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Docomomo announces winners of 2019 Modernism in America Awards

Honoring the best in modernist preservation

Glass building with large windows
Des Moines Catholic Pastoral Center—Southeast corner, post-renovation.
Photo by Cameron Campbell—Integrated Studio courtesy Docomomo

Every year for the last five years, Docomomo, an international organization dedicated to protecting and conserving modern architecture, singles out the best in architectural preservation in the U.S. and awards those projects with the American Modernism award. The honor is a nod to the painstaking work of ensuring the country’s most impactful buildings and designs remain impactful for years and decades to come.

This year’s jury, which includes Curbed’s architecture critic Alexandra Lange, has chosen to award 10 preservation projects, including Eero Saarinen’s renovated and expanded Gateway Arch Museum, John Lautner’s restored Silvertop house, Mies’s renovated Des Moines Catholic Pastoral Center, and the efforts to make a Joseph Eichler neighborhood a historic district in Orange, California.

House surrounded by trees
Silvertop—view from the backyard through the house.
Photo by Tim Street-Porter courtesy Docomomo
Modernist homes on tree lined street
Current view of a typical Eichler neighborhood in Orange. Credit:
Page & Turnbull courtesy Docomomo
Gateway arch
Gateway Arch Museum—Pedestrian connection after restoration.
Photo by Nic Lehoux courtesy Docomomo

The new crop of winners cuts across buildings, interiors, and neighborhoods, which shows the breadth of preservation efforts in the country.

As Docomomo U.S. President Theodore Prudon says, “This year’s Awards recognize projects as holistic and collaborative efforts. Modernism was about societal progress through design, and it is important that likewise we, as preservationists of this era, continue to push for improvements in how we identify, document, and preserve our modern heritage.”

Awardees will be honored on June 19 during an event at Design Within Reach in New York City.

See the full list of winners here.