John Hejduk’s The House of the Suicide structures get new life in Prague

John Hejduk's The House of the Suicide and The House of the Mother of the Suicide (Renata Hejduk)

John Hejduk’s The House of the Suicide and The House of the Mother of the Suicide (Renata Hejduk)

John Hejduk’s pair of architectural structures, The House of the Suicide and the House of the Mother of the Suicide, are once again on view in Prague. Inspired by a poem by David Shapiro, the pieces were first designed in the late 1980s as an ephemeral memorial in tribute to the 1969 self-immolation of the Czech dissident Jan Palach whose death was in protest of the 1968 Soviet invasion. On January 16 permanent versions of the two structures were installed in Jan Palach Square (formerly Red Army Square), with a plaque that displays Shapiro’s poem, “The Funeral of Jan Palach.”

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Pending Sale of Philadelphia’s Roundhouse Police Headquarters Spurs Campaign for Landmark Status

East
Friday, March 22, 2013
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The Roundhouse Police Headquarters (Courtesy of Save the Roundhouse)

The Roundhouse Police Headquarters (Courtesy of Save the Roundhouse)

It has been a rough few months for modernist civic buildings. First, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks denied Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital landmark status, and then came the demolition of Richard Neutra’s Gettysburg Cyclorama, and now the future of The Roundhouse, Philadelphia’s Police Headquarters, hangs in the balance. Last week, during his budget address, Mayor Nutter brought to light the city’s plan to renovate the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building at 4601 Market Street and turn it into the new police headquarters (to be shared with the City Morgue and the Health Center). Nutter said that the move would mean selling the Roundhouse, along with several other municipal buildings. PlanPhilly reported that the city would pay for the renovation of 4601 Market Street with long-term borrowing, but the costs of the project “would be offset by the sale of the three would-be surplus municipal properties.”

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