For midcentury modern enthusiasts unable or not willing to travel, this year’s Docomomo US National Symposium is for you! (And for anyone else, of course.) As the organization (the acronym stands for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement) celebrates its 25th anniversary, it returns to Chicago where, in 1995, a group of volunteers gathered to create the first Docomomo chapter in the United States.
The virtual event, called “Chicago: Crossroads of Modern America,” runs May 25-28, and kicks off with a keynote by Mabel O. Wilson, the Nancy and George Rupp professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, as well as a professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. She also serves as the director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-director of Global Africa Lab.
On Friday, May 28, Todd Grover, a principal at MacDonald & Mack Architects in Minneapolis, who is also on the board of Docomomo US, discusses the iconic work of Ralph Rapson during the session, “Reconstructing the Modern Legacy.” A bevy of architectural historians, design researchers, and preservationists working throughout the country will also talk about their work, the oeuvres of modernist architectural icons, and the challenges that lie ahead in preservation.
The symposium also includes virtual tours of the Ford House (designed by Bruce Goff), Paul Schweikher’s house and studio, and the McCormick House (designed by Mies van der Rohe), and van der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology campus.