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News November 2016

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Last month, DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State reported that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted to calendar the Ambassador Grill & Lounge and the Lobby of the United Nations Plaza Hotel, now known as One UN New York, for a public hearing on November 22. The Commission will consider designating this rare late Modern interior, designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates. This is the last and best chance for members of the public to offer testimony in support of preservation. DOCOMOMO US has put out a call to help with making a strong showing at the hearing. Individuals can contact DOCOMOMO US director Liz Waytkus at for more information.... MORE

Rochester architect James H. Johnson, who passed away in February, was well-known locally for his modernist designs, which included religious buildings, public libraries, the unique organic architecture-inspired home known as the “Mushroom House,” and the 190-foot tall stainless steel Liberty Pole sculpture in downtown Rochester. Now, a grant from the Preservation League of New York State is helping the Greece Historical Society preserve Johnson’s legacy by cataloguing his many works. The documentation will be used for filing a Multiple Property Documentation Form with the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the first step in getting historic sites listed the National Register of Historic Places.... MORE

Mushroom House, Rochester, NY, 1971

The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize is awarded biennially to individuals or organizations working to preserve our Modern built heritage. This year’s prize goes to the team who led the preservation and rehabilitation of the Justus van Effen complex in Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Molenaar & Co. architecten, Hebly Theunissen architecten, and landscape architect Michael van Gessel. The complex was commissioned in 1919 by Rotterdam’s municipal housing authority in response to the need for housing following World War I. ... MORE

Robert Venturi’s influential counterpoint to the Modernist aesthetic, the Vanna Venturi House (1964), has been placed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Although the home has been well cared for by previous owners, and its newest owner has pledged to do the same, until now, it had no formal protections. This designation will allow the Philadelphia Historical Commission to review any proposed changes to the exterior as well as any alterations that require a building permit. The Chestnut Hill Historical Society was able to complete the historic register nomination with funding from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. ... MORE