d o c o m o m o l o u i s i a n a is a regional chapter of an international committee dedicated to the

documentation and conservation of the buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 5th Tour Postponed Due to Hurricane Karen, the October 5th walking tour of Lake Vista has been postponed. As soon as the new date is announced we will let you know; our goal is to schedule the event for another Saturday this month. DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana appreciates your understanding of the schedule change.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tour of Modern Buildings to take place October 5

DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana, the New Orleans chapter of the international working party for the DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement, hosts the walking tour “Lake Vista: Modernism and the Ideal Planned Community” on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The meeting point for the tour is Lake Vista Spanish Fort parking lot and the tour begins at 1 p.m. Lake Vista is a New Orleans community created in the twentieth century on land developed north of the lakefront’s historic edge. It was designed to incorporate Modernist planning principles, with the complete separation of vehicular and pedestrian realms, using a unique network of automobile culs-de-sac and "fingers of green space." Churches, a school and commercial space were incorporated into the plan, which typifies some of the most prominent national thought at the time about ideal communities. The tour will cast light on Lake Vista’s urban design and in addition, tour stops will include examples of mid-century Modern institutional and residential architecture. Tour will be guided by John P. Klingman, author and Professor of Architecture, Tulane University. This is a 3-hour walking tour of Lake Vista. Cost per person is $25.00 to the general public, $15.00 DOCOMOMO US members, and $15.00 for students. Advance reservations by email (docomomolouisiana@gmail.com) are recommended but not required. “Lake Vista: Modernism and the Ideal Planned Community” will emphasize the goals of the DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana Chapter, organized to promote and protect Modern architecture and urban design in and around New Orleans. Some of the tour's highlights are included on the DOCOMOMO NOLA iPhone app, developed in association with Tulane University. “Lake Vista: Modernism and the Ideal Planned Community” is held in conjunction with the nationwide day of tours and other special events October 5, 2013 sponsored by DOCOMOMO US. For more information go to http://docomomo-us.org/tourday

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DOCOMOMO US June 2013 E-News Brief

JUNE 2013
DOCOMOMO US is the working party of Docomomo in the United States. It is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization, a union of regional chapters that shares its members' knowledge of and enthusiasm for the Modern Movement, promotes public interest in it through lectures and walking tours, and organizes advocacy efforts to protect endangered sites and buildings.
Join the national community of architects, historians, preservationists, students and modern movement enthusiasts dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of modern architecture and landscapes in the United States. Membership is available online at www.docomomo-us.org or by downloading our membership form.
Go Modern! at www.docomomo-us.org, and follow DOCOMOMO US on Facebook and Twitter

World Trade Center threatened in New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana. Another mid-century modern building may be demolished in the Crescent City. Edward Durell Stone’s World Trade Center, built as the International Trade Mart, has been under threat since the mid-1990s. Begun in 1959 and partially occupied by 1966, the ITM set the standard for other such structures worldwide. Designed to promote foreign commerce through the Port of New Orleans, the ITM was home to the trade organization, the Dock Board, stevedores, international consulates, shipping companies, a women’s clinic, modistes and an art gallery.
Stone and associate architect Robert Lee Hall conceived the 33-story building with nautical associations, an enormous compass and an anchor to a landscaped plaza adjacent to the Mississippi River. Developers hoped that New Orleans would become the modern world’s Damascus and Stone aligned the structure’s four wings with the cardinal directions.  Situated atop 600 tension piles, the reinforced concrete structure afforded 4 wings of leasable space on each of the office floors. Solid concrete panels alternated with floor-to-ceiling windows that provided expansive views of the city surpassed only by the penthouse vista. Macton Machinery Company -- maker of the 1964 New York World’s Fair “Tower of Light” -- fabricated the revolving penthouse cocktail lounge that visually linked the Mississippi to Lake Pontchartrain.
When asked about the building, Hicks Stone, Edward Durell Stone's son and author of the book Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect stated, "Father’s building is a serene and elegant presence on the New Orleans skyline. Its vertical lines are emblematic of his 1960s era work. A look at any image of the surrounding buildings quickly reveals a dizzying array of clumsy and charmless contemporary high-rises. The only other building that stands out as a project of distinction is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s One Shell Square, but even that has a sterile and anonymous quality to it. If they demolish Father’s building, they are destroying the best contemporary high-rise that they have. Instead of tearing it down, the owners should expend some effort into restoring and improving it."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently proclaimed the site the “most important piece of property in the city” and announced his interest in replacing the building with a monumental attraction akin to the Gateway Arch.  The city is now considering three proposals to redevelop the site and should make a decision later this summer. Follow Docomomo US on Facebook to receive updates about the building.
Photograph:  May 2013
See:  Bruce Eggler. “Decision on New Orleans World Trade developer not expected until July.” The Times-Picayune (30 April 2013). As viewed 18 May 2013 at: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/decision_on_world.html#incart_river