Louis Kahn's Margaret Esherick House Named to the National Register of Historic Places
The Louis I. Kahn designed Margaret Esherick house, located in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior. The private residence was listed on the Register on August 21 due to its architectural significance as an iconic modernist building, universally recognized as a premier example of Kahn’s design principles.
Save the "most architecturally significant building" of Alma, Michigan
Citing concerns about condition and repair costs, leadership of the Church of Saint Mary in Alma, Michigan is seeking to demolish the town's "most architecturally significant building," as described by William Scott Jr., biographer of William Wesley Peters, the church architect and long-time Frank Lloyd Wright associate. Local groups including Docomomo US/Michigan are advocating to save it.
Big, Bold & Beautiful
In Coral Gables, an ongoing conversation concerns the beauty of our architectural heritage. Does our design sensibility begin and end in the 1920s, when the city was founded as part of the City Beautiful Movement? Or do we view our built environment as a dynamic work in progress – a “moveable feast” of diverse building styles that reflect changing standards of beauty, utility, and sustainability.
New Haven Symposium 2023: Photo Recap
Every year, the Symposium goes by faster than we think. As the dust settles, we finally have some time to reflect on the many wonderful moments that we experienced with our friends, colleagues, teachers and mentors. By no means a complete account, here are some of our favorite images that we captured this year. We hope you'll enjoy them as much as we did!
Another Modern Loss in the Hamptons: Otto and Eloise Spaeth House Demolished
The innovative convergence of modern architecture with 19th century styles, mid-century design innovations and cutting edge modern art were all represented in the interests of the architects Gordon Chadwick and George Nelson and their industrialist/art collecting clients Otto and Eloise Spaeth.
Summer Real Estate Round Up 2023
The moment a private home goes on the market is a precarious one - there is always the chance it could be sold to a developer, or to a homeowner who plans to make big changes. The goal of our real estate round ups is to connect modern properties with the right stewards and to show real estate agents the value in these historic homes.
President's Column May 2023: Filling in an Embarrassing Gap
With close to a month left to our National Symposium in New Haven, Docomomo US President Robert Meckfessel admits an embarrassing secret; he has never been to New Haven. In this month’s President’s Column, read about what Bob is most excited to see when he visits this “architectural cornucopia” for the first time next month.
Proposed alterations to Harrison designed library in Princeton
The elegant Historical Studies and Social Sciences Library at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, built in the early 1960s by Wallace K. Harrison, is under threat. Resulting from an exemplary collaboration between the architect of the United Nations and the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the Institute, this graceful building is a well-kept secret, deeply ensconced in the recesses of the campus, invisible from the road and known only to its users. The minimalist vocabulary of the interior is striking, but the library's most salient feature is its inventive roof structure, which is at the core of the current crisis.
President's Column March 2023: Finland — Immersion in a Concentrated Modernism
Interested in hearing more about Modern Travel: Finland? Docomomo US President Robert Meckfessel shares his own Finnish travel experience, a Modernist pilgrimage sure to “affirm one’s life as an architect.” Read more in this month’s President’s Column.
National Register Rejection Halts Thompson Center Preservation Work
After a precipitous, seven-year rollercoaster of preservation initiatives, the National Park Service has rejected a nomination of the James R. Thompson Center to the National Register of Historic Places. The rejection was primarily due to objections by the site owner, Prime Group.
Forgotten Modernism of Italy: Images from Andrea Brizzi
The Italian-born photographer and, of course, long-time Docomomo member, Andrea Brizzi has been capturing the built environment for 40 years. His most recent photography features a series of forgotten Modernist works in northern Italy and Sardinia.
President's Column January 2023: Revisiting Urban Renewal — a Challenge and an Opportunity
The Modern architecture movement in the United States has a rich but complicated history, one that Docomomo US is committed to explore, even as we advocate for its preservation. This history is closely intertwined with that of Modernism in Europe, but the post-war American version has its own flavor and context, driven by our own unique demographics, economics, cultures and politics. Out of that complex mix arose countless examples of innovative, thought-provoking architecture and landscape, both by transplanted Europeans and by our own home-grown American practitioners. Several aspects of that, however, are less admirable and merit further examination to understand the true and complete story of Modernism.
Fate of a "noble" structure by Gunnar Birkerts in question
The Alfred Noble Library is located in Livonia, Michigan just outside the City of Detroit. This Late Modern structure was designed by world-renowned architect Gunnar Birkerts. Although the previous administration promised that the local community would have input into the future of the building, the current mayor's office plans to request demolition in early 2023.
2023 Call for Articles
Docomomo US accepts article submissions on an ongoing basis for publication on our website and in our monthly newsletter on a wide range of issues concerning Modernism. In particular, this year we invite submissions on 2023 thematic focus of "Revisiting Urban Renewal" as well as explorations of Modernism in set design for TV and movies.