For the first time in 43 years, the Vanna Venturi House is for sale!

Architecture, East, Preservation
Thursday, July 16, 2015
8330 Millman St Philadelphia, PA 19118, aka The Vanna Venturi House by Robert Venturi. (Courtesy Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty-Philadelphia)

8330 Millman St, Philadelphia, PA 19118, aka The Vanna Venturi House by Robert Venturi. (Courtesy Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty-Philadelphia)

The Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia is for sale. That’s right, the Vanna Venturi House. Robert Venturi’s 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,986-square-foot work of seminal Postmodern architecture can be yours for only $1,750,000. Located in a quiet Philadelphia neighborhood, the house is for sale for the first time in 43 years.

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On View> Catch “Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment” before February 15

Architecture, East, Newsletter, On View, Skyscrapers
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Courtesy Skyscraper Museum

Courtesy Skyscraper Museum

Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York
Through February 15

Once a seedy, crime-ridden corridor, Times Square has since been transformed into a vibrant and safe, neon-lit entertainment hub for theatergoers. But in 1984, the future of The Great White Way was uncertain.

Read More

Frank Gehry Shuffle: University of St. Thomas to move Winton Guest House a second time

(University of St. Thomas)

Frank Gehry’s Winton House (University of St. Thomas)

An early Frank Gehry–designed house about an hour south of Minneapolis is on the move—again.

The Winton Guest House, which Gehry designed in the early 1980s for Penny and Mike Winton, sits on property in Owatonna, Minnesota recently sold by the building’s owner, the University of St. Thomas. They have until August 2016 to relocate the playful, postmodern cluster of forms.

Continue reading after the jump.

Portland Building, once eyed for demolition, will be saved, Graves says

Architecture, National, News, Preservation
Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Portland Building (photo: Keith Daly/flickr)

The Portland Building (photo: Keith Daly/flickr)

[Editor’s Note: This post was written by Edward Gunts and James Russiello.]

The Portland Building, once considered for demolition, will be spared from the wrecking ball and renovated, according to its architect. Michael Graves, the building’s architect, said in late November that city officials have decided to renovate it for continued use as municipal offices and have asked him to serve on a committee that will coordinate the redesign effort. AN spoke to Graves at a symposium organized by the Architectural League of New York.

“It’s going to be saved,” Graves said. “They told me… They said they are saving the building and not only that but we want you to sit on a committee for the redesign.” Graves added that a time frame for the work has not been set but “I would imagine in the next year we’ll do something.” Dana Haynes, communications director for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, confirmed that the Portland Building is not under threat of demolition and will continue to house city employees. He said Portland’s annual capital budget process will begin in January and city officials likely will begin to look at what resources the city might have to address flaws with the building at that time. Haynes said he was not aware that Graves had been asked to serve on a commission to help oversee work on the building, but he said he thought that made sense.

Continue reading after the jump.

Inaugural Chicago architecture biennial has a name, and a show by Iwan Baan

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s announcement that Chicago would launch an international festival of art and architecture—its own take on the famous Venice biennale—drew jeers and cheers from the design community both near and far from The Second City. AN called for the show aspiring to be North America’s largest architectural exhibition to go beyond tourism bromides.

Now the upstart expo has a name, as well as its first show. Read More

On View> Times Square 1984: The Postmodern Moment

Architecture, East, On View, Skyscrapers
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
(Courtesy Skyscraper Museum)

(Courtesy Skyscraper Museum)

Times Square 1984: The Postmodern Moment
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York
Through January 18, 2015

Times Square is one of the most renowned cultural hubs in the entire world. It is commonly heralded as the perfect tourist attraction: full of bright lights at night, giant LED billboard signs, and men in furry costumes of Elmo and the Cookie Monster. Times Square 1984: The Postmodern Moment, currently on view at The Skyscraper Museum, enlightens visitors with the recent history of Times Square and how it became what it is today.

More after the jump.

Philly Art Commission Pans Stern’s Revolution Museum Design as “Disneyesque”

Stern's Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution.  (Rendering NC3D.)

Stern’s Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution. (Rendering NC3D.)

