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
The march of London's skyscrapers looks set to continue unchecked after the UN watchdog charged with protecting sites of international importance delayed a move to place parliament – which is being obscured by a rash of new towers – on its endangered heritage list.
Unesco was due to put Westminster on its List of World Heritage in Danger when it met recently in Doha, Qatar. — theguardian.com
Leading British archaeologist and member of the House of Lords, Colin Renfrew, says the destruction of historic mosques in Mosul, northern Iraq, by Islamic state militants (Isis) “is a disaster for the cultural heritage of Iraq, and indeed of Islam”. The Prophet Jirjis mosque and shrine in Mosul was destroyed on 27 July, according to unconfirmed press reports. The 14th-century mosque was the latest in a series of holy sites targeted by the jihadist group. — theartnewspaper.com
Vandals broke into the historic New York State Pavilion last weekend, setting a stolen van on fire and damaging a piece of its deteriorating terrazzo map, park watchdogs said.
The shocking mayhem in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was heartbreaking for volunteers who have been working for years to spruce up the aging 1964 World’s Fair relic. — nydailynews.com
The mosque was built on an archaeological site dating back to 8th century BC and is said to be the burial place of the prophet, who in stories from both the Bible and Qur’an is swallowed by a whale.
It was renovated in the 1990s under Iraq’s late dictator Saddam Hussein and until the recent militant blitz that engulfed Mosul, remained a popular destination for religious pilgrims from around the world. — arabnews.com
More than 50 leading figures from the worlds of art, film, fashion and architecture have signed a petition calling for a ban on giant cruise ships sailing through Venice. [...]
Nicholas Penny, the director of the National Gallery in London, Richard Armstrong, the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, the architect Norman Foster and his wife Elena also endorse the appeal which has been launched by the Association of the International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice [...]. — theartnewspaper.com
US museums are teaming up with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force to help protect Syrian museum collections and stem the loss of cultural heritage amid the country’s ongoing civil war.
Late last month, experts from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the Pennsylvania Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center quietly organised a three-day training session for curators, heritage experts and civilians in an undisclosed location outside of Syria. — theartnewspaper.com
Istanbul is the city of transformation and contradiction. As an urbanist, I am trying to keep record and make sense of this transformation and am especially interested in its winners and losers. At the moment we live in a giant construction site, where skyscrapers, mega projects and urban renewal projects are taking place all around. There is a gold rush to real-estate development. — theguardian.com
The practice of using corporate largess to finance restoration projects for public antiquities was once fairly rare here. But with the nation struggling with a stagnant economy and crushing public debt — Rome is flirting off and on with bankruptcy — politicians are now looking to private companies and international sources to help preserve Italy’s cultural heritage. — nytimes.com
[...] the Crystal Bridges acquisition reflects an increasingly popular attitude toward architecturally significant homes among private collectors. Such buyers now see that historic homes can be collected, preserved, and appreciated much like fine art. — blouinartinfo.com
“Words like ‘holocaust’ have been used in reference to the idea that our house could inspire a rash of tear-downs which could then be replaced with modern homes. I designed my house specifically within the design guidelines of this historic district and to be compatible, a good neighbor. But the term ‘modernism’ just clicks a switch in people’s brain and they can’t see the house for what it is.” — nytimes.com
As an architect, Gene Kaufman doesn’t typically save buildings; he designs them.
But when he heard of plans to change Paul Rudolph’s celebrated but shuttered government building in Goshen, N.Y., as part of a renovation plan, he decided to step in.
“To lose a building like this would be a tragedy,” said Mr. Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects in New York City. — nytimes.com
Previously:Gwathmey Siegel's Kaufman wants to buy Paul Rudolph's brutalist Orange County Government CenterOrange County Votes to Keep Brutalist BuildingUnloved Building in Goshen, N.Y., Prompts Debate on Modernism
Philip Johnson lovers rejoice! It was just announced that the city will put aside $5.8 million to restore the dilapidated crown jewel of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Funding for the restoration of the “Tent of Tomorrow” came via Mayor Bill de Blasio, who contributed $4.2 million to the project, while the rest was provided by City Council and Borough President Melinda Katz... Efforts to restore the project will begin soon, but a bumpy road lies ahead… — 6sqft
Filling up the ole’ gas tank is not a glamorous job, and usually not a task that leaves one marveling at the surrounding architecture. But in 1927, Prairie-style extraordinaire Frank Lloyd Wright put together plans for a fuel filling station in Buffalo, New York that would leave even the most seasoned driver awe struck ... 90 years later, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum has realized Wright’s vision. — 6sqft
The Moscow city government is asking citizens to weigh in on the fate of the Shukhov radio tower, a rusted icon of Soviet constructivist architecture that’s threatened with demolition. [...]
The vote, which began this week and runs until July 6, is being held on Active Citizen, an iOS and Android app released by the city last month. The app polls citizens on topics such as street-tree planting and changes to daylight savings time. — qz.com
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