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News October 2018

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More change is coming for Marcel Breuer’s (1902-1981) iconic museum building on Madison Avenue. The first big change came in 2010 when the Whitney Museum announced it would vacate its home since 1966 for a new building. Subsequently, the Met signed an eight-year lease and in 2016 opened the Met Breuer to house the museum’s modern and contemporary collections. In late September, the Met announced that in 2020 it would sub-lease the building to the Frick Museum for the three remaining years of its lease with the Whitney. ... MORE

MET Breuer, originally Whitney Museum, Marcel Breuer, 1966. @Ed Lederman, Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Unlike the Met Breuer, another Breuer building, the Pirelli Tire building in New Haven, CT, looks to be moving toward a more certain future. This past spring, IKEA opened the building for two art exhibitions to take place—its first trial at programming the space—and city officials said they were in talks with the company to convert the building into a hotel. However, IKEA would not confirm the city’s statement . Now, the furniture giant seems to be taking concrete steps in the reuse direction. In September, the building appeared on the agenda of the City Plan Commission for “detailed plan review and coastal site plan review for the conversion of the Pirelli Building into a hotel,”... MORE

© Ty Cole

On September 26, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Sarah Carroll will fill the role of LPC Chair, which has been vacant since April when the previous chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, resigned after continuous public outcry over a controversial rules change proposal. Carroll is a preservationist by training and has worked for the LPC for 24 years, including as its Executive Director, and her appointment was welcomed by preservation groups around the city. As for the proposed rule changes, LPC staff have made revisions based on the public comments that were received. ... MORE

Robert Venturi died this September at age 93. Known equally for his contributions to architectural theory and practice, he rejected both Modern and Postmodern labels. His often quoted line, “less is a bore,” was a playful response to Mies van der Rohe’s mantra, “less is more.” His architectural works since the 1960s included many influential counterpoints to the pure Modern aesthetic. ... MORE

Photo courtesy Rollin LaFrance/VSBA

DOCOMOMO International, the parent body to all DOCOMOMO working parties and chapters, was founded in the Netherlands in 1988. This past August, at the 15th International DOCOMOMO Conference in Ljubljana, Solvenia, the 30-year anniversary was celebrated and founders Hubert-Jan Henket and Wessel de Jonge were honored. In other news from the conference, six new national working parties—Armenia, Bulgaria, India, Qatar, Romania, and Vietnam—were approved, bringing the roster to 74; further proof that Modern Movement architecture is everywhere. ... MORE

The summer issue of Preservation Magazine includes a story about the fate of five of the 11 “Homes of the Future” built as show houses for the Century of Progress International Exposition at the 1933–1934 Chicago World’s Fair. After the fair a developer from Indiana bought the houses and barged them across Lake Michigan. They now make up the Century of Progress Architectural District. Once in such bad shape they ended up on Indiana’s 10-Most Endangered list, the houses have been restored and maintained through an innovative partnership. Owned by National Park Service, they are leased by the nonprofit organization Indiana Landmarks, and then subleased –with protective covenants – to people who restore them. ... MORE

The US Modernist Library is an excellent resource available free online. It is the largest open digital collection of major U.S. 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 2.1 million downloadable pages. Publications include: AIA Journal, AIA New York, AIA North Carolina, Architectural Lighting, American Architecture, Architect, Architecture, Architecture News Now, Architecture Plus, Architectural Forum, Architectural Record, Arts+Architecture, Atomic Ranch, California Architecture and Building News, California Architect and Engineer, Florida Architect, House+Home, Keiths, Pencil Points / Progressive Architecture, and Sears.... MORE

The latest development in the Albright-Knox debate over the fate of its Gordon Bunshaft addition is reason for cautious optimism. Preliminary designs, announced a little over a year ago, were met with swift criticism from preservationists over the detrimental effect it would have on the museum’s Modern addition. Following the backlash, the museum hired two preservation firms and re-examined its original plans. The latest iteration of the expansion calls for leaving the Bunshaft building largely intact ... MORE

In 2017, the City of New York dedicated $14.25 million to begin much-needed stabilization and restoration work on Philip Johnson’s iconic New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The project was put out to bid earlier this year, unfortunately only two proposals came in, and neither were deemed viable by the Parks Department. According to Janice Melnick, administrator for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Parks Department wants to ensure they get the right contractor for such a complex project. The city plans to solicit more bids later this summer.... MORE

Photo © Jeff Bachner

This past April we reported that Newark Airport’s Terminal A would be demolished to make way for new facilities, and noted that “a similar demise for the remaining two terminals cannot be far off.” As predicted, in June the Regional Plan Association, an urban research and advocacy organization, released a $20 billion proposal that calls for systematically demolishing the oldest terminals one-at-a-time and replacing them with three "mid-field concourse" terminals over the next 40 years. ... MORE