Philadelphia might be the City of Brotherly Love, but it’s not showing any affection for Robert A.M. Stern these days. According to, the city’s Art Commission is  “deeply dissatisfied” with the architect’s proposal for the new Museum of the American Revolution. The newspaper’s critic, Inga Saffron, reported that “the commission asked the architects to remove a Disneyesque cupola, add eye-level windows on Chestnut Street, and reconsider the building’s composition.” It’s not quite the shot heard around the world, but, “Disneyesque cupola!?” The Philly Art Commission pulls no punches.

Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Graves’ Portland Building Could Be In Jeopardy

News, Newsletter, Preservation, West
Monday, January 13, 2014
Portland Building (Flickr/Camknows)

Portland Building (Flickr/Camknows)

If several Portland city commissioners have their way Michael Graves‘ alternately loved and hated Portland Building (1982), now facing a $95 million renovation, will be torn down. One of the most famous examples of postmodern architecture in the United States, the 15-story, 31-year-old structure is known for its small square windows, exaggerated historical motifs, playful, varied materials, gaudy colors, and, of course, its cameo on the opening to the show Portlandia (also the name of the larger-than-life statue over the building’s front door).

Continue reading after the jump.

After a Decade, Paul Gunther To Bid Adieu To the Classicists

National, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Paul Gunther. (Courtesy ICAA)

Paul Gunther. (Courtesy ICAA)

After a decade at the helm, Paul Gunther is stepping down as the president of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). Under Gunther’s leadership the ICAA expanded to include 15 national chapters, and grew into a 14 person organization. In addition to holding lectures and symposia throughout the year, the Institute publishes the journal The Classicist, and it awards a summer fellowship for landscape painting. Last year the Institute held a provocative symposium reexamining postmodernism’s relationship to classicism, which drew a wide audience including senior members of the architectural community who rose to prominence in the pomo heyday of the 1980s as well as young designers drawn to the playful iconography of the period.

Continue reading after the jump.

Drexel Opens Revamped Venturi Scott-Brown Building in Philadelphia

Friday, April 12, 2013
The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi (Courtesy of Drexel University)

The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi. (Courtesy of Drexel University)

A few years ago Drexel University embarked on an ambitious plan to convert one of Philadelphia’s iconic postmodern landmarks by Venturi Scott Brown Associates (VSBA) into a new home for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Tonight the University will celebrate the official opening of its new building, dubbed the URBN Center, with a series of performances and demonstrations to showcase student work.

Continue reading after the jump.

Post Modern Roulette: Chicago’s Thompson Center Eyed For Casino

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Inside the rotunda of Chicago's Thompson Center. (John Picken / Flickr)

Inside the rotunda of Chicago’s Thompson Center. (John Picken / Flickr)

The Thompson Center is an easy target. Most Chicagoans only know it as that Po-Mo Behemoth where we transfer between L lines and occasionally visit the DMV in the basement food court, perhaps the only location in America where you can get a slice of Sbarro and a new driver’s license. It’s a beast of a building—so bad, it’s almost good­—and has been plagued with problem after problem, most recently the removal of the granite panels along the plaza. Tackling its so obviously deferred maintenance and adapting it for future use would be no small task. That’s why, according to the Sun-Times, the president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and a major labor chief have proposed building a casino in the lower level and first floor of the building.

When we think of downtown casinos, we think of Detroit. Look, Eavesdrop loves Detroit and is rooting for its revival on a daily basis, but Chicago doesn’t want to be using Detroit as its urban development role model. If this nutty scheme comes to fruition, there would be a casino in a building located across from City Hall, which also houses hundreds of state government employees. They better get ready to beef up their Employee Assistance Program, as the state might have a few more gambling addicts on their payroll.

Thomas H. Beeby To Win 2013 Driehaus Prize

Midwest, National
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, designed by 2012 Driehaus laureate Thomas H. Beeby. (Courtesy of University of Notre Dame)

Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, designed by 2013 Driehaus laureate Thomas H. Beeby. (Courtesy of University of Notre Dame)

One of the “Chicago Seven” architects who broke with the city’s modernist aesthetic during the 1970s and 80s, Thomas H. Beeby, will receive the 2013 Richard H. Driehaus Prize. Considered the traditionalist’s Pritzker Prize, the Driehaus comes with a $200,000 purse and denotes a lifetime of contributions to classicism in contemporary built work.

Continue reading after the jump.

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