For some historic preservationists on the North Shore, the economic downturn in 2008 had a silver lining, bringing a lull in tear-downs and new-home construction that gave scores of vintage properties a reprieve from the wrecking ball.
But six years later, officials in north suburban Winnetka tasked with preserving historic homes say that reprieve has clearly ended. They report that demolition permits have nearly doubled, with 36 issued in 2013, up from 19 in 2009. — chicagotribune.com
5 Pointz, New York City’s “graffiti mecca,” is being demolished right now. This morning, a backhoe began tearing into the building that has served as a legal spot for aerosol artists for over two decades. In 2011, the property owner announced that he will be developing the site and transforming it into a massive residential condo complex. — animalnewyork.com
The Turkish Council of State has ordered three luxury apartment blocks to be bulldozed amid widespread outrage. But will it have any impact on the country’s unstoppable, and often unlawful, construction boom? — theguardian.com
News of the planned destruction of the Hotel Okura building in Tokyo to make way for a larger 38-story glass tower has brought cries of protest in Japan and elsewhere in the world. Monocle, the wide-ranging global magazine, has started a petition to save the old Okura on behalf of “all lovers of modern Japanese architecture.” — nytimes.com
There’s no smooth sailing for at least one of Google’s mysterious barges.
Parts of the $4 million boat, located in Portland, Maine, are being sold for scrap, a Google spokesperson has confirmed to Fortune.
Google’s three barges sparked a media storm of inquiries when they first appeared in 2013, raising questions about their purpose. Were they floating data centers? A secret lab to design and launch Google’s next stunning project? — fortune.com
This week came the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leaving its home in Washington, D.C. [...]
Most importantly, from the perspective of thousands of D.C. residents, the District will finally be rid of the FBI's dark architecture. I will be sad to see the building go, as the city will almost certainly demand. Not only could it still potentially be put to good use, but whatever replaces the FBI Building will be regular, orderly, safe, and worse. — citylab.com
It’s been named one of the top “Freeways Without Futures” in the nation and described as a “perfect example of obsolete infrastructure.” [...]
Now, nearly half a decade later, the project to remove a large portion of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway in West Long Beach has officially gone out to bid in an RFP with an estimated bid value of $225K. It marks a major event in Southern California’s urban design history, being the first freeway removal project [...]. — longbeachize.com
It would be better to reconsider this wholesale demolition. Especially as the proposed replacement, designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, leaves much to be desired. [...] Or maybe it’s the quintessential Angeleno building? After all, replacing an aging faithful spouse with a younger, more stylish trophy wife is an established Hollywood custom. — Zócalo Public Square
A German pensioner has been ordered to demolish her own home - because the house, built at the start of World War II, did not have planning permission. — thelocal.de
Foster + Partners’ Harmon Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is being razed without ever opening. Owner MGM Resorts International received court approval on April 22 to demolish the unfinished 27-floor, oval-shaped tower following a protracted legal battle with its contractor, Tutor Perini Corp., over building defects. — archrecord.construction.com
[...] MoMA has said it would detach and preserve the facade’s 63 textured copper-bronze panels.
One might suppose that salvage is preferable to annihilation, but before we get too comfortable with such piecemeal preservation, it is worth noting that the panel-by-panel disassembly and storage of an architectural treasure’s metal facade has been tried before in New York City, with comically disastrous results.
Who around here remembers the Laing Stores? — nytimes.com
The axe is set to fall on the American Folk Art Museum -- after months of controversy and protest, MoMA initiated its expansion and began preparing the FAM for demolition this past Monday. As per prior concessions by MoMA, the museum's distinctive façade will be preserved, but it's unlikely to...
The Museum of Modern Art’s controversial decision to demolish a neighbor, the former American Folk Art Museum, is about to become reality.
On Monday, scaffolding and protective netting will begin to go up around the folk art building, at 45 West 53rd Street, the museum confirmed on Friday. [...]
The building’s facade will be removed first, panel by panel, and taken to storage. Its future remains uncertain. Demolition is expected to continue through the summer. — nytimes.com
Atterwasch is tiny, its single street lined with sturdy brick and stone houses. The village has a single church whose bells peal out at noon each day, a small volunteer fire department, and a cemetery with a special section devoted to German soldiers who died nearby in the closing months of WWII.
Atterwasch may soon be gone.
Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, hopes to relocate the village and its residents in order to strip-mine the ground underneath for lignite, or "brown coal." — news.nationalgeographic.com
What a National Register [of Historic Places] listing really means is a 20% federal tax credit for structural investing, along with any state tax incentives, but that's often not enough to make preservation a more appealing option over razing and starting over. [...]
Listing on the National Register certainly gives something of an economic incentive for preservation, as well as a national profile for these sites [...]
However, what historic sites ultimately need is sustainable funding. — Atlas Obscura
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