NEWS

Advocacy and Endangered Lists

By Liz Waytkus and Francine Moralles

Endangered historic site lists, as a tool for advocacy, are being announced and promoted by many preservation organizations and architectural advocacy groups across the country. As these lists seem to proliferate, it’s interesting to step back and look at their genesis, the inclusion (or perhaps exclusion) of modern sites as a subset, the limits to modern site inclusion (mostly iconic by star architects), and endangered lists overall effectiveness.

 

Docomomo US Announces the Inaugural Modernism in America Awards

"Death Valley National Park's Furnace Creek Visitor Center, CA; Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. Website; and Peavey Plaza, MN recognized in the inaugural Docomomo US Modernism in America Awards."

The Modernism in America Awards is the first national program of its kind to celebrate the projects and the people working to sensitively preserve and rehabilitate significant mid-century modern buildings for continued productive use and to raise public awareness of the ongoing threats to modern architecture and design.

Ten Case Study Houses now listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Following nearly a decade of effort by the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee (ModCom), eleven Southern California homes from the renowned Case Study House program have gained national recognition for their historic and architectural significance.

On July 24, the National Park Service listed ten Case Study Houses in the National Register of Historic Places. Another was determined eligible for listing but not formally listed due to owner objection. Yet all eleven are officially deemed historic and will enjoy equal preservation protections under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
 

Docomomo International Conference: Finland

TapiolaIn early August, roughly thirty Americans joined our Docomomo colleagues in Finland for the 12th annual Docomomo International Conference entitled The Survival of Modern, From Coffee Cup to General Plan. The week-long event took place in Tapiola, the lush garden city neighborhood of Espoo, and included a number of evening receptions in Helsinki and more in-depth Doco Tours throughout the area. With delightful temperatures in the low 70s and long days where the sun hovered at the horizon during the evenings, Docomomo US members were treated to stimulating discussions of the challenges facing architecture and conservation professionals across the globe.

Will Neutra's Cyclorama Survive The War On Demolition?

By: Emily Rinaldi
 
Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander’s Cyclorama Building (1959 - 1962) remains significant both because of its built form, as well as its connection with the renowned post-World War II public program, Mission 66. Unfortunately, its location within Gettysburg National Park has placed it in the line of fire, conflicting with the National Park Service’s 1999 decision “to rehabilitate the North Cemetery Ridge to its historic 1863 and commemorative-era appearance.” 

Shockwaves Damage Oscar Niemeyer Brasilia Landmark

Interview with Elcio Gomes da Silva
By Danilo Matoso Macedo - chair of Docomomo Brasilia

On Sunday, June 1st, a shockwave caused by the passage of two Mirage 2000 fighters, splintered a whole glass-wall of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court Building, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The aircrafts were performing during a monthly flag-change ceremony on the Plaza of the Three Powers, in Brasília, the modern capital of Brazil designed by Lucio Costa in 1957, and listed as World Heritage in 1987. At the plaza, The Supreme Court Building, along with the Palace of Congress and the presidential Planalto Palace, form the most emblematic monumental site of the young town.

Docomomo International Journal 46

Docomomo International Journal 46: Designing Modern Life is complete and will be hitting mailboxes soon. Journal 46 includes essays and articles discussing the interior space as a site for design and modernism through its spatial configuration, devices and furniture. Guest editor Bárbara Coutinho.

Get Ready for Tour Day 2012!

Docomomo US Tour Day 2012 is almost here! In less than a month enthusiasts of the modernist movement will be able to take part in one of the largest nation-wide events dedicated to exploring sites and structures. Docomomo US has pulled together an exciting line up of tours and programs taking place in over twenty states exploring the country’s diverse and fascinating modern architecture.

Preserving America's Pastime

By Edith Bellinghausen
Last week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played at Kauffman Stadium, home to the Kansas City Royals. The stadium was designed by Charles Deaton with Kivett & Meyers, and opened in 1973 alongside Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Kansas City Chiefs football team) as the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. The construction of Kauffman and Arrowhead marked a move away from the multi-use stadium typology popular at the time and allowed each team to maximize stadium-based revenue streams. Other single-use stadiums built during the 1960s and 1970s still in use include Dodger Stadium (1962; Los Angeles) and Angel Stadium (1966; Anaheim). But almost all of the multi-use (so-called “cookie cutter”) stadiums have been demolished, including Shea Stadium (1964; New York), Veterans Stadium (1971; Philadelphia), Three Rivers Stadium (1970; Pittsburgh), and Busch Memorial Stadium (1966; St. Louis). The iconic Houston Astrodome, featured on the cover of Ana Mod’s Building Houston Modern and once called “the eighth wonder of the world”, sits in limbo as owners and city officials decide its fate. The stadium was designed by Hermon Lloyd & W.B. Morgan, with Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson and structural engineer Walter P. Moore, and opened in 1965 as the world’s first multi-use domed stadium. The last game was played there in 1999.

Celebrating the Seattle World’s Fair

By Eugenia Woo

As a project of “The Next Fifty” Docomomo US/WEWA and Historic Seattle presented a three-part lecture series at Seattle Center in June 2012 that focused on the architecture and design heritage of the Seattle World’s Fair and its influence and impact beyond the Fair’s original campus. As part of the larger six-month long (April – October 2012) 50th anniversary celebration organized by the Seattle Center Foundation (“The Next Fifty”), Docomomo US/WEWA was thrilled to present talks by locally and nationally prominent speakers including Docomomo US President Theodore Prudon. The lecture series and project, titled “Welcome to the Future: Century 21 and Living Modern,” presented a great opportunity for Docomomo US/WEWA to develop partnerships and sponsorships with Historic Seattle, The Next Fifty and Pacific Science Center, with grant funding provided by 4Culture and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We also produced a project website/blog at century21mod.com.

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