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Mapping The Imperiled 20th-Century Buildings Who've Recently Found a Hero in the Getty Foundation

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It hasn't been an easy year for 20th-century architecture. The world bid adieu to Tokyo's Hotel Okura, mourned the loss of Paul Rudolph's Government Center, and said a tearful farewell to Josep Lluís Sert's Martin Luther King Jr. School. And that doesn't even begin to account for those perishing under the weight of abandonment, neglect, and water damage. So who is going to come to the defense of our many embattled midcentury structures? The Getty Foundation's Keeping It Modern program, of course. According to a recently released announcement pledging over $1.75 million to the conservation of imperiled landmarks, everything from Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House to Walter Gropius' residence can breath a sigh of relief, at least for this year.
The Getty Foundation aims to focus in on "the cutting-edge building materials and structural systems that define the modern movement" that were often "untested and have not always performed well over time." The funds—which, for the most part, don't actually go towards implementation—will be used for conservation research that will turn each recipient into a salutary test case. This year's focus? According to Antoine Wilmering, the Getty Foundation's senior program officer, it's concrete. "The use of concrete, while visually striking and radical for its time, has created a unique set of challenges for conserving some of the world's most important modernist structures," he explains.

Below, peek a look at all the buildings the Getty Foundation thought were worthy to conserve this year—and, simultaneously, all the ones they didn't. East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa were all overlooked, at least for this year.



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1. Jewett Arts Center, Paul Rudolph, 1958, Wellesley College

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106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Peeking through Wellesley's gothic college campus, Jewett is often considered the crown jewel of Rudolph's work. It was awarded a $120,000 grant.

2. Università degli Studi di Urbino, Carlo Bo Giancarlo De Carlo, 1962–1982, Urbino, Italy

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Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Aurelio Saffi, 2
61029 Urbino PU, Italy

If you've heard of Team Ten, then you've likely heard of Italian architect De Carlo, who designed the university campus as an experiment in social reform. The Getty Foundation will shell out $195k for it.

3. Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1908

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875 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60301

Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple has heaps o' accolades: It was nominated to be an UNESCO World Heritage site, it's a National Historic Landmark, and it's one of the first examples of in situ concrete construction. It's going price is $200,000.

4. The George Nakashima House and Studio, George Nakashima, 1967

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1847 Aquetong Road
New Hope, PA 18938

George Nakishima was already declared a "national treasure" by the Japanese Emperor in 1983, but what really matters is this shiny $100k check that will help update the late woodworkers 21 highly experimental dwellings.

5. Strutt House, James Strutt, 1956

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33 Chemin Scott, Chelsea
QC J9B 1R5, Canada

Slightly outside of Ottawa, Strutt House was home to (You guessed it!) Canadian architect James Strutt and acted as a stage for his investigations into lightweight materials.

6. Het Schip, Amsterdam School Museum, Michel de Klerk, 1921

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Spaarndammerplantsoen 140
1013 XT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Built in 1921, this iconic red brick apartment complex is one of the very best examples of the Amsterdam School around. In total, $180,000 will go towards its conservation.

7. Rietveld Schröder House, Gerrit Rietveld, 1924

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Prins Hendriklaan 50
3583 EP Utrecht, Netherlands

The wear and tear of the thousands of visitors trampling through Gerrit Rietveld's iconic creation is finally starting to show. Enter, €125,000 from The Getty Foundation.

8. Gropius House, Walter Gropius, 1938, Lincoln, Massachusetts

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68 Baker Bridge Road
Lincoln, MA 01773

When Walter Gropius decamped from Weimar, Germany at the height of World War II, he brought with him a Bauhausian aesthetic that would fundamentally change New England's landscape. So, take a moment and bow down in front of the altar functionalism.

9. Arthur Neiva Pavilion, Jorge Ferreira, 1942

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Avenida Brasil, 4365 - Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
21040-360, Brazil

Right smack dab in the middle of the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz campus, Ferreira's pavilion is a stunning example of tropical modernism. There's no shortage of verandas, brise-soleil, and trellises on this estate.

10. Saint John’s Abbey and University Church, Marcel Breuer, 1961

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Saint John's University, 2900 Abbey Plaza
Saint Joseph, MN 56374

This cast-in-place concrete miracle belongs to none other than Hungarian architect, Marcel Breuer. Combining both dense concrete and ethereal stained glass, Breuer creates a symphony of juxtapositions.

11. Gandhi Bhawan, Pierre Jeanneret, 1961

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Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh
Chandigarh 160014, India

Sitting pretty in the middle of Le Corbusier's massively planned Indian city is Gandhi Bhawan, which unfurls like a concrete lotus flower. Fast fact: It was actually designed by Le Corbusier's cousin, Pierre Jeanneret.

12. Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1904

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Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh
Argyll and Bute G84 9AJ, UK

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most wondrous domestic creation is a madcap mix of Japonisme, Scottish Baronial, Art Nouveau, and Arts and Crafts.

13. Einstein Tower, Erich Mendelsohn, 1921, Potsdam, Germany

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Albert-Einstein-Straße
14473 Potsdam, Germany

If you ever find yourself in Potsdam, Germany, this expressionist astrophysical observatory is ready to be gazed upon, but don't forget to make an appointment first.

