DOCOMOMO US Selects 11 Modern Architecture Buildings at Risk of Being Lost

by | May 5, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

The article about these endangered sites was posted by Docomomo US on April 29,2022, prompted by the recent demolition of Geller I house designed by Marcel Breuer. Docomomo US Executive Director explained why now is a critical moment to draw attention to these at-risk modern sites: “With land values high, owners and municipalities are looking to make the highest return on these investments by offloading properties or constructing something shiny and new. Many sites are now 50-70 years old and suffer from years of deferred maintenance and the perception they are obsolete. Combine that with a lack of understanding or interest in the design, and it is a recipe for disaster.” 

RGV MOD understands these challenges and agrees that there is a lack of understanding and interest in the design everywhere including here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where we have exemplary mid-20th-century modern commercial, civic, and private buildings. Sometimes when talking to folks it appears as if they think RGV MOD are the only ones pursuing the preservation of this significant architectural heritage. This is the number one reason we are sharing this article today.

We invite you to read the full article titled The 11 Most Threatened Modern Sites 

Photo from the NYT – A Marcel Breuer house in the MoMA Garden, 1949. Bothe the Geller and MoMA houses were intended to be replicable around the country. Ezra Stoller /Esto

There is another article we highly recommend, published by the NYT titled Why Does the Demolition of Marcel Breuer House Matter? 

The Geller house received a great deal of attention when it was built because it confidently embodied the new values of suburbia: technological progress, and an informal, unshowy lifestyle built around children, with easy access to outdoor play and relaxation. It is an emblem of a time that has absolutely vanished: when postwar suburbs, at their best, were places of possibility, of innovation and new ideas. The architecture of single-family houses expressed those aspirations and embodied that emerging lifestyle. James S. Russell for the NYT – Feb. 6, 2022.