Modern Architecture

 

Every preservationist, whether new to the game or a seasoned saver, walks into a fight knowing there's always a chance for loss. It's one of the unfortunate side effects of our cause -- that not every building will stay around for the next generation.

Now that sad moment has come for our National Treasure Prentice Women's Hospital, a Modernist icon in Chicago that is currently being demolished to make way for a new Northwestern University building.

But with loss comes hope. Losses can galvanize us. They remind us what's worth fighting for. And they inspire us to make sure it doesn't happen to other much-loved places elsewhere in the country.

As the scaffolding goes up around Prentice, we sat down with our colleague Chris Morris, a senior field officer for the National Trust who's been dedicated to Prentice since day 1. Here's what she had to say about the hospital, Modernism, and moving forward.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

Meteor Crater, Winslow Arizona. Credit: Mike Hendren, Flickr.

A meteor crater in Winslow, near the eastern border of Arizona.

To those who dream of going to space but haven’t been able to visit the stars, Meteor Crater Visitors Center in Winslow, Arizona, gives visitors a chance to see a piece of otherworldly history: a 550-feet deep meteorite crater created approximately 50,000 years ago.

This natural national landmark left quite an impression on astronauts training for the Apollo Missions in the 1960s, who came to the site to learn how to identify craters and collect moon rocks. Also leaving a lasting impression at the Visitors Center: a glass-less window in a brick wall that frames the wide Arizonian landscape with its bare yet striking simplicity, designed by the late American architect Philip Johnson.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam is an intern at Preservation magazine as well as the Features Co-Editor of The Observer at Fordham University. A WWII and aviation fanatic, she maintains a growing collection of WWII model airplanes that accompanies her hometown writing station.

New Farnsworth House Director Maurice Drue Parrish on Experiencing Modernism

Posted on: September 16th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

Farnsworth House. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois

Maurice Drue Parrish recently joined as the new director of the Farnsworth House, a National Trust site in Plano, Illinois -- and one of the most iconic expressions of modern architecture.

Parrish was born in Chicago and grew up just miles from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology campus. He studied architecture at University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, before entering arts and museum administration. This summer, he found himself in charge of another Mies van der Rohe design: the Farnsworth House.

He has important visions for the house museum, including protecting the house from recurring flooding. Now, he's here to share his appreciation for modernism, the unique challenges of a modern house museum, and why visiting the site means a personal experience with art.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Columbus, Indiana: Different by Design

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita

 

Columbus, Indiana: one of the densest collection of high-calibre modern architecture, it also hosts seven National Historic Landmarks. Credit: Sombraala.
Welcome to Columbus, Indiana, brought to you by the world's most renowned architects.

I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese: the biggest names in modern architecture -- all in the middle of Indiana? Yes, amid the Midwestern plains, Columbus, Indiana stands as a gleaming beacon for modern architecture. The city ranks sixth in the U.S. for architectural importance, according to The American Institute of Architects, just behind cities like Chicago, New York, and Boston.

This fall, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is bringing our annual preservation conference to Indianapolis -- and Saturday, November 2 will be "Columbus Day," full of field sessions to provide a modern architecture fix.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Lustrons: Building an American Dream House

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 29 Comments

 

Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel. Credit: Library of Congress.
Lustrons were an ingenious 1940s invention: modern homes made of prefabricated steel sheets. Located in Chesterton, Indiana, this Lustron home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

They were literally building the American dream.

In the late 1940s, soldiers returning from World War II dreamed of the idyllic life: a happy family, a lovely suburban home. But the post-war period instead brought a housing crisis. In response, Lustron promised a dream house -- signed, sealed, delivered.

An innovative solution by Chicago industrialist Carl Strandlund, the Lustron house is made of prefabricated porcelain enameled steel, shipped and put together wherever you wanted -- an IKEA home, if you will. Inside, families could sit around a built-in, glossy-surfaced table, eating home-cooked dinners in cozy domestic bliss.

As Strandlund advertised, “What Lustron offers is a new way of life.”... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.