ISIS militants demolish ancient heritage sites in Syria after vowing to leave them unharmed

Destruction of Baalshamin Temple (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Destruction of Baalshamin Temple d (Courtesy Wikipedia)

World heritage sites in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria are being bombed by the militant group ISIS. The 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin and Temple of Bel in Palmyra, designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have allegedly been destroyed by the terrorist group. Images featuring the explosion posted through social-media accounts in affiliation with ISIS depict the bombings.

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Obit> Karol Lautner Peterson, 1938–2015

Architecture, Obit, Preservation, West
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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Karol Lautner Peterson (Mark G. Picascio)

Karol Lautner Peterson (Mark G. Picascio)

Los Angeles lost an important figure in the architecture and preservation community last week. News reached AN of the passing of Karol Lautner Peterson, president of The John Lautner Foundation, which plans to host a memorial celebration in the Los Angeles area. The organization shared the following remembrance:

Karol Lautner Peterson died early in the morning of August 25, 2015, in her home. She was surrounded by close, loving family members.

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KVA Brings Digital Brick to Harvard

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As part of an extensive renovation, Kennedy & Violich Architecture re-skinned Tozzer Library in a high performance brick, glass, and copper envelope. (John Horner Photography)

As part of an extensive renovation, Kennedy & Violich Architecture re-skinned Tozzer Library in a high performance brick, glass, and copper envelope. (John Horner Photography)

Old and new technologies combine in renovated anthropology building.

Tasked with transforming Harvard‘s 1971 Tozzer Library into a new home for the university’s Anthropology Department, Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA) faced a unique set of challenges. Read More

Beyer Blinder Belle restoring Marcel Breuer’s Whitney building for 2016 reopening under the Metropolitan Museum

Architecture, East, Preservation
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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Marcel Breuer peers from the window of the former Whitney Museum in 1967. (Ezra Stoller / Esto)

Marcel Breuer peers from the window of the former Whitney Museum in 1967. (Ezra Stoller / Esto)

The Met Breuer will throw open its doors in March 2016 for the first season of contemporary art programming under the banner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Breuer’s iconic building, formerly the Whitney Museum of American Art, is currently being “invigorated by renovations that will support a fluid, integrated experience of art and architecture,” as the Met’s press release proudly declares.

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Before the Department of Homeland Security moves into its old insane asylum home, the National Historic Landmark will need some intense TLC

Architecture, East, News, Preservation
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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(Courtesy GSA/Grunley/Shalom Baranes)

Aerial view of the site as it looks today. (Courtesy GSA/Grunley/Shalom Baranes)

Although a designated landmark, the proposed new site for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the heart of the St. Elizabeths West Campus, Washington D.C., is an intense fixer-upper. Working with architects Shalom Baranes Associates and contractor Grunley Construction, the General Services Administration proposes a total renovation of the 264,300 square foot Center Building, a collection of seven connected structures that served as patient treatment rooms and administrative offices for the original Government Hospital for the Insane. It later became known as the St. Elizabeths Hospital.

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VOA to design artist housing for Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood

Artspace is planning artist housing at 111th Street and Langley Avenue in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood. (VOA Associates)

Artspace is planning artist housing at 111th Street and Langley Avenue in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. (VOA Associates)

Chicago‘s VOA Associates will design artist housing and community studio space in the Pullman, community group Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives announced last week, signaling another step in the resurgent neighborhood on the city’s far South Side. Read More

These five finalists are vying to design a memorial for World War I in Washington, D.C.

"Plaza to the Forgotten War." (Courtesy Brian Johnsen, Sebastian Schmaling, and Andrew Cesarz from Johnsen Schmaling Architects)

“Plaza to the Forgotten War.” (Courtesy Brian Johnsen, Sebastian Schmaling, and Andrew Cesarz from Johnsen Schmaling Architects)

Five finalists have been named in the competition to design a new World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission received more than 350 proposals for the memorial, which will rise on Pershing Park near the White House. The park is named for John J. Pershing who led the American Expeditionary Force during the war.

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Following lawsuit, Clemson University backs down on plans for a new architecture center in Charleston

Architecture, East, Preservation
Monday, August 17, 2015
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(Courtesy Allied Works)

(Courtesy Allied Works)

For the second time in a decade, Clemson University has scrapped plans for a modern architecture center in Charleston’s historic district. Confronted with a lawsuit by neighborhoods and preservation groups, who objected to the addition of the glitzy, $10 million metal-and-glass building on George and Meeting streets, the university is seeking to lease temporary space in downtown Charleston.

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New York Architect wins competition to modernize famed Brutalist bus station in Britain

(Courtesy John Puttick Associates)

(Courtesy John Puttick Associates)

John Puttick, a British architect currently practicing in New York City, has won an international competition to redesign and modernize an iconic Brutalist bus station in England.

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Los Angeles unleashes 96 million “Shade Balls” into its reservoirs to help conserve water

(Courtesy Las Virgenes Municipal Water District)

(Courtesy Las Virgenes Municipal Water District)

What appears to be an explosive invasion of tiny black orbs is actually one small part of the solution to Los Angeles’ four-year drought. Colloquially called “shade balls,” these 36 cent buoyant spheres are a part of a $34.5 million water quality protection project by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

More after the jump.

Desert Modernism in Palm Springs cleared for National Register of Historic Places

Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Given that Palm Springs is a destination for sun-soaked desert modernism, it’s surprising to learn that a number of structures by the area’s best-known architects are not protected. That changed earlier this month when the California State Historical Resources Commission voted to nominate ten buildings by Albert Frey, including Palm Springs City Hall and the iconic Frey House II, as well as the Town & Country Center in Palm Springs designed by Paul R. Williams and A. Quincy Jones for the National Register of Historic Places.

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Restoration work brings new windows to long-vacant Michigan Central Station in Detroit

After years of dilapidation, Michigan Central Station boasts new windows on some floors. (FOX 2 Detroit)

After years of dilapidation, Michigan Central Station boasts new windows on some floors. (FOX 2 Detroit)

There are few buildings as emblematic of the urban blight in Detroit as Michigan Central Station. That changed slightly this week, when new windows appeared in some of the historic building’s vacant frames.

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