Philip Johnson's Booth House Threatened and Seeks New Custodians
Philip Johnson’s 1946 Booth House, in Bedford, New York is threatened and in urgent need of new custodians. Award winning architect and pioneering architectural photographer Robert Damora (1912 -2009) and his wife, architect Sirkka Damora, moved into Philip Johnson’s Booth House in 1955 thinking of it as temporary housing until they could build a home of their own design. The spare elegance of the Booth House evoked a simple, informal, unencumbered life style that suited them: they never left. When you find environment that soothes your soul there is little motivation to move on. Now 62 years after arriving at the house, at age 93 Sirkka finds the rural life there difficult to manage physically, and she is financially unable to continue in the house. The house must be sold.
Docomomo US Study Grants
Docomomo US is pleased to announce the development of a Study Grant program to provide financial support for qualified individuals whose work or educational focus demonstrates a continued interest and commitment in the area or subject of exploration for which the particular study grants are being offered. The Study Grant program has been made possible with the generous support of an anonymous Docomomo US supporter for the Modern Mexico City travel tour taking place in October 2017.
Oregon Chapter tackles advocacy in the Pacific Northwest
Docomomo US/Oregon is currently keeping an eye on and advocating for a number of modernist buildings in the Portland and Salem area under threat. Read more about each one below and find out how you can participate in the chapter's efforts to save these modernist sites.
Preserving Isami Enomoto's Labor Murals
On Oct. 31, 2015, the Bank of Hawaii closed its Kapahulu branch and sold the building, which was home to a set of five 1961 murals by acclaimed Hawai‘i artist Isami Enomoto depicting labor in the islands. The bank did not want to keep the murals, and when none of the state’s established art institutions were able to accept them, the Docomomo US/Hawaii Chapter assumed responsibility for the preservation of these artistically and historically important murals.
Dalle de verre at Fish Church
Wallace Harrison came to be regarded as an architect who connected the world of high art with that of a new form of monumental architecture. At the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT, he began with a curiosity about Gothic space as a prototype for the integration of the arts, with the intention of designing a “place of worship with some of the splendor of colored light found in the great Gothic cathedrals.”
Reflections on the Breuer-Nivola Nexus
From the mid-1930’s through the 1980’s, New York City and its immediate surroundings were a nexus for the Modern art and architecture movement that had relocated from Europe to escape the rise of fascism and the destruction of the Second World War. The community included immigrants who had been active in the formative years in Europe and native-born Americans, generally a half-generation younger than their colleagues. Key among the transplanted Europeans were Marcel Breuer and Costantino (Tino) Nivola. I have good fortune to have known both men from my early childhood onward and, on entering the world of architecture, to have worked for and with each of them..
In the media
National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Domes a National Treasure
A Milwaukee landmark for generations, a unique engineering marvel, and a nationally significant example of Midcentury Modern architecture, the Mitchell Park Domes have been a center of community life and an international tourism destination for more than 50 years.
Touring Mid-Century Modern Waco
This February, Mid Tex Mod board members Sara Ludueña and Elizabeth Porterfield conducted a bus tour of mid-century modern architecture in Waco during the 2017 Preservation Summit hosted by Preservation Texas. Over twenty participants visited and toured some of Waco’s iconic mid-century residential and commercial buildings highlighting the works of local architects Robert S. Bennett, J.W. Bush, James D. Dewitt along with other national architects.
A Farewell to Georgia’s old State Archives Building
In March, we lost the old Georgia State Archives building; designed by A. Thomas Bradbury in 1964. Atlanta, a city whose last major expansion coincided with rise of Modernism, is lucky to have had a handful of great Modernist architects living and practicing within the city. Bradbury was certainly one of them.
Highlighting Hawaii modern in 2017
Docomomo US/Hawaii has been instrumental in bringing attention to and advocacting for Hawaii's unique modern heritage through programming and events. From tours to lectures and talks stories to advocating for threatened properties, see what the chapter has been up to in 2017.
Endangered: Silver Spring Library by Rhees Burket
The mid-century modern Silver Spring Library by noted local architect Rhees Evans Burket, AIA, is facing an uncertain future. The county has put out a request for proposals from developers to turn the site into senior housing and child day care facilities through either incorporating the existing building or knocking it down and starting from scratch.
Remember the Terrace: A Lesson in Advocacy
The Terrace Theatre in Robbinsdale, Minnesota opened on May 25th, 1951. The Mid-Century Modern building designed by the architectural firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan, for movie house owners, Sydney and William Volk, won national acclaim from newspapers, magazines, and industry publications. The August 4th, 1951 issue of Box Office Magazine featured the Terrace on the cover and contained a five page, illustrated article that praised the Terrace as “The Gem of the Lakes.”
Announcing Docomomo US 2017 Advocacy Theme: SHELTER
SHELTER, protection from the extremes of an environment, is a basic need. Throughout history our built form has risen out of how we respond to this necessity. Like other periods, Modernism strove to reexamine and reassess the forms, spaces, and materials that comprise shelter, creating a new language that defined the structures in which we live.