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Are Postmodern Buildings Worth Saving?

Are Postmodern Buildings Worth Saving?
Are Postmodern Buildings Worth Saving?, Philip Johnson's Sony Tower (formerly AT&T Building) has yet to become a listed building despite its famous Postmodern design. Image © David Shankbone via Wikipedia
Philip Johnson's Sony Tower (formerly AT&T Building) has yet to become a listed building despite its famous Postmodern design. Image © David Shankbone via Wikipedia

New York City is home to a plethora of Postmodernist designs — from the impressive Sony Tower to the diminuative Central Park Ballplayers' House — but most remain unprotected by traditional heritage registries. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is at the threshold of its 50th anniversary but has yet to recognize the architectural successes of 1970 up to the most recent eligible year for landmarking, 1984. The commission has been unnecessarily slow to recognize Postmodernist structures in New York City, say Paul Makovsky and Michael Gotkin writing for Metropolis Magazine, who argue that the absence of historical recognition for Postmodernism has come at a high cost, citing the recladding of Takashimaya Building on Fifth Avenue as a "wake-up call" for the Commission.

Postmodernism has been widely criticized in the United States, notably in Portland where threats of demolition face the The Portland Building, designed by prolific architect and quintessential Postmodernist Michael Graves. According to Makovsky, "Many baby boomer architects rebelled against Postmodernism in their youth, and might now be loath to protect buildings and landscapes from that era." In response, Makovsky and Gotkin have compiled a list New York's twenty best Postmodern structures, doubling as 'watchlist' for the city's most at-risk landmarks, with a clutch of Metropolis writers coming to the defense of each building in turn.

Find out which buildings top Metropolis' list of New York's most at-risk Postmodern architecture here.

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Cite: Finn MacLeod. "Are Postmodern Buildings Worth Saving?" 17 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/568253/are-postmodern-buildings-worth-saving/> ISSN 0719-8884
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