All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Preservation

Preservation: The Latest Architecture and News

Landmark Preservation Versus Ownership

Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi; © Maria Buszek
Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi; © Maria Buszek

After years of disconcerting reports that the historic David and Gladys Wright House by Frank Lloyd Wright was under threat of demolition by developers, we announced that a generous benefactor saved it from its fate by providing funds to buy back the property. It seems that this particular story is not unique. An article on ArchRecord by Frank A. Bernstein lists several other modern architecture treasures that may soon fall under the same threat as they hit the real estate market.

Find out more after the break.

National Planning Awards 2013 Recipients

The American Planning Association has released its list of 2013 National Planning Awards winners that exhibit the best planning efforts that create communities of lasting value. Among the recipients are regional plans that seek to revitalize post-industrial cities, plans to preserve and rehabilitate native settlements, restore blighted communities, reassess planning and zoning in major cities, develop environmental conservation programs, regenerate access to our natural topography and develop guidelines and regulations for more sustainable approaches to building. The projects are diverse and span a significant realm of urban reclamation and development.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Hoffman Auto Showroom Demolished

In late March, one of the few Frank Lloyd Wright designs in New York City was demolished quietly at 430 Park Avenue. This seldom-noticed interior retail space was home to the Hoffman Auto Showroom for over five decades and just as it was considered for preservation by the Landmark Preservation Commission, the owners of the building applied for its demolition. For many people, this may seem like an act of corporate greed or "corporate vandalism" and it may be so, but the landmark designation for interior spaces applies strictly to public space only according to NYC's landmark laws.

So was this space ever anything more than private property?  And aside from having been designed by one of America's most famous architects, did the design have "special historical, architectural or cultural significance"?

More after the break.

Preserving Modern Architecture in the Midwest

On April 24th and 25th, Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) will celebrate the gift and the restoration of the Frederick and Harriet Rauh House, designed by pioneering Cincinnati Modernist John Becker in Woodlawn, by hosting “Preserving Modern Architecture,” a two-day symposium at the house. In September 2011, CPA launched the restoration of the 1938 Rauh House with a festive celebration honoring Emily Rauh Pulitzer, donor of the house and funder of the work. A year later, the restoration of this pioneering International Style residence is complete.

Businessman Offers to Save Brutalist Landmark From Demolition

Divisive concrete behemoth Preston Bus Station may yet be saved from its planned demolition. On the heels of a well co-ordinated campaign to save the brutalist monument, local businessman Simon Rigby has stepped in and offered to relieve the council of the building planning refurbish and operate the bus station himself.

Read more about the controversy and Rigby's plan after the break...

Preservationists Surrender to Hopeless Battle for Prentice

In response to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks’ decision to reject landmark status to Prentice Woman’s Hospital for the second time in three months, the two preservationist groups challenging the City of Chicago have withdrawn their lawsuits. This eliminates the last barrier standing in Northwestern University’s way to demolish the historic, Bertrand Goldberg structure for a new biomedical research facility.

“We felt that we had done as much as we possibly could to demonstrate the significance of the building and ways to reuse,” stated Christina Morris, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We just couldn’t see that we’d have any other outcome.”

For many, this news is disheartening as architects and preservationists from around the globe have fought in solidarity for much of the past year in an attempt to illustrate the importance of this one-of-a-kind structure. 

More after the break...

Northwestern University confirms the demise of Prentice Women’s Hospital

Sunshine’s statement also announced Northwestern’s plan to invite “many of the world’s best architectural firms, including Chicago firms” in an international design competition for the new structure.
Sunshine’s statement also announced Northwestern’s plan to invite “many of the world’s best architectural firms, including Chicago firms” in an international design competition for the new structure.

The new year is off to a rough start for the preservation of modern architecture, as Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital appears to be joining Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center on the demolition list for 2013. Northwestern University senior vice president for business and finance, Eugene S. Sunshine has confirmed that, despite strong opposition from architects and preservationist worldwide, the university will be replacing the historic, Chicago icon with a new biomedical research facility.

Winners of the Future Prentice Competition Announced

First Prize: "The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says."
First Prize: "The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says."

Amidst the longstanding, heated battled to save Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the results of the 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice have been announced! Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in collaboration with Chicago Architectural Club and the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the international competition intended to act as a platform for public debate about the future of the controversial Chicago landmark.

More information and the winning proposals after the break…

Prentice Granted Temporary Landmark Status as Preservationists Sue

Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design via Chicago Architecture Foundation
Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design via Chicago Architecture Foundation

Cook County Judge Neil Cohen has granted Bertand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital a temporary reprieve after preservationist filed a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago Commission on Public Landmarks yesterday afternoon. Plaintiffs, Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation claim that the commission “acted arbitrarily and exceeded its authority,” after granting and subsequently revoking Prentice landmark status in just a short afternoon on November 1. These proceedings, which typically takes months, followed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to publicly support Northwestern University’s plan to demolish the vacant icon.

