By Grant Stevens
[Earlier this month was] the Docomomo US Modernism Symposium in Houston. Posting some landmarks from the area: Culinan Hall & Brown Pavilion, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1954-1974) Mies van der Rohe with Staub, Rather, & Howze. -- @jbuono, Jon Buono
DoCoMoMo. Say it slowly with us: Do-Co-Mo-Mo. It's a word, it's an acronym, it's an advocate for modern buildings. DoCoMoMo, which stands for Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement, is actually a national and international organization dedicated to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement.
March 13-15, the City of Houston and Houston Mod played host to the DoCoMoMO US National Symposium: Modernism in Texas. Because you may not have been able to attend, we though we'd share some highlights through an Instagram tour.
travertine by som... -- @jrosenyc, Julie
The symposium began with a walking tour of downtown Houston, which contains an interesting mix of architecture styles. One of the most photographed buildings was the 1971, 50-story skyscraper One Shell Plaza, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. On the tour, we learned that it was the tallest building in the Southeastern United States when it was constructed.
Philip Johnson (almost) brings the buildings together. #houston #htown #downtown #skyline #skyscraper #docomomo #igtexas #ighouston #architecture #modernism #mod #cities #urban #philipjohnson -- @savingplaces, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Another commonly photographed building is actually two 36-story skyscrapers placed 10 feet apart and connected by a glass pyramid-shaped atrium: Philip Johnson and John Burgee's 1975 Pennzoil Place. Designed as an optical illusion, its appearance varies dramatically depending on one's vantage point.
first church #docomomo #docomodtexas -- @jrosenyc, Julie
1st day sessions docomomo_us symposium, and redbuds are blooming. #docomodtexas -- @jbuono, Jon Buono
Friday & Saturday's educational sessions took place in Jones Hall at the University of St. Thomas campus. Philip Johnson designed the Academic Mall, which is at the heart of the north side of campus. It has four buildings -- including Jones Hall -- in a rectangular layout, in addition to Doherty Library and the Chapel of St. Basil on opposite ends.
#docomodtexas -- @delaneyhf, Delaney HF
Saturday afternoon included a bus tour of Houston landmarks and a stop at Congregation Emanu El. The main building, designed by congregant Lenard Gabert and Mackie & Kamrath Architects was dedicated in 1949. The Proler Chapel was dedicated in 1975; its hexagon shape and ceiling (shown above) replicate the inside of a Mogen David, a six-pointed star.
#docomodtexas -- @delaneyhf, Delaney HF
During his five-decade career, Karl Kamrath (of Mackie & Kamrath) designed residential, commercial, institutional, and government buildings; the bus tour stopped at the 1951 home he designed for himself in the River Oaks Neighborhood. Terraced on three levels to reflect the contours of the Buffalo Bayou, the living room cantilevers out over the gardens.
Our final stop today: the 1940 Brochsteins Inc., factory building and it's excellent fcade. #savingplaces #houston #texas #factory #industrial #cities #urban #urbex #urbanexploration #architecture -- @savingplaces, National Trust for Historic Preservation
The tour ended at Brochsteins Inc. where participants marveled at the beautiful 1940 industrial building designed by company founder and architect Lenard Gabert. The building is still occupied by its original owner, a family-owned custom woodworking and furniture manufacturer.
#latergram #astrodome #docomodtexas #docomomo #savetheastrodome #houston #houstonmod -- @liz13fwwm, Liz Waytkus
During the symposium, National Trust Senior Field Officer Beth Wiedower presented on the National Trust's ongoing campaign to save the Houston Astrodome (get the story here) and many attendees took time to visit the dome. They might have spotted some selfies in progress.
The next DoCoMoMo National Symposium "Modernism on the Prairie: Rural to Metro Regional Interpretation of the Modern Movement" will be June 4-7, 2015 in Minnesota. You can find your regional chapter or friend organization here. Be sure to check out the Modernism Series over on our Preservation Leadership Forum blog and follow our Instagram account as well.