IDS Center, Minneapolis

By Todd Grover

A series of fortunate events in the late 1960s lead Investors Diversified Services (IDS), Inc. to commission architect Philip Johnson to create a new interpretation of the glass skyscraper to serve as the company’s headquarters. The result is a property (we always say that IDS Center is more than just a building!) that has become a symbol of the region, but is also a story where persistent and thoughtful maintenance has sustained the iconic curtain wall.

A Modernism on the Prairie Update

By Docomomo US/Minnesota

There have been some exciting changes at Docomomo US/MN! Our Board President, Todd Grover, has joined the National Board of Docomomo US, and we’re pleased to have him engaged at this higher level. Todd is stepping down from his local duties, and in his place, Amy Meller, an Architect at MacDonald & Mack Architects, was nominated and accepted the role of the new Minnesota Chapter President.

Florida Tour of William Morgan's Police Administration Building

By Glenda Puente, President Docomomo US/Florida

Docomomo US/Florida members and guests took a tour of William Morgan’s Police Administration Building (1971-75) in Jacksonville on February 6, 2016. The tour was led by Gary R. Dickinson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Staff, and included the interior of the building as well as the roof terrace.

Photo Credit: Andrea Puente

Mitchell Park Domes Threatened

Docomomo US is following developments after an announcement last week by The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) regarding the indefinite closing of Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (known as The Domes) due to pieces of concrete found on the floor of the Arid Dome that appear to have fallen from the facility's frame. A beloved landmark and tourist attraction, the Domes were designed by architect Donald Grieb and completed in phases between 1959 and 1967. Essentially a pre-cast reinforced concrete space frame and glazing system, the Milwaukee County Parks website goes on to state the "three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes are 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high and offer 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display. Each dome (Desert, Tropical, and Floral Show) has a distinct climate and exhibit plants in a naturalistic setting."

Welcome Landmark Columbus

Docomomo US is pleased to welcome Landmark Columbus as our newest Friend Organization and continue to support the work and efforts being undertaken to preserve, protect, and cultivate the unique design heritage found in Columbus, Indiana. The organization, formed in 2015 as a program of Heritage Fund - The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, has organized a number of volunteer-based community events ranging from a panel discussion titled “2015 Columbus Conversation” that included Docomomo US President Theodore Prudon and Board Member Flora Chou in addition to walking tours, and landscape cleanup days at the Eero Saarinen designed North Christian Church.

Breuer Buildings Threatened

With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of the newly renovated Met Breuer in New York this week, Docomomo US is following recent developments concerning two other important Marcel Breuer buildings: the Central Public Library (1980) in Atlanta, Georgia and the Pirelli Tire Building (1970) in New Haven, Connecticut. Nearly a decade after the earlier calls for Atlanta Central Public Library demolition and replacement, local officials are currently recommending a smaller Central Library contrary to the request of a bigger building in the proposal from 2008. Consistant deferred maintenance and reduced circulation at this downtown location make it a likely target for development, closure or demolition.

Update: The Campaign to Save the Shukhov Tower

Docomomo Russia and the World Monuments Fund have recently launched a petition to restore Moscow's Shukhov Tower as part of the World Monuments Fund Watch Day taking place this weekend, March 19-20, 2016 in Moscow. The petition requests that decisive steps are promptly taken to scientifically restore the 1922 Constructivist tower in order to secure the structure from the ever looming threat of demolition. 

The article below was written by Natalia Melikova, founder of the Constructivist Project, and was featured in our March 2014 newsletter. It chronicles the initial efforts to save the tower from being dismantled. 

Docomomo US continues to support the efforts to save and restore the Shukhov Tower. Sign the petition here.

Houston: Uncommon Modern

By Nonya Grenader

AIA Houston ArCH Center, Nov. 24, 2015, Feb. 19, 2016 (Panel Discussion and Catalog Release, Feb. 15)

“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old buildings, I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent and expensive state of rehabilitation…but also a lot of plain, ordinary old low-value buildings…”
- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Beyond Modernism: A question and a challenge

By Theodore Prudon, FAIA

The upcoming fourth Docomomo US National Symposium carries the title: Beyond Modernism. This choice of title is a reflection of a discussion that has been taking place in Docomomo US and its various chapters for some time about what constitutes modernism to us and whether there is an approximate end date to what architects, buildings and styles we study and advocate for.

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