Getty initiative to boost MCM preservation

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Getty initiative to boost MCM preservation

Postby scowsa » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:43 pm

The Getty will announce Wednesday that it is launching a new international program, the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative, in hopes of giving preservation architects new and more sophisticated strategies to shore up 20th century buildings.

Susan McDonald, head of field projects for the Getty Conservation Institute, will oversee the new program. Its first project will be funding preservation-related research at the Eames House, which is operated by a foundation established in 2004 and run in part by the grandchildren of Charles and Ray Eames.

In that effort and subsequent ones, the Getty initiative will focus on supporting research on the materials and structural systems unique to -- or at least highly common in -- modern architecture before making the results available to architects and preservation specialists around the world.

These materials include steel and glass, which make up the basic structural envelope at the Eames House, but also concrete, which 20th century architects turned into a key building block of modernism.

Tim Whalen, director of the Getty Conservation Institute, said that the program was not designed as an advocacy organization, like the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee, dedicated to keeping landmarks from the wrecking ball. The point instead is to forge partnerships with architects and organizations already doing research on how to preserve modern masterpieces.

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