How to Preserve Post-War Modernism

The first worship service in the sanctuary of the Eero Saarinen-designed North Christian Church in Columbus, Ind., was held on March 8, 1964. Image © Flickr CC User the.urbanophile

This article by Carlos Harrison appeared in Magazine as Reinvention Reinvented: Hope for Modernism, and discusses the issues surrounding the (increasingly popular) drive to preserve post-war , including what we can learn from past successes and failures, and what it takes to preserve different types and styles of building. 

Columbus, Indiana, is something of a modern marvel. It boasts more than 70 buildings by some of the architecture world’s greats, including titans of Modernism such as Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Richard Meier. Schools, churches, a library, a post office, and even a fire station stand as examples of the distinctively diverse architectural styles spanning the decades from World War II through Vietnam.

Crisp lines, sharp angles, connected like Lego blocks. Nearby: a 192-foot spire aims toward the heavens like a laser.

Read on after the break for more about preserving modernism

Video: Sheats Goldstein Residence / John Lautner

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Question: What does Snoop Dogg, John Cleese, Lucy Liu and Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski have in common? Simple, they have all, at some point in time, hung out in the living room of the space-age Sheats Goldstein Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright-disciple, John Lautner.

Read more about this amazing house and its unique owner after the break…

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 2

Sunny & Mild Media presents Part 2 of its Googie Architecture Series, presenting design work at the cusp of technological innovations of the 1950s.  Emerging out of an obsession with the fast new world of cars, planes and rockets, Architecture became an ultramodern style that sought to encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century.  The new forms – sweeping, cantilevered roofs, starbursts, and flowing forms – became a form of advertisement that caught the attention of motorists, for its vibrance along the stretches of highways and for its distinctive style.

This installment features a closer look at the diners and restaurants that thrived in the ’50s and were designed with the Googie style. Even the one of the first McDonald’s restaurants adapted the style to work with its logo. Many of these buildings stand in ruin now, but the style was used in all kinds of building typologies – most of which emphasized the car: drive-thru’s, drive-in’s, car washes, diners, and gas stations.  Even , and our associations with the its architecture today, are a reflection of that style.

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 1

Architecture, shared with us by Sunny & Mild Media, is part one of a series that encapsulates the futuristic design found prevalent in the post-war sprawl of Los Angeles during the 1950s. Popular among coffee shops, motels and gas stations, the ultramodern style originated from the Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, designed by , named Googies.  A Googie building was a symbol that a business was with the times, which in turn brought traffic and attention to its doors. Form followed function, and it’s function was advertisement.

For more, read Googie Architecture: Futurism through Modernism.

Googie Architecture: Futurism Through Modernism

Photo by Don Barrett - http://www.flickr.com/photos/donbrr/

At the peak of the modern era, a meshing of car culture and the Space Age brought about the gaudy and garnished architecture. The signatures style lie in sweeping arches and hard angles, cantilevered roofs and bold colors, and, its most relative homage to the Space Age, the starburst. The first of the style, and its namesake, was a coffee shop designed by architect John Lautner by the name of “Googies”. With its place on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles the new style caught the eye of many passersby who began to associate the style with the glamour of Hollywood. The spread of this movement from Southern California went most notably north and south along the shore to become a symbol of west coast futurism.