14. Universidade de São Paulo, João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, 1969

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USP - Cidade Universitária, University of São Paulo - Avenida Professor Almeida Prado, 1280 - Butantã, Butantã
São Paulo - SP, 05508-900

The beating heart of Brazilian modernism lies in the concrete heart of its architecture department, which purposefully took cues from Le Corbusier's late work. It's been awarded $200,000 for a holistic conservation plan.

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1. Jewett Arts Center, Paul Rudolph, 1958, Wellesley College

106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481

Peeking through Wellesley's gothic college campus, Jewett is often considered the crown jewel of Rudolph's work. It was awarded a $120,000 grant.

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

2. Università degli Studi di Urbino, Carlo Bo Giancarlo De Carlo, 1962–1982, Urbino, Italy

Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Aurelio Saffi, 2, 61029 Urbino PU, Italy

If you've heard of Team Ten, then you've likely heard of Italian architect De Carlo, who designed the university campus as an experiment in social reform. The Getty Foundation will shell out $195k for it.

Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Via Aurelio Saffi, 2
61029 Urbino PU, Italy

3. Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1908

875 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301

Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple has heaps o' accolades: It was nominated to be an UNESCO World Heritage site, it's a National Historic Landmark, and it's one of the first examples of in situ concrete construction. It's going price is $200,000.

875 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60301

4. The George Nakashima House and Studio, George Nakashima, 1967

1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, PA 18938

George Nakishima was already declared a "national treasure" by the Japanese Emperor in 1983, but what really matters is this shiny $100k check that will help update the late woodworkers 21 highly experimental dwellings.

1847 Aquetong Road
New Hope, PA 18938

5. Strutt House, James Strutt, 1956

33 Chemin Scott, Chelsea, QC J9B 1R5, Canada

Slightly outside of Ottawa, Strutt House was home to (You guessed it!) Canadian architect James Strutt and acted as a stage for his investigations into lightweight materials.

33 Chemin Scott, Chelsea
QC J9B 1R5, Canada

6. Het Schip, Amsterdam School Museum, Michel de Klerk, 1921

Spaarndammerplantsoen 140, 1013 XT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Built in 1921, this iconic red brick apartment complex is one of the very best examples of the Amsterdam School around. In total, $180,000 will go towards its conservation.

Spaarndammerplantsoen 140
1013 XT Amsterdam, Netherlands

7. Rietveld Schröder House, Gerrit Rietveld, 1924

Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht, Netherlands

The wear and tear of the thousands of visitors trampling through Gerrit Rietveld's iconic creation is finally starting to show. Enter, €125,000 from The Getty Foundation.

Prins Hendriklaan 50
3583 EP Utrecht, Netherlands

8. Gropius House, Walter Gropius, 1938, Lincoln, Massachusetts

68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, MA 01773

When Walter Gropius decamped from Weimar, Germany at the height of World War II, he brought with him a Bauhausian aesthetic that would fundamentally change New England's landscape. So, take a moment and bow down in front of the altar functionalism.

68 Baker Bridge Road
Lincoln, MA 01773

9. Arthur Neiva Pavilion, Jorge Ferreira, 1942

Avenida Brasil, 4365 - Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 21040-360, Brazil

Right smack dab in the middle of the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz campus, Ferreira's pavilion is a stunning example of tropical modernism. There's no shortage of verandas, brise-soleil, and trellises on this estate.

Avenida Brasil, 4365 - Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
21040-360, Brazil

10. Saint John’s Abbey and University Church, Marcel Breuer, 1961

Saint John's University, 2900 Abbey Plaza, Saint Joseph, MN 56374

This cast-in-place concrete miracle belongs to none other than Hungarian architect, Marcel Breuer. Combining both dense concrete and ethereal stained glass, Breuer creates a symphony of juxtapositions.

Saint John's University, 2900 Abbey Plaza
Saint Joseph, MN 56374

11. Gandhi Bhawan, Pierre Jeanneret, 1961

Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh, Chandigarh 160014, India

Sitting pretty in the middle of Le Corbusier's massively planned Indian city is Gandhi Bhawan, which unfurls like a concrete lotus flower. Fast fact: It was actually designed by Le Corbusier's cousin, Pierre Jeanneret.

Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh
Chandigarh 160014, India

12. Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1904

Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute G84 9AJ, UK

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most wondrous domestic creation is a madcap mix of Japonisme, Scottish Baronial, Art Nouveau, and Arts and Crafts.

Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh
Argyll and Bute G84 9AJ, UK

13. Einstein Tower, Erich Mendelsohn, 1921, Potsdam, Germany

Albert-Einstein-Straße, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

If you ever find yourself in Potsdam, Germany, this expressionist astrophysical observatory is ready to be gazed upon, but don't forget to make an appointment first.

Albert-Einstein-Straße
14473 Potsdam, Germany

14. Universidade de São Paulo, João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, 1969

USP - Cidade Universitária, University of São Paulo - Avenida Professor Almeida Prado, 1280 - Butantã, Butantã, São Paulo - SP, 05508-900

The beating heart of Brazilian modernism lies in the concrete heart of its architecture department, which purposefully took cues from Le Corbusier's late work. It's been awarded $200,000 for a holistic conservation plan.

USP - Cidade Universitária, University of São Paulo - Avenida Professor Almeida Prado, 1280 - Butantã, Butantã
São Paulo - SP, 05508-900