By: Adi Sela Wiener
By Amy Lilly
Vermont is not known for its modern architecture. Whether that’s because the era — roughly the 1920s through the 1970s — corresponded to a statewide economic nadir or because Vermonters just didn’t care for the aesthetic is unclear. Either way, it’s difficult to imagine the Green Mountains as a setting for, say, the austere minimalism of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House near Chicago, or the sleekly functional midcentury modern buildings designed by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, Calif. But recent critical reappraisal of the era’s most prolific American architect, Edward Durell Stone, has brought new appreciation to a little-known treasure of Vermont’s architecture: the Landmark College campus in Putney.
By T. Kelly Wilson
Columbus, Indiana is home to a body of modern architectural achievements far in excess of what would be expected to be found within a city of 42,000 inhabitants. Since 1942, well over 100 works of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, interiors and public art, produced by internationally known practitioners have been built in the city. In spite of this remarkable fact, the story of this designed fabric has more often been the basis of tourism articles in the popular press than the topic of substantive consideration within the design professions. Attention in occasional New York Times articles, NPR radio pieces, Good Morning America TV coverage, and a sixth place designation amongst cities in the United States for architecture by the American Institute for Architecture, signals that something, indeed, of significance has been occurring here for 70 years. Yet, aside from being promoted as a tool for boosting tourism, little of the architectural or social significance of the modern buildings in Columbus is understood by the outside world.
Authors: Kirk Ranzetta, Leesa Gratreak, Patience Stuart, URS Corporation
Oak Hills was a precedent-setting master-planned community in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Planned Unit Development (PUD) is distinguished by its harmonious combination of clustered residences, open space, circulation patterns that balanced both pedestrian and automobile needs, and the architectural eclecticism emblematic of mid-1960s land use planning and architectural design. Oak Hills is Oregon’s first designated mid-century modern Historic District, celebrating its recent 2013 listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The seventh annual Docomomo US Tour Day event is just a few months away and as usual is filled with unique and exclusive events looking at important examples of modern architecture, sites, interiors and landscapes all across the country. While we won’t be announcing the full list of events until September, here is a sneak peek that will have you wishing you could be several places at once.
by Alexandra Kirby
While Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) is well known for his abstract sculptural work, much of which is housed at the Isamu Noguchi Museum, his spatial designs have largely been forgotten – either due to never coming to fruition or because a majority are hidden behind private gates. Noguchi’s imaginative spaces vary from playgrounds to suburban corporate courtyards, such as the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (now CIGNA) campus in Bloomfield, CT. His early spatial designs included a handful of unrealized commissions for the City of New York (many plans are cast in bronze at the museum), and numerous east coast projects with SOM architect Gordon Bunshaft including the sunken gardens at Chase Manhattan Plaza and Yale’s Beineke Library.
by Ted Cleary, ASLA
JULY of 1863: following earlier Confederate victories that spring, Robert E. Lee has pushed northward into Pennsylvania. His Army of Northern Virginia bumps up against Union troops in the small town of Gettysburg, and skirmishes escalate. By the early afternoon of July third, two days of intense fighting has built to a climactic showdown, when Lee sends in a 12,000 troop offensive to cut the North’s Army of the Potomac’s flanks in half. After launching the largest artillery barrage the western hemisphere has ever seen to soften Union defenses, the cannons’ acrid smoke and thunderous noise, heard as far as forty miles away in Harrisburg, ceases from both sides.
Summer solstice is here, and our afternoon daydreams are filled with wanderlust. One can quiet those thoughts of beautiful buildings and expansive landscapes with an overnight stay in a modern home. There are now many creative opportunities, offered by websites like Airbnb and FlipKey, that allow home owners access to vacation and rental markets, along with providing travelers unique home stays both near and far. Here are some of our favorite offerings, a few classic, and those surely not-to-be missed.
On Saturday, April 27, the North Texas chapter of Docomomo US (Docomomo US NTX) and Preservation Dallas conducted two tours of the historic Statler Hilton Hotel and the adjacent Dallas Public Library, both located in downtown Dallas. Over 100 modern enthusiasts joined the tours, which included the public areas of both buildings as well as the room floors of the hotel.