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News January 2016

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Word recently leaked that destructive probing is happening in the Ambassador Grill & Lounge and Hotel Lobby, located in the UN Plaza Hotel (now ONE UN New York). Both interior spaces, completed 1975 and 1983, respectively, are considered exceptional examples of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates’ Late Modern design approach. ... MORE

The New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center management have selected the London firm Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto for the long-planned interior redesign of David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall). While not new to the field by any means, Heatherwick Studio, led by Thomas Heatherwick, is somewhat of a surprise choice as the firm has limited experience with major cultural works. Currently their most familiar work to New Yorkers may be the design for Barry Diller’s controversial Pier 55. Heatherwick replaces Pritzker-winning architect Norman Foster and also beat out Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who had just completed work on the North Plaza, including alterations to Dan Kiley’s original plaza design. ... MORE

David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center, Max Abramovitz, 1962.

The Ford Foundation has announced it will be undertaking renovations to the tune of $190 million to bring its iconic home on East 43rd St up to current building, fire, and accessibility codes, improve energy efficiency, and to reorganize office space to better match the organization’s culture and mission. As part of an overall renewal plan for the organization, relocating to a different building and even a different city was considered, but in the end, according to Foundation president Darren Walker, it was decided that “the value of this unique building and location is more than just financial.” ... MORE

Atrium of the Ford Foundation, Kevin Roche, 1968. Photo courtesy Ford Foundation.

Thanks in part to a grant from the Graham Foundation, Wavelength Pictures will produce the documentary “Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect.” It is an understatement to say that Roche, who at 93 continues to work at his firm, has had a long and fulfilling career. His work spans over a 50-year period, taking us well out of the Modern period, but his contributions to the Modern Movement continue to be both significant and relevant today, as evidenced by the Ford Foundation’s decision to remain in their building. ... MORE

The team responsible for the Curran/O’Toole Building restoration has received a Bronze Award from Building Design & Construction magazine. The award marks a high point in the building’s long journey from a site threatened by demolition back to a fully operational health center. The building was originally designed by Albert C. Ledner for the National Maritime Union (NMU) and was dedicated in 1964. Ledner designed a total of 14 buildings for the NMU throughout his career, three of which are in New York City ... MORE

Curran O'Toole Building, Albert C. Ledner, 1964. Photo © Christopher Cooper; courtesy Perkins Eastman Architects.

DOCOMOMO US invites submissions for the 2016 Modernism in America Awards. The awards celebrate the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation organizations that have made significant efforts to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places. ... MORE

The New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office is looking for examples of mid-century Modern architecture in New Jersey for an inventory they are developing. Residential, commercial, civic, religious, educational, and office buildings from 1940 to 1977 are all fair game. To the extent possible, please provide a building photo, street address or a location map, date of construction, and the name of the architect/designer. ... MORE

St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, Westwood, NJ, 1964. Photos courtesy NJ Historic Preservation Office.