Top Ten Modern Buildings in U.S.

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Christine Madrid French
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Top Ten Modern Buildings in U.S.

Postby Christine Madrid French » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:19 pm

Hello All,

Just doing a little research for a paper I will be giving in NY in September...

As part of my argument, I am trying to demonstrate that Americans do not appreciate modern architecture as an American movement (which it primarily was by the mid century), making it difficult to raise public support for modern preservation.

I've searched the National Register of Historic Places listings to determine which prominent modern buildings are not listed. For example notable buildings such as the Farnsworth House by Mies (IL) or the Kaufman House by Neutra (CA) are not on the list.

Which then led me to ask what other significant buildings remain officially unrecognized as historic? Any ideas from you all for a "top ten" list of U.S. modern buildings (whether on NR list or not, ca. 1929-1980)?

I'll post the replies to our website at the Recent Past Preservation Network -- www.recentpast.org.

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Postby nichols » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:05 pm

I would suggest checking with the STATE Historic Preservation offices if you have time.. In California, I suppose such a list would include things like:

Capitol Records
Eames House
Kaufman House
La Jolla Women's Club
Lovell House
Salk Institute
Schindler House
Wayfarer's Chapel
A Wright textile block house
and of course, the cherry on top: Pann's Coffee Shop!

Here are some landmarked Modern-era buildings in LA County:

Johnie's Broiler, 1958, Paul Clayton
Eames House & Studio, 1949, Charles & Ray Eames
Holiday Bowl, 1958, Armet & Davis
Case Study House #9, Entenza and Saarinen
Glendale Federal Bank, 1959, W.A. Sarmiento
LAX Theme Building, 1961, Pereira& Luckman, Becket & Williams
Wich Stand, 1957, Armet & Davis
Sten-Frenke House, 1934, Richard Neutra
Canoga Park Branch Library
Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 1937, Robert Derrah
Superior Oil Co., 1955, Claud Beelman
Azusa-Foothill Drive-In Theatre, 1961, Roland Decker Pierson
McDonald's, 1953, Stanley C. Meston
Bullock's Pasadena, 1949, Welton Becket
Bullock's Westwood, 1950, Welton Becket
Bob's Big Boy, 1949, Wayne McAllister
Stuart Pharmaceutical, 1958, Edward Durrell Stone
Cinerama Dome, 1963, Welton Becket
Mar Vista Housing, 1949, Gregory Ain
Crossroads of the World, 1937, Robert Derrah
Gilmore Gas Station, c.1935
Midtown School, c.1960, John Lautner
Stahl House (CSH#22), 1958, Pierre Koenig
Sowden House, 1926, Lloyd Wright
Ennis - Brown House,
Lovell House
Buck House, c. 1935, RM Schindler
Bullock's Wilshire
May Co. Wilshire..

ehh.. I'm tired now.

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L.A.kevin
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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:09 am

Gotta have the Neutra VDL in there too!

Kev

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Not L.A., nor a building, but it is a building

Postby khummer » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:49 am

Washington Monument - I am not sure if they list it yet as historic even though it did get a facelift thanks to Target stores.

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I would also add this to the LA county list

Postby retrocool » Sun Jun 13, 2004 1:22 pm

The Speedy Mc Donalds in Downey. THis is the last of the original design in the world #3 in the chain. Built 1953.

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Postby Cherry Capri » Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:54 pm

falling water?
FLW

acon
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top ten

Postby acon » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:27 pm

Wow. That list of Calif bldgs is impressive. As some of you may have read I am from Michigan so I will give a Michigan example although I am not suggesting it as a top ten.

In Detroit a bldg originally called the Michigan consolidated gas bldg or Mich-con designed by Yamasaki. It is now owned by the city of Detroit .And it is a precursor to the WTC.Also at one time there was a posh rooftop restaurant named ..."The top of the flame"...... sadly long gone like much of Detroit..... a google search should show the bldg or skyscrapers.com Detroit.

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L.A.kevin
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Postby L.A.kevin » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:08 am

Hey Christine, as a suggestion, have you considered searching European Australian, and Japanese websites for American Modern stuff and see how much their press covers what ours ignores? Even Argentina, Chile and Mexico have an abundance of modern architects. Perhaps you can contact Rocio Romero of LV home fame, and ask her perspective on the subject. She's from Chile.

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Postby bearch » Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:31 pm

For everybody living east of the Rocky Mountains...

