After years of litigation, preservationists have lost the battle to save Richard Neutra’s Gettysburg cyclorama building, an iconic example of modern architecture from the 1960s. The bulldozers could raze this circular visitor center as early as February, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The National Park Service commissioned the glass and concrete building as part of its Mission 66 initiative—a billion-dollar program to update park services across the country—at the Gettysburg Battlefield site. The rotunda was designed specifically to house the 1883 panoramic painting of the Battle of Gettysburg by Paul Philippoteaux. Modern architecture preservationists and Civil War buffs clashed over the future of the building, which resulted in legal action that required the National Park Service to conduct a review of the demolition and explore alternative solutions. But when Paul Philippoteaux’s painting was relocated to a new visitor center, the fate of Neutra’s building seemed sealed. The National Park Services released its report this past September and determined that there was no other alternative but to tear the building down. The Gettysburg Foundation will pay for the $3.8 million demolition.
Posts tagged with "Richard Neutra":
Art's power can be magnified by architecture. French artist Xavier Veilhan knew that well when he took over two of LA's most famous houses last week: Richard Neutra's VDL Research House and Pierre Koenig's Case Study House 21. The installation at the VDL, called Architectones, consisted of VDL-inspired sculptures in the garden, the front yard, in most of the home's rooms, on the rooftop, and even in the reflecting pool. Nods to Neutra himself and to the modernist movement included a large steel profile of the architect, as well as an evocative mobile and models of rather menacing-looking boats, flags, rockets, and cars. A couple of days later came the finale: a haunting performance installation at CSH 21 that transformed reflecting pools with black ink and made the transparent house opaque with dry ice-produced smoke.
Architecture lovers, time to get motivated. This Earth Day (April 22) you can celebrate Richard Neutra’s 120th birthday by participating in the Neutra Run-Walk for Health, a 4k or 8k jaunt around LA's Silver Lake Reservoir. “Neutra always stood for health, so it made sense to host this event,” said Dion Neutra, son of the famous architect. Neutra says he hopes the walk will become an annual event for the Neutra Institute. The walking path will start at the Silver Lake Meadow in front of the VDL Research House II, at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., and continue counter clockwise around the reservoir. The walk is open to everyone, whether they plan to finish the race in record time or take a leisurely stroll. “We want to remind people what it’s all about. Just get out and get around, no matter how slowly,” said Neutra. Each participant gets a free commemorative pin and entry to the awards ceremony. Though prizes still haven’t been finalized, Neutra said they might give a signed copy of Neutra's Survival Through Design to the winner. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the VDL Research House II and other efforts by the institute. Register on the Neutra Institute webpage.
Steve Jobs would have been proud. So would Richard Neutra. The Neutra VDL House in Silver Lake now has its own iPad App. Developed by Sarah Lorenzen and David Hartwell, the app includes stunning new pictures of the iconic modernist house, tons of information about Neutra, an annotated historic timeline of the home, guided virtual tours, and information about the house's design, construction, and materiality. We especially love the 3d models, plans, and sections, which can be rotated on axis, giving you a new understanding of the house and providing some classic iPad fun.
If you love the work of Richard Neutra or his son Dion, check out the round of festivities in LA this weekend that we like to call NEUTRAPALOOZA! They're otherwise known as the Neutra Practice 85th anniversary Celebration Party. Our favorite event is the "Followers of Famous Design Fathers" symposium on Saturday, which will include Eric Lloyd Wright, Emily Ain, and Nathaniel Kahn, among others. And for you lucky Neutra house owners, there's the Reunion of Neutra Owners, Clients, Collaborators, and Builders later in the day. The events end on Sunday with a comprehensive Neutra Interiors tour and a tour of Neutra's famous Lovell Health House in Los Feliz. If you're a Neutra fan you really shouldn't miss this. And if you're not, you'll probably become one if you go. Either way you can't lose.
Preservationists have won a small victory in the long-running battle over Richard Neutra’s modernist Cyclorama building at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan told the National Park Service that it must fully comply with the National Environmental Policy Act before tearing down Neutra’s 1961 landmark. Preservationists filed a lawsuit in December 2006 arguing that the park service did not follow the law in its 1999 General Management Plan, where it was decided to raze the building. Hogan’s ruling upholds a year-old recommendation from a federal magistrate that chided the park for not evaluating any alternatives besides demolition. According to an article in the Gettysburg Times, the government is reviewing the ruling before deciding its next step. The Cyclorama Center, completed under the National Park Service’s ambitious Mission 66 program, has had many supporters, including Neutra’s son, Dion. The building has been closed since 2008, after the large mural inside depicting Pickett’s Charge was moved to a new visitor facility on another part of the battlefield grounds. The park service wants to demolish the building in order to restore the landscape to its state during the famous 1863 battle. AN offered some possible alternatives for the structure earlier this year.
The Architect’s Newspaper is heading to the desert for the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week. This small city of 45,000 residents was, like other wealthy post-World War II communities including Sarasota, Florida, and New Canaan, Connecticut, fertile ground for modernist architectural experimentation. Palm Springs has perhaps the largest per-capita number of what are now called “midcentury” modern houses, shops, and public facilities, as well as landmarks by Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, John Lautner, and others. These will all be on display during Modernism Week from February 12 to 21, as well as house tours, a John Lautner exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum, and an encampment of Airstream trailers. The silver aluminum mobile homes will be huddled around the Ace Hotel and Swim Club—itself a renovated 1965 Howard Johnson’s hotel. It should be a great week!
If the model sporting the purple Italian cashmere scarf and hand-finished denim in the November J.Crew catalog looks familiar to you, that's because he's none other than New York architect Caleb Mulvena, principal with Colin Brice at the hot new firm Mapos. Along with some residential projects, Mapos is currently overseeing construction for the sustainable building supplier Green Depot's first flagship store, right across the street from the New Museum on the Bowery (in an 1885 building that was New York's first YMCA). Coincidentally, Mulvena was most recently senior design architect for Peter Marino, where he was in charge of two high-fashion clients: the global concept store for Zegna in Milan, as well as Louis Vuitton's recent flagship store on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. J.Crew is, of course, plenty attuned to modern architecture, seeing as they orchestrated a spring photo shoot in Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House in Palm Springs just before its notorious un-sale at Christie's in May. Mulvena had to settle for boring old Chamonix. And for all you budding "marchitects" out there: Mulvena was discovered in the lobby where Mapos' studio is located, the architect-heavy 195 Chrystie Street. A building with the "highest concentration of design genius" in the city, according to NY Mag. More details about Mulvena and Brice can be found at Mapos' website, which also has contact information, should you want to retain Mulvena's design services (or maybe have him put on a supersoft lambswool sweater and a pair of vintage cords and strut around your apartment).