time and continuing to offer the best in modern design – past, present and future – ever since.

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Diane Bald and Michael Budman

Beyer Blinder Belle

Beyer Blinder Belle was founded in 1968, in the wake of the urban renewal movement in the United States, when the social fabric of cities, communities, and buildings was compromised by the prevailing attitudes about planning and architecture. We pioneered and defined a different approach to the design of the built environment that focused on architecture empowering people — their interaction with each other on streets and in neighborhoods, their pleasure in moving through the city, and their connections to the surrounding physical fabric.

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EYP is the leading architecture and engineering firm developing new ideas and design solutions with mission-driven clients in higher education, government, healthcare, and science & technology. Our interdisciplinary Total Impact Design approach empowers clients with buildings that profoundly impact human behavior and performance as well as energy and the environment. Dedicated to People, Purpose, and Planet, EYP design liberates human potential to transform performance; actively helps clients advance their mission; and maximizes available resources to advance sustainability. Inspired by our clients, design is how we make a positive impact on the world.

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Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 50 locations and more than 5,500 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.

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MCR is the fourth-largest hotel owner-operator in the United States with a $3.0 billion portfolio of 96 independent and premium-branded hotels containing more than 13,000 guestrooms across 29 states and 72 cities. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City and Dallas, the firm has 3,600 team members across the country and operates hotels under 17 brands. MCR is a recipient of the Marriott Partnership Circle Award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its owner and franchise partners, as well as the Hilton Legacy Award for Top Performer. For the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport, MCR won the Development of the Year (Full Service) Award at The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS). MCR is also one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Travel Companies of 2020.

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Mills + Schnoering Architects

Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC is a full service architectural firm dedicated to design that contributes meaningfully to the built environment, and to the preservation of significant historic structures that reflect their time, place, and cultural associations. Our work is focused on cultural buildings of all types, including theatres and museums; public buildings; campus planning and design; and the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings, with a particular focus on the restoration and adaptive use of mid-century Modern structures. We look for projects that inspire and challenge us, and clients who share our commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

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Stonehill Taylor

Stonehill Taylor is a hospitality-focused architecture and interior design firm based in New York City. The firm's approach to designing destinations is to create an inspired and distinct reflection on the location, space, history and culture for each project. Stonehill Taylor's distinguished portfolio in interior design and architecture includes: TWA Hotel, The Whitby, Moxy Chelsea, Ace Hotel New York, The Refinery Hotel, InterContinental Barclay, JW Marriott Nashville, and the Eliza Jane Hotel in New Orleans. Stonehill Taylor is at the forefront of sustainable design, developing projects that are conscious of their impact on local communities and the world such as: The Crosby Street Hotel, The NoMad Hotel and Nomad Las Vegas, and Portland’s Press Hotel.

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Architectural Resources Group

We are architects, planners, and conservators who believe in the value that history adds to modern life.

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ARO is a New York City firm dedicated to architecture that unites strategy and intelligence with beauty and form. ARO’s diverse body of work—spanning strategic planning, architecture and urban design— has earned the firm over a hundred design awards including the 2020 AIA Architecture Firm Award, the AIA New York State Firm of the Year Award and the Smithsonian Cooper‐Hewitt National Design Award.

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Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture is a premier design firm in Northern California. Founded in a Modernist tradition, and with over 70 years of success, we continue to innovate and design quality places for the public and private sector.

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Lubrano Ciavarra Architects

For nearly twenty years, the Brooklyn-based studio of LUBRANO CIAVARRA Architects has offered a full range of Architectural and Design Services in the residential, commercial, cultural, educational, and hospitality sectors. Our belief that the best architecture can benefit an entire community is reflected in each of our projects. At both the public and private scale, we strive for conceptual clarity in each detail to create meaning for the people who will ultimately occupy these spaces.

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Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates is a global firm of engineers, architects, and materials scientists committed to helping clients solve, repair, and avoid problems in the built world.

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Late Modernist

2020 Jury

The Modernism in America Awards jury is chaired by Kim Yao, AIA, Principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a New York City firm dedicated to architecture that unites strategy and intelligence with beauty and form.

Hazel R. Edwards

Hazel R. Edwards has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University since July 2016. Dr. Edwards’ unique career has combined place-based research with planning and urban design practice. Her research interests in livability are framed within urban design contexts while focused primarily on historic campus environments. Of note is a planning study that culminated in a book that she co-authored entitled, The Long Walk: The Placemaking Legacy of Howard University (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, 1996), which traced the 127-year history of the physical development of the campus.  That project has led to funded research and published work on placemaking at other historically black colleges and universities in the United States. She holds the Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University, the Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University, and the Ph.D. in regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and was elected to their College of Fellows (FAICP). She has been a member of several American Institute of Architects and American Planning Association volunteer teams focused on developing alternatives to complex urban design (UDAT), planning (PAT), community planning (CPAT), and sustainable design assessment (SDAT) challenges. Prior to joining Howard University, she taught in the graduate architecture and city planning programs at Morgan State University's Institute of Architecture (1999 to 2007) and at The Catholic University of America's School of Architecture and Planning (2007 to 2016), where she served as director of the Master of City and Regional Planning program.

Robert Hruby

Robert Hruby has shared leadership and design direction with Kevin Campion at Campion Hruby Landscape Architects since 2011. His extensive experience in the profession spans 25 years, working at national and regional firms. As a Senior Associate at Oehme, Van Sweden & Associates, Robert managed the overall design and implementation projects that ranged in type and scale from private residences and mixed-use communities to retail centers and botanic gardens. His award winning residential designs range from large estates to intimate urban gardens. Robert’s projects have been recognized as being in scale and proportion to their surrounding context, elegantly detailed and ecologically grounded. Robert’s interest in private garden design is both practical and scholarly. During graduate school at the University of Massachusetts he was a research assistant for the James Rose Landscape Research Center, where he documented Rose’s groundbreaking residential works. He is a recipient of many residential design awards, including a 2008 National Honor Award in Residential Design from the American Society of Landscape Architects and several from the Maryland and Potomac Chapters of the ASLA. Robert earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Massachusetts. He is a registered landscape architect in the state of Maryland and an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.


The Modernism in America Awards is the only national program that celebrates the people and projects working to preserve, restore and rehabilitate our modern heritage sensitively and productively. The program seeks to advance those preservation efforts; to increase appreciation for the period and to raise awareness of the on-going threats against modern architecture and design while acknowledging the substantial contribution preservation in general and the postwar heritage in particular makes to the economic and cultural life of our communities.


Past Modernism in America Award Winners