More after the break…

Mayor Emanuel supports Prentice Hospital Demolition

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections. Used under Creative Commons

Despite strong opposition from preservationists and architects world-wide, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced his decision to support the demolition of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. In a op-ed piece released by the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel supported his stance by arguing that Northwestern’s new biomedical research facility would “bring 2,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment” to Chicago. Emanuel believes Goldberg’s “vision is alive in Chicago beyond one building” and allowing Northwestern to build the new medical center is crucial in keeping Chicago at the forefront of scientific innovation.

Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman's proposal to save Prentice Women’s Hospital

Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman
Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman

The preservation battle continues over the fate of Bertrand Goldberg’s 1970’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital. As we reported in July, an ever-growing community of prominent architects – such as Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – have joined preservationists in the fight to save the late modernist structure that is at risk of being replaced by a new biomedical research facility for Northwestern University.

The seven-story concrete cloverleaf, cantilevered 45 feet from the supporting core and floating atop a glass and steel box, is an engineering feat ahead of it’s time as well as an important icon within the Chicago skyline. As architecture critic Michael Kimmelman argues, “Great late-Modernist buildings, innovative and ruggedly beautiful, deserve respect and, increasingly, careful custody. Prentice is a good example.” However, it is not suited for 21st-century research labs and many Chicagoans hate it. Currently, Northwestern University is leading the debate by arguing that a new building would “bring to the city millions of investment dollars, create jobs and save lives”.

Could there be a compromise? Solutions are rarely black-and-white. Kimmelman has consulted Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to envision a proposal that would satisfy both opposing sides. Continue reading to learn more.

Will Developers Demolish the David Wright House Today?

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, Arizona. Image via User SDR on the Save Wright Chat page.
The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, Arizona. Image via User SDR on the Save Wright Chat page.

Last we updated you on the David Wright House, the Arizona home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, things were looking up – the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) had gotten the unanimous decision of the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission to recommend Landmark Preservation to the City Council.

Unfortunately, the developer, John Hoffmann of 8081 Meridian, says that really doesn’t matter to him.

According to yesterday’s New York Times article by Michael Kimmelman, Pheonix city policy requires owner consent before designating any building for historic preservation. Since “8081 Meridian never gave its consent, and has no intention of doing so, Mr. Hoffman says he rejects the landmark process outright.”

Hoffman’s demolition permit has been voided by city officials, but he maintains that the permit is legal – it just expires today.

More on the precarious fate of the David Wright House, after the break…

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

The relationship between social dynamics and architecture has always been intimate. It is a constant dialogue between social norms and politics, stylistic trends and aesthetic choices, individual preferences and the collective good. The Modernist Period was a time when architecture took on the challenge of many social problems. In all the arts – architecture, design, music and film – the period was highly politicized and the choices often gave way to a utilitarian ideal that was a hybrid of efficiency, simplicity and comfort. Jake Gorst’s new film Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, supported by Design Onscreen, is a message of preservation that takes us through the history of the modernist housing boom that took place on Long Island, NY in the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s.

On August 14th, Cook+Fox Architects hosted a private film screening at their office on 641 Ave of the Americas, presenting the treasures along the island’s shore that have fallen between the cracks of history. The film looks at works from Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski and many others.

Follow us after the break to catch up on the history of the development of these houses on Long Island.

"Lost" Le Corbusier Building Sparks Preservation Movement in Iraq

Gymnasium in Baghdad, Sketch by Le Corbusier. ©SketchPlanet
Gymnasium in Baghdad, Sketch by Le Corbusier. ©SketchPlanet

In Upstate New York, residents are clamoring to raze down their Government Center, Paul Rudolph’s classic 1970 example of brutalist design. Ostensibly, this is due to flood-damage. But it can’t hurt that, as one resident was quoted in The New York Times as saying, it’s “a big ugly building.”

In Minnesota, city officials would rather tear down M. Paul Fiedberg’s Peavey Plaza, a “Modernist gem” completed in ’73, than spend the time, money, and effort to revitalize it.

In Baghdad, on the other hand, a gymnasium completed in 1982, suffering the signs of decades of violence, poverty, and ill-executed renovation, has sparked a small preservation movement, reawakening a country to its neglected cultural heritage.

The architect behind this Iraqi endeavor? None other than Le Corbusier himself.

Read More on the “forgotten” Le corbusier in Baghdad, after the break…

Neutra House Temporarily Spared by Community Action

The Kronish House in Beverly Hills, California. From Mark Angeles via Unlimited Style
The Kronish House in Beverly Hills, California. From Mark Angeles via Unlimited Style

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

Joan Didion

Community pressure has swayed the owners of Richard Neutra‘s Kronish House to postpone plans for demolition, and has also prompted the city of Beverly Hills to draft legislation to preserve its architectural history. The house been spared until at least October 10 in order to give community activists time to devise a plan for its restoration. In a related, ground-breaking action the Beverly Hills City Council has asked the city’s Planning Commission to enact a first-ever historic-preservation ordinance.