1. Wright - Fallingwater, Bear Run, PA, Robie House & Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL, Johnson Wax, Racine & Guggenheim, NYC
2. Woods End Colony, Lincoln, MA (Gropius, Breuer, Ford & Bogner houses)
3. NYC - too many, but best spot is Park Avenue between 53rd & 54th Streets (Lever House & Seagram Building)
4. Kahn - Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Texas, Philips Exeter Academy Library, Exeter, NH & British Art Museum, New Haven
5. Sarasota School Houses, Sarasota, FL
6. Cambridge, MA (Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Baker House & Kresge Auditorium)
7. Meis - Farnsworth House, Plano, IL, IIT & Lakeshore Drive, Chicago
8. Columbus, IN
9. Eero Saarinen - GM Tech Center, Warren, MI, TWA Terminal, NY & Dulles Ariport, VA
10. Miami Beach, FL

OK, so it's more a list of places and architects and excludes living architects for the most part, but I wanted to counter the "leftist" culture on this board.

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Postby Mies » Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:49 pm

Mies Van Der Rohe's Seagram's Building in New York on Park Avenue has to be on the list. This was and still is a ground breaking building.

FLW's Gugenheim Museum on 5th Avenue.

Phillip Johnson's glass house in Connecticut.

FLW's Falling Water in Pennsylvania.

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Postby mlagirl80 » Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:14 pm

a favorite:

Image

Marin Civic Center, 1957
3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael


It is said that Frank Lloyd Wright walked off the highway at this site and said "I will cover your hills with arches". The design's domed roof and arched arcades fulfill the promise. The Marin Civic Center is one of Wright's last designs, completed after his death. With an 80-foot dome as its focal point, the structure is crowned with a 172-foot gold tower. Wright used the design to embody his philosophy of government. Look for the symbolism he employed.

Guided tours are given weekly, or take their self-guided tour any time.


here's a great little building in san francisco that i stumbled onto when across the street at a fabulous fabric store, which has lots of vintage stuff... the name escapes me at the moment... ok, i found it... http://www.britexfabrics.com... and as i was looking out the backside windows of said store i see this ....

V. C. Morris Gift Shop, 1948
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco


Tucked away on Maiden Lane, just off San Francisco's Union Square, the V. C. Morris gift shop's distinctive arched brickwork was designed to lure passers-by into the shop's airy interior. The design of the shop clearly has similarities to the Guggenheim Museum, which Wright was designing at the same time. The shape of the curvilinear ramp is repeated in the display cases, tables and other furnishing. It is recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the seventeen Wright buildings that are representative of his contribution to American culture.

The shop is currently an art gallery. No formal tours are given, but visitors are welcome.

Image

ok, it's a little blocky, but within hides a mini sort of guggenheim...

here's a great blog about a gal's california road trip to some wright buildings....

http://www.silvergirl.com/ModFLW.html

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Postby savvy » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:08 am

1)Schindler House on Kings Road
2)Wright's Johnson Wax
3)Koenig's Case Study 22
4)Neutra's Lovell Health House
5)Wright's Guggenheim Gallery
6)Johnson's house in Connecticut
7)Wright's Falling Water
8)Eames house
9)Gropius' Bauhaus
10Koeing's Case Study 21

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top ten

Postby migeulito » Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:14 pm

Well I think Christine is looking for what typical American's taste and since they seem to buying vinyl-sided condos sprawling all over the place, I'd assume they have no interest in Modern architecture.

I'm not typical,

1. Fallingwater
2. British Art Gallery at Yale
3. Seagram Building
4. TWA Terminal
5. Lovell House
6. Beineke Library at Yale
7. Robie House
8. PSFS
9. Dulles Airport
10.Farnsworth House

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Postby hoodlum » Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:09 am

this may not be a top ten but I have to agree with Bearch, the Carpenter Center at Harvard is the only Le Corbusier building in the US.

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Fate of Lovell House-a heads up!

Postby modfan » Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:20 am

from a previous post:
I'm not typical, ...

5. Lovell House ...


I hope the Lovell House will go to an appropriate buyer-the owner is elderly and I dunno the fate after she passes away, and the house needs a lot of repair and updating-you see all those photos of the living room etc. but beyond it-the rest of the house really needs some work and updating-I've mentioned in other posts-I toured it on a charity event home tour. The fate of it could turn to a teardown and something inappropriate put on the lot.
A heads up for modern architecture fans everywhere!!!!!!

