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News August 2020

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In June 2020, the union 1199 SEIU left its longtime headquarters at 310 West 43rd Street. Known as the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, the 15-story building was designed by Julius Stein in 1967. The most prominent feature is a mosaic tile mural by the prominent artist Anton Refregier. Unfortunately, according to the 1199 website, the union states that the mosaic cannot be removed from the facade without a high risk of damage so they have instead chosen to replicate it in the lobby of their new headquarters.... MORE

Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center (1967), Julius Stein.

Tucked away in central New York, Hilltop House and Studio is taking the inventive step of “look inside” tours while standard docent tours have been put on hold due to COVID-19. To continue to facilitate public engagement with the artist-designed midcentury home, staff have tapped into Hilltop’s robust collection of modern furniture for a rotating exhibit that is set up near the house’s window walls and visible from outside the house. “Collecting Comfort: The Furniture of Dorothy and Bob Riester” is currently viewable to visitors to the 104-acre Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia, NY.... MORE

Living room, Hilltop House, Dorothy Riester, 1962–1970. The fireplace, built-in banquette seating, salvaged barnwood walls, and the stone floors were all installed by the Riesters. Photo: Revette Studio

As social distancing and stay-at-home orders have swept the country, many Frank Lloyd Wright sites that are normally open to the public have had to close their doors, just when they were gearing up for the spring touring season.... MORE

Photo courtesy Graycliff Conservancy

A-frame houses are nostalgic of the modern era, and their unique design has captured many designers in recent years. Instagram is host to countless posts and hashtags dedicated to showcasing the charm of the A-frame, which could have accelerated the resurgence of the design’s popularity.... MORE

Jeremy Parker and Carlos Breton renovated an A-frame in the Hudson Valley. Photo by Chris Daniele.

DOCOMOMO international has rescheduled the 16th International DOCOMOMO Conference 2020 in Tokyo to new dates in 2021. While it is possible to move the conference online, DOCOMOMO international stressed the importance of convening and sharing information in person. The postponed dates are now August 29 through September 2, 2021.... MORE

Photo courtesy of

In case you missed this item in the Docomomo US news stream: Up for a new round of preservation debate are the Willert Park Courts housing in Buffalo, NY. The buildings were the first complex built in Buffalo for the Black community. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority completed the first of the buildings in 1939.... MORE

Photo ©Mark Mulville/Buffalo News.

The list announcing Getty’s picks for the 2020 Keeping it Modern grant has been released. The only site in the United States to be named an awardee is the First Presbyterian Church (1958) by Wallace K. Harrison (1895–1981) in Stamford, Connecticut.... MORE

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

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) presented a virtual book talk July 31 on the recently released title Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present edited by Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson. Video, slides, and chat for the program, which brought the book’s editors together for a conversation with SAH moderator Patricia Morton, are now available to all on the SAH website.... MORE

Photo courtesy of