Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breuer's Atlanta Library chosen for 2010 WMF Watch

October 6, 2009 - This morning in New York, The World Monuments Fund announced its 2010 WATCH LIST, continuing the organization's biennial tradition of of bringing international attention to threatened cultural heritage. 93 sites from 47 countries were chosen, some dating back several centuries, with one in Africa dating back 2 million years. The youngest site to received "at risk" or "threatened" recognition is the Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library. The building was designed by Bauhaus alumni, Marcel Breuer. Press release follows:

Press Contacts

Holly Evarts, World Monuments Fund, 646-424-9594, or hevarts@wmf.org.

Jeanne Collins & Associates, LLC, 646-486-7050, or info@jcollinsassociates.com.




For Immediate Release—New York, NY, October 6, 2009Bonnie Burnham, President of the World Monuments Fund (WMF), today announced the 2010 World Monuments Watch. For more than 40 years, WMF, a nonprofit organization, has worked to preserve cultural heritage across the globe. The 2010 Watch includes 93 sites now at risk, representing 47 countries. These include 9 sites from the United States and 15 dating from the 20th century. The Watch is WMF’s flagship advocacy program, and it calls international attention to threatened cultural heritage.

Ranging from the famous (Machu Picchu, Peru) and remote (Phajoding, a monastery high in the mountains of Bhutan), to the unexpected (Merritt Parkway, Connecticut, U.S.) and little-known (desert castles of ancient Khorezm, Uzbekistan), the 2010 Watch tells compelling stories of human aspiration, imagination, and adaptation. The need for collective action and sustainable stewardship are common themes running through the 2010 list, and the 93 sites vividly illustrate the ever-more pressing need to create a balance between heritage concerns and the social, economic, and environmental interests of communities around the world.

The 2010 Watch makes it clear that cultural heritage efforts in the 21st century must recognize the critical importance of sustainable stewardship, and that we must work closely with local partners to create viable and appropriate opportunities to advance this,” said Ms. Burnham. “The sites on the 2010 Watch list make a dramatic case for the need to bring together a variety of sectors—economic, environmental, heritage preservation, and social—when we are making plans that will affect us all. Greater cooperation among these sectors would benefit humanity today, while ensuring our place as stewards of the Earth for the next generation.”

Comprising products of individual imaginations, testaments to faith, and masterpieces of civil engineering, among other types of creations, the sites on the 2010 Watch are irreplaceable monuments to human culture. They are found in every type of environment, from urban centers and small towns to barren plains and riverside caves, and they are threatened by war, natural disasters, urban sprawl, and neglect. They range from the prehistoric to the contemporary, and include schools, libraries, municipal buildings, places of worship, roadways, aqueducts, row houses, bridges, gateways, parks, follies, cultural landscapes, archaeological remains, historic city centers, castles, private houses, forts, tombs, and ancient petroglyphs and cave art.

Download full press kit here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

University to Create a Digital Edition of Breuer's Work

Society of Architectural Historians

Syracuse University Library awarded $350,000 NEH grant for Marcel Breuer digital project

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Syracuse University Library a $350,000 grant to create a digital scholarly edition of the works of Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. The project, entitled "Marcel Breuer, Architect: Life and Work, 1922-1955" will run from May 2009 through April 2011 and culminate in the release of the web-based edition in May 2011.

Breuer began donating his papers to Syracuse University Library more than 40 years ago, in 1964. Today, the Syracuse Breuer collection includes thousands of original oversized drawings and blueprints, correspondence and photographs.

Upon Breuer's death in 1981, his widow donated many of his remaining papers to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art. This NEH-funded project will unite these geographically separate collections in an online edition of 50,000 items. It will also incorporate Breuer materials from other international archival repositories.

Based in the Library's Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and led by its director, Sean Quimby, the project is a partnership with SU's School of Architecture (SOA). SOA students and faculty will assist with usability testing as the web project develops. SOA faculty member Jonathan Massey, along with Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, will serve on an advisory board.

"The Breuer project will not only enable a new generation of Breuer scholarship, it will open a whole new set of questions about the profile and issues of American modernism from the 1930s through the late 1970s," Bergdoll said in a letter supporting the proposal.

Contact sah_l@hotmail.com for more info.

The National Trust: Breuer's Last Design


The National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Threatened in Atlanta: Breuer's Last Design

Preservation Magazine - One of the most notable pieces of modern architecture in the American South may be demolished and replaced with a new design.

Local artist Max Eternity, along with New York University Breuer scholar Isabelle Hyman, have turned to the blogosphere as a grassroots method of garnering support for the library. To demolish a modern structure so integrated with its environment, Eternity writes on the blog, "seems sociologically, aesthetically, and historically incomprehensible—to say nothing of economically wasteful."

Read more.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Crum & Forrester: Civic Maturation in Atlanta?

- Image taken from Surf303.com -

In an ongoing dispute involving whether or not another one of Atlanta's historical sites will be demolished or preserved, The city of Atlanta’s Board of Zoning Adjustment denied an appeal from the Georgia Tech Foundation, in its quest to get a demolition permit.

So for now it seems that the historic Crum & Forster building will continue to live on. Read More.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Creative Loafing: The Fresh Loaf...Atlanta's Downtown Library in Jeopardy

Metropolis profiles Atlanta’s downtown library in jeopardy

February 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm by Thomas Wheatley in News

Creative Loafing - Architecture magazine Metropolis this month profiles the effort by Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts to raze — or is it renovate? — the historic Atlanta-Fulton County public library located downtown.

The library, completed in 1980, is the final work of famed Modernist architect Marcel Breuer and considered a masterpiece. The architecture community, enraged by the idea, wants to preserve the building.

From the magazine:

Having secured $85 million last November through a bond referendum, Pitts hopes to incorporate retail, dining, and performance space into a high-visibility property. An early choice was a site facing Centennial Olympic Park, a tourist destination bordered by such attractions as CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coca-Cola. But opening a new main branch would mean abandoning the existing one—a design that many argue is already a world-class piece of architecture.

It’s an excellent article and worth your time. Read it in full at Metropolis’ site.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


Metropolis Mag: Atlanta's Downtown Library

February 18, 2009 - International design magazine -- art and architecture journal -- Metropolis Mag, has publish in its February issue, a featured piece about Atlanta's Downtown Library. The building, The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library -- designed by legendary architect Marcel Breuer -- is at risk of being demolished under the auspices of Robb Pitts, a notorious Atlanta politician. Nonetheless, with both a local and national preservation effort gathering steam, the table may soon turn and Mr. Pitts will have to find himself another architectural site to pick on.

Written by renowned journalist Jonathan Lerner, those interviewed for the magazine article consists of a veritable roll call of who's who in the art and design world, including Dr. Isabelle Hyman, Barry Bergdoll, Jon Buono and Max Eternity.




Atlanta’s urge for a trendy new central library may mean that time is up for Marcel Breuer’s final building.

- Click Here to Read -