How Esther McCoy's writings connected Mexican and LA design in this Museo Jumex exhibition
Esther McCoy is best known as the architecture writer who helped shape the story of Modernism in Los Angeles. Less known is the nearly year-long period she spent in Mexico in 1951. During this time, she wrote about key architectural developments in the country...
“The [“Passersby 02: Esther McCoy” exhibition] presents [McCoy] as this kind of bridge,” says Esparza, “from L.A. to Mexico and from Mexico to L.A.”
— Los Angeles Times
Architecture historian and critic Esther McCoy is the spotlight of a micro-exhibition called “Passersby 02: Esther McCoy”, which closes this Sunday at Museo Jumex. The exhibition investigates how McCoy's writings on key architectural developments in Mexico during her extended stay in... View full entry
Christopher Gray, wry architecture author/researcher, dies at age 66
Rooting himself less in a strictly academic tradition and more in an observed, on-the-street context, architecture author and researcher Christopher Gray catalogued what he considered to be beautiful and surprising for The New York Times from 1987 to 2014 in his "Streetscapes" column. He also... View full entry
Can late modernism survive the near future?
All across Los Angeles, buildings by the city's most important firms face preservation threats. Rejected and outmoded, can late modernism find love?
— L.A. Weekly
What is the value of history in a city known for its ephemerality? (Hint: um, not much, unless everyone agrees it is pretty.) In this piece for the L.A. Weekly, Mimi Zeiger thoroughly investigates the state of late modernist structures in the City of Angels, and how likely it is that many of these... View full entry
The "Stonehenge" in the Amazon reveals an unexpected ancient history
Roughly one thousand years ago, a civilization in what is now known as the Brailizan Amazon constructed what appears to be an astronomical observation structure that, thanks to its inadvertent discovery by a tree-razing cattle ranch foreman in the 1990s, has been dubbed the area's "Stonehenge."... View full entry
Investigating the literary and sociopolitical implications of the skyscraper
So I’d argue that the birth of the middle class, or the managerial middle class, is in some ways tied to the invention of the skyscraper.
Before the skyscraper, looking down at people from great heights was more of a figurative state of mind than an actual experience. But afterwards, the notion of people as dots on a landscape went beyond just a slangy Georges Seurat reference and became a Thing. But what were the ramifications of... View full entry
Unfold Berlin's modern architectural history in this nifty paper map
At nearly 350 square miles, [Berlin is] a difficult city to tour without some guidance. Its vastness is doubly inconvenient for architecture buffs...The [Modern Berlin Map] documents 50 buildings, selected by Berlin-based journalist Matthew Tempest. Unfolded, the front of the guide displays the landmarks on a map of Berlin, while the reverse catalogues the buildings in chronological order. This provides a unique lens through which to track the city’s political shifts.
Want more travel tips for Berlin? Check out Archinect's Berlin Travel Guide, which features recommendations from Jürgen Mayer H:Let Jürgen Mayer H. help plan your next trip to Berlin with his own travel tips View full entry
Win “Dingbat 2.0”, a critical study of L.A.'s most ubiquitous vernacular typology
Dingbat 2.0: The Iconic Los Angeles Apartment as Projection of a Metropolis is the first full-length critical study of the dingbat apartment, the stucco-clad boxy “building code creature” that is the Southland's most ubiquitous and mundane vernacular typology. Co-edited by Radical Craft... View full entry
The “unfinished charm” of the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building
With its colorful facade, arched windows, spires and rotunda, the A&I (as it's often called) is a festive relief...But despite the perky building's popularity, its reopening was hardly grand. Why so little fanfare? Lack of funding seems to be one explanation
...the building's "unfinished character is one of its charms...It hasn't always been as gently used as we would like. But that's an important part of our history — Smithsonian history and American history."
More on Archinect:The Seagram Building after the Four Seasons: maintaining a costly landmarkRIP: Bruce Goff's Bavinger House demolishedPreserving Central Asia's ancient architecture through codeThe race to complete the Capitol dome restoration in time for the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President View full entry
Back when architecture was an Olympic competition
It may be a part of the Olympics the world forgot, but from 1912 to 1948, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) handed out medals across five creative arts categories including architecture...Following the 1948 games, the IOC abandoned the Olympic art competition due to the significantly high number of professionals entering, which went against the spirit of the games being an amateur competition.
More on Archinect:Climate change will make finding a host city for the 2088 Olympics incredibly difficultNow that the Olympics have ended, what's in store for Rio's stadiums?How are London's Olympic grounds being used 4 years later?On decentralizing the Olympics View full entry
Eero Saarinen's CIA weapon-designing past
Saarinen’s work for the spy agency mostly involved designing models of buildings and weapons that had yet to be built. He even worked on designs for the original war room in the White House. And the people at OSS claimed that he was so good at his job that he could not be replaced.
It's lucky for architecture that Eero Saarinen, who was known in the CIA as "Architectural Designer (Chief, Special Exhibits Division)" wasn't so successful at his work for the agency that he couldn't be replaced, although one wonders how much of that top secret work rubbed off on his later... View full entry
Aerial cable cars proposed for Chicago
London Eye designers Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond have created a new aerial cable car for Chicago. The plans, which are being sponsored by Lou Raizin and Laurence Geller CBE, have yet to gain approval from any official city agency, but in the meantime here are a few... View full entry
Frank Gehry and Maya Lin find their ancestral roots on PBS
Frank Gehry and Maya Lin join the ranks of those who have explored the history of their ancestors via the PBS show "Finding Your Roots." The show, which is in its third season, has attracted a passionate live-tweeting audience, one of whom wryly noted that "I did not know that Maya Lin's teacher... View full entry
Selling architectural history in a New York market
As an architectural historian, Ms. Clark, 30, has studied buildings throughout New York City in pursuit of her doctorate. [...]
Working for JDS, Ms. Clark felt she could have more than a theoretical effect on architectural history. “I think real estate in many ways is the story of New York, how the city grows and changes,” she said. [...]
As soon as JDS considers acquiring a property, Ms. Clark heads to the archives ... to start developing a case for or against the project.
More from the world of architectural history and New York real estate:Rupert Murdoch suddenly pulls out of 2 World Trade Center dealThe challenges and opportunities of updating Midtown NY’s aging office towersArchitectural historian discovers Chartres Cathedral has started faking itThe Digital... View full entry
Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoir
The ruins of a 16th century church have emerged from the waters of a reservoir in Mexico.
The water level in the Nezahualcóyotl reservoir in Chiapas state has dropped by 25m (82ft) because of a drought in the area. The church, known as the Temple of Santiago or the Temple of Quechula, has been under nearly 100ft of water since 1966.
The church, which is believed to have been built by Spanish colonists, is 183ft long and 42ft wide, with a bell tower that rises 48ft above the ground.
— the Guardian
Searching for Queen Elizabeth's architectural legacy
Elizabeth II is the first major British monarch who will not have an architectural style named after her [...]
The present Elizabethan era includes as many as a dozen architectural highlights and at least two broad architectural styles. “I cannot imagine a term or an argument that would tie all of this together,” says Stanford Anderson, a professor emeritus of history and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “'New Elizabethan architecture’ just ducks the question.”