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Lovell Health House, Lovell Beach House

Postby SDR » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:03 pm

Golly, shouldn't the Lovell house be landmarked? This is an icon of LA
(and USA) modern architecture! It CANNOT be allowed to disappear!

As for Schindler's Lovell Beach House, is it in good hands? Has it been
restored?

SDR

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If not it outta be

Postby modfan » Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:25 am

Head's up folks-it's gotta be saved.
The threat is not imminent BUT I think there should be some thought given-the owner is elderly and she can't keep everything in good repair and I don't know how her descendants feel about the house. And there is a new estate going up next door (might be finished now)-I dunno if it was a teardown but the neighborhood is desirable and the teardown fate could happen to this one-just a heads up. As the Joni Mitchell tune goes ...ya don't know what you've got till it's gone.....

I dunno about the Beach House but it seems to me if it's in Calif. that the Coastal Commission would have a lot of input to any changes to it.

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Schindler, etc

Postby SDR » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:42 am

Modfan -- Yeah, the Lovell Beach House (1925-6) is in Newport Beach (1242 Ocean Avenue). Early photos show it surrounded by sand and a telephone pole; I guess it is rather crowded in, now. The raised living floors would have given it quite a good view. . . five almost-identical concrete frames support a two-level box of 2-inch cementitious walls and
wood and glass, with bedrooms at the front and left end in an "L" that balconies the two-story living space at the rear right, looking out to sea. The ground level is partially open, with (single-car) garage, beach shower, open fireplace and "playground," with stairs and a concrete ramp leading up to the entrance. Richard Neutra got Dr lovell away from Schindler when
it came to building his second and more famous house.

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Re: top ten

Postby SkipHome » Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:03 am

migeulito wrote:Well I think Christine is looking for what typical American's taste and since they seem to buying vinyl-sided condos sprawling all over the place, I'd assume they have no interest in Modern architecture.

I'm not typical,

1. Fallingwater
2. British Art Gallery at Yale
3. Seagram Building
4. TWA Terminal
5. Lovell House
6. Beineke Library at Yale
7. Robie House
8. PSFS
9. Dulles Airport
10.Farnsworth House


what is #8.....PSFS?

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LOVELL HOUSE-Heads Up Again

Postby modfan » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:15 pm

from a previous post:
Quote:
I'm not typical, ...

5. Lovell House ...


I hope the Lovell House will go to an appropriate buyer-the owner is elderly and I dunno the fate after she passes away, and the house needs a lot of repair and updating-you see all those photos of the living room etc. but beyond it-the rest of the house really needs some work and updating-I've mentioned in other posts-I toured it on a charity event home tour. The fate of it could turn to a teardown and something inappropriate put on the lot.
A heads up for modern architecture fans everywhere


Read all about it in today's L A Times from the owner herself
77 yrs old Betty Topper--This is a HEADS UP to modern architecture fans-
the time to act is now, not after it's been torn down and a McMansion put on the property!!!!!

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Postby bearch » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:55 am

Pennsylvania Savings Fund Society is the root of the acronym, I believe. Anyway, it is the first modern skyscraper in the US (in Philly) and was designed by Lescaze and Howe. Once an office building, it is a hotel now.

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Postby lavardera » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:40 pm

Image

Image
Greg
gregory la vardera architect
modern stock plans www.lamidesign.com/plans
design blogger www.materialicio.us

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Postby SDR » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:21 pm

Any news about Neutra's Lovell house ?

SDR
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Postby SDR » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:23 pm

Hey, Greg -- Where ya bin ? Happy New Year !

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Postby lavardera » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:43 pm

too many message boards, too little time :D

When I moved to Philadelphia is 1984 the PSFS building was still an office building and PSFS still occupied the banking floor. I promptly opened up my accounts with the bank that had the best building! It was very cool!
Greg

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thanks

Postby migeulito » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:34 pm

Greg-
You are so cool. I opened a bank account with Republic in NYC for the same reason. Its not Modern though.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:52 pm

PSFS is a great building. I used to work for a firm who had an office there.

Lescaze's home and office are still intact on New York's Eastside. It is worth a walk by if you are in New York.
Last edited by moderns-r-us on Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:54 pm

Didn't Lescaze enter the Chicago Tribune competition with a modern design similar to PSFS?

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Postby STLModern » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:19 pm

Man you people always neglect the Midwest...

The St. Louis Arch! :)

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I love Eero

Postby migeulito » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:29 pm

Yeah, I'm on the east coast but I was only thinking of "buildings". Sorry, I listed TWA.


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