NEWSLETTER

HemisFair ’68 at Risk

By Kim Barker on behalf of the Docomomo US/MidTexMod Chapter

Changes are planned for San Antonio’s world’s fair site, HemisFair ‘68, and they have fans of modern architecture concerned. Intended to celebrate the city’s 250-anniversary and a confluence of cultures, HemisFair ’68 was a six-month exposition opened by First Lady Ladybird Johnson in April 1968.  Typical of a world’s fair, various states, nations, and corporations built new exhibition halls in the styles of the period, some of which are exceptional examples of modern architecture.  Given San Antonio’s established preservation ethic, they also retained and repurposed some of the nineteenth century residential buildings already on the site before the rest of the neighborhood was sacrificed for fair construction.  HemisFair ’68 attracted 6.3 million visitors but under-utilization since is now prompting redevelopment plans.
 

Docomomo US 2012 Annual Report

 Annual ReportEach year, Docomomo US and our chapters takes some time to look back at our achievements of the previous twelve months and highlight the events and people who continue to work tirelessly to raise the awareness of modern architecture in the United States. Included in the report are summaries from the chapters, contact information as well as the Year in Architecture, a visual archive of the sites we won, the sites we lost and those still threatened.

Updates from the Modern League

Modern LeagueBy Katherine Malishewsky
Image: Modern League organizers (l-r) Eliana Gallego, Julie Rosen, Adam Rubin and Brittany Reilly in the Sackler Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the second annual Scavenger Hunt

 

The Docomomo US young professional’s initiative, the Modern League, continues to grow and improve since its inception in September of 2012. Working with like-minded professionals in New York, Boston and now Florida, Docomomo US and Modern League organizers recap recent events and initiatives.

The Fight for the Melnikov House

“The Melnikov House has been shouting SOS already for several months, but nobody is listening...” - Ekaterina Karinskaya
The Melnikov House in Moscow is in imminet danger though well-known and highly-praised internationally
In addition to the house, the archives of the Melnikovs (including many paintings by Viktor Melnikov) are at stake
The plaque in front of the house describes it as an “architectural and historical monument” & “protected by the government”
The front facade is steadily sagging & the glass is cracking. The inscription at the top reads, “Konstantin Melnikov, architect”
The physical condition of the Melnikov house was worsened by the demolition of neighboring buildings on Arbat St. in August 2012
A temporary STOP work order is needed to give experts time to reevaluate the construction effects on the Melnikov House
A diagram (modified in red) showing the house surrounded by construction sites, underground garages, and flow of groundwater
The view of the construction site from the roof of the Melnikov House
“If buildings could cry ... the Melnikov House would” - nearby, the source of the threat is visible and audible from the house
1st floor – bathroom: a NEW crack since the beginning of the construction work (photo from March 5, 2013)
1st floor - boy's room: a NEW crack (far left) plus the worsening of previous cracks (photo from March 5, 2013)
3rd floor – studio, a NEW crack with a marker to track its growth (photo from March 5, 2013)
Visitors to the house always come away with a sense of awe. Pictured here, the 3rd floor studio.
Melnikov's granddaughter with N. Vassiliev, X. Vytuleva, F. Scott & 9 students from Columbia University on a visit to the house


The Complexities of Teaching the Preservation of Modern Architecture

By: Theodore Prudon
 
With the gradual and general acceptance, in the US and abroad, that modern heritage like any other heritage is to be preserved, has come the realization that proper professional expertise is needed and to how to best prepare them for that task. Putting definitional or nomenclature issues aside – such as whether we call it preservation or conservation or whether we use modern versus recent past or mid-century – the question of whether the academic curriculum is the same or different and, if not the same as traditional preservation education as existing today, how does it differ. While the scale and ubiquity of modern heritage is often presented as a challenge, it is fundamentally a management challenge and does not require any substantial educational changes. Establishing significance and the related methodologies remain largely unaltered, although scholarship and knowledge that serves as a base will continue to expand as it does for any period.
 

Educational Collaboration for the Philadelphia Police Headquarters

Written by the Georgia Tech and UPenn studios - See end for details

Through a series of fortunate circumstances a unique collaboration has developed between the University of Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Graduate Program and Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture around the future of the Philadelphia Police Headquarters affectionately and not so affectionately known as the “Roundhouse”. Designed in 1962 by Geddes, Brecher, Qualls and Cunningham with structural engineer August Komendant, a cross-discipline collaboration has united the UPenn historic preservation graduate studio with a 3rd and 4th year architecture design studio in an effort to contribute to the conversation in Philadelphia about the future of this important building.

Photo: UPenn and Georgia Tech students site visit, Credit: Suzanna Barucco

Greater Philadelphia Chapter Consults on Casa Farnese

Casa FerneseBy: The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Docomomo US
Images: Dr. Emily T. Cooperman

In the spring of 2012, the Greater Philadelphia Chapter was invited to participate as a consulting party in the federal review (Section 106) process of a proposed lobby addition on the Casa Farnese in Philadelphia. Originally known as Casa Enrico Fermi (renamed in 2004 in memory of its developer, Philadelphia attorney Andrew N. Farnese), was designed and built in 1964-1966 by the architectural firm of Stonorov and Haws. The building is 19-story, reinforced-concrete, senior citizen housing apartment building set at the western edge of the Washington Square West neighborhood of downtown Philadelphia. Casa Fermi was the first senior housing development to be created in Philadelphia under the Section 202 housing program of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and thus corresponds to the enduring “group housing” practice of important Philadelphia modernist Oskar Stonorov (1905-1970) into the last phase of his career.  

Docomomo US Tour Day 2012: Preview

In just two short months Docomomo US will kick off its sixth annual Tour Day 2012 featuring a wide array of programs that seek to celebrate modern architecture. Already with over 30 tours in more than 20 states, Tour Day 2012 continues to be the largest national event devoted to the appreciation and preservation of modern American architecture. Participants can enjoy a variety of events from a historic neighborhood circuit on a double decker bus to an interiors tour of six private residences constructed by six different architects. The number and location of tours continues to grow daily.

DOCOMOMO US
P.O. Box 230977
New York, NY 10023
Terms of use | Contact | Privacy Policy | Credits
© 2014 DOCOMOMO US Syndicate content Google+