Support DOCOMOMO

Become a Member

News September 2016

Wallace Harrison’s First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT receives Getty Foundation ‘Keeping It Modern’ Grant

September 7, 2016

The Getty Foundation has awarded its third annual round of “Keeping it Modern” grants, a funding initiative that supports model projects for the conservation of Modern architecture. This year’s nine winners span five continents, and one of them is in DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State’s backyard. Wallace Harrison’s First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT (1958), more commonly known as the “Fish Church” because of its shape, will receive $130,000 to help fund the development of a conservation management plan to guide future interventions and maintenance at the site. The plan will address water infiltration in the church’s signature feature, its dalle de verre windows, which create an effect Harrison described as “like being inside a giant sapphire.” The dalle de verre technique was developed in Paris in the 1930s. Harrison is credited with reviving it for use in cost effective pre-fabricated panels. After its use at Fish Church, the technique gained popularity and was replicated in hundreds of ecclesiastical and civic buildings. It is hoped that the conservation and maintenance plan developed for the Fish Church can be applied to other Modern buildings with dalle de verre glass.

First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, CT, Wallace Harrison. photo: DOCOMOMO US