Providence Heights College lost
Sadly, Issaquah, WA is losing the historic, architectural and artistic treasure of Providence Heights College despite a hard fought battle for its preservation by the Sammamish Heritage Society, The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and a collective group of individuals in the community.
New LACMA structure looks to replace three original William Pereira buildings and 1986 addition by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates
Breathing fresh life into one of the city’s most ambitious cultural projects and making history as the largest gift on record toward the construction of an American museum, David Geffen has pledged $150 million to a new building for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Kevin Roche: The Favorite Architect of Corporate America
Kevin Roche’s path toward becoming one of corporate America’s favorite architects was paved in the 1950s, when, while working at Eero Saarinen and Associates, he helped design the first, and many would argue, the most groundbreaking corporate headquarters and research facilities for clients such as CBS, General Motors, IBM, John Deere and Company, and Bell Laboratories. These companies represented traditional manufacturing and emerging information technologies while prizing architecture as a symbol for power and prestige.
Learning from our Late-Modern Legacy
The Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, completed in 1983, is a significant example of Late Modern architecture, defined by Charles Jencks in his seminal book Late Modern Architecture of 1980 as being committed to order, dramatic interior sections, and smooth exterior surfaces.
Big Blue and the Concrete Wave: IBM Corporate Office in Boca Raton, Florida
The International Business Machines Corporation, widely known for its acronym “IBM”, and nicknamed the “Big Blue”, commissioned its facility in Boca Raton, Florida, to the office of Marcel Breuer and Associates. The project architects were Marcel Breuer and Robert Gatje (longtime partner at this firm). Breuer, a respected, well-known architect and mature designer, received this commission at the height of his career.
Southern California’s Aerospace Modernism
No architects better captured the exhilarating spirit of Southern California’s aerospace era than William Pereira, Charles Luckman, and Albert C. Martin, Jr. Their corporate campuses and laboratories in steel and glass, with their strong horizontal lines, lavish landscaping, pools and fountains, and the deliberate blurring of interior and exterior space, perfectly expressed what journalist and author, David Beers called California’s “blue sky dream”, a postwar suburban paradise driven by defense spending, a sense of manifest destiny, and the scientific fervor of a place that had set its sights on the stars. As Beer explains, “aerospace and California were made not just for but by each other.”
Soft-selling Aluminum: Minoru Yamasaki’s Reynolds Metals Sales headquarters
The Reynolds Metals regional sales headquarters was the result of a corporate client who sought to build a showcase for aluminum and an architect who questioned modernism. The result was a “total work of art” of architectural branding, and an important example of “new formalism” that would be a travesty to lose.
Demo Sought for Remaining Shoreline Apartments
A controversial demolition proposal is returning to the Preservation Board September 21. Norstar Development USA is seeking to demolish the remaining portions of the Shoreline Apartment complex. The north end of the development was demolished to construct the affordable Niagara Square Apartments, eight new buildings with 48 units at the corner of Carolina and Niagara streets.
City Council overturns HLC Conditional Approval
In an unsurprising 4-0 vote, Portland City Council tentatively struck down a condition of approval attached to the Historic Landmarks Commission's approval of the "Reconstruction" of the Portland Building. City Council also voted to deny Peter Meijer's (Peter Meijer Architect, PC) appeal of the decision without a word of debate.
In the media
With push from Yo-Yo Ma, floating concert hall may end up in N.Y.
Two years ago, Chicago had a chance to add a futuristic floating concert hall designed by one of the 20th century's great architects to its renowned collection of iconic structures. The vessel could have adorned the city's downtown Riverwalk and moved up and down the branches of the Chicago River, entertaining audiences on shore.
But the chance to buy Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn's "Point Counterpoint II," which opens like a clam shell to present classical music concerts for listeners on shore, came and went with the closing of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition in 2015.
Docomomo US/WEWA Wins Landmark Case in State Supreme Court
An almost decade-long fight to protect historic resources at the University of Washington in Seattle has culminated in a State Supreme Court ruling in favor of preservation advocates in the case, University of Washington vs. City of Seattle, Docomomo US/WEWA, Historic Seattle, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Docomomo US responds to Albright Knox Campus Expansion
Late last week, Docomomo US sent a letter to the Albright Knox Art Gallery to share our concern for the recently released campus expansion concept design. The proposed concept appears to destroy character-defining elements of the Albright Knox Art Gallery including partial demolition of the significant 1962 addition by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Peavey Plaza 30% Design Submission Raises Concern
In our May newsletter, we presented the significance of Peavey Plaza, its decline, and the actions by The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota to save this unique site from demolition. Recently, the City of Minneapolis hired consultants to produce a Historic Structures Report and then develop designs to rehabilitate the Plaza, stating that this work would meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the proposed 30% design plans have raised significant concerns as many of the character defining features of the site are being significantly altered or removed: raising the lower basin to be level with the surrounding walkway, eliminating original terraces that defined spaces within the site, removing healthy tress and replacing them with alternate species, adding competing water features, and changing the material palate.
Landmark-eligible modern buildings threatened in East Midtown
Historic Districts Council has started a petition to address 30 landmark-eligible buildings in the proposed rezoning area of East Midtown in New York. Of the 30 eligible buildings, four significant modern buildings (the Universal Pictures Building, the Girls Scouts Building, Union Carbide and PanAm/MetLife) have been identified in the zone as landmark-eligible but not in the pipeline for designation.
In the media
Docomomo US reacts to proposed “reconstruction” of the Portland Building
On Monday, July 3rd, Docomomo US submitted a formal letter to the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission on the proposed "reconstruction" of Michael Graves historic 1982 Portland Public Service Building (Portland Building).