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Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Hawaii Chapter of Docomomo US to Launch Inaugural Event at Tour 2012 on First Friday, October 5th, in Downtown Honolulu.


Docomomo US, a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and promoting Modernist architecture, will hold its Sixth Annual Tour Day, a nationwide celebration of Modernism. Tour Day 2012 includes architectural tours of modern buildings, interiors, neighborhoods and landscapes, hosted by Docomomo US chapters as well as regional and national affiliate partners.

Tour Day 2012 also marks the inaugural event of Docomomo US Hawaii Chapter.
Based in Honolulu, a hotbed of mid-century Modernism, Tour Day 2012 in the islands will highlight the Hawai‘i  State Capitol, designed by John Carl Warnecke and Belt, Lemmon and Lo and completed in 1969. In his book Buildings of Hawaii, historian and author Don Hibbard cites Frank Haines, FAIA, one of the capitol’s architects as saying “The State Capitol reflects Hawai‘i’s unique status: part of the United States, but not part of North America, being instead part of Polynesia.”  In his opening address to the Hawaii State Legislature in 1969, Gov. John Burns aligned the stunning Capitol’s design to the 50th State’s “free people…open society…welcome (to) all visitors to our Island home.”

Hibbard, architect Dean Sakamoto (and curator of the 2007 Honolulu Museum of Art exhibition Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff, and author of the accompanying catalogue), and other Hawaii Chapter members will conduct a tour of the Capitol and its surrounding district from the Executive Level, 5th Floor Terrace, on Friday, Oct. 5, 5:00-7:00PM. The tour is free and open to the public. Attendees should meet at the ground floor rotunda at 4:45PM. Groups will be escorted up the elevator.

With 38 tours planned in 22 states, Tour Day is one of the nation ‘s largest events promoting architecture, design and our built heritage of the mid-20th century. The Docomomo US Tour Day 2012 features events such as exhibitions, walking tours, bus tours, bike tours and access to structures and sites not regularly open to the public. In addition to its continued partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians, this year’s event features a new partnership with the Paul Rudolph Foundation.  Docomomo US is partnering with the Paul Rudolph Foundation to shed light on the legacy of this American modernist and to advocate for his buildings. Hawaii Chapter member, architect Dean Sakamoto, is an expert on Paul Rudolph’s architectural design influence. He was the director and designer of the 2010 exhibition, Model City: The Architecture of Paul Rudolph at Yale and New Haven.

The Docomomo US Tour Day seeks to raise the awareness of and appreciation for buildings, interiors, neighborhoods and landscapes designed in the United States during the mid-20th century. Tour Day invites organizations and people across the country to take stock of significant 20th-century built design in their state, city, region or neighborhood and celebrate that work with Docomomo US in a tour. A complete listing of events for Tour Day 2012 is now available at Follow Docomomo on Twitter: @docomomo_us,#TourDay; and like them on Facebook:

About Docomomo US:
Docomomo (Documentation and Conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement) promotes the study, interpretation and protection of the architecture, landscape and urban design of the Modern Movement. Docomomo US is an all volunteer group comprised of enthusiasts, historians, architects, designers, students, and preservationists. Regional Chapters promote the goals and mission of the organization through advocacy, education, and outreach aiming to encourage a sense of regional and national pride for the rich legacy of the Modern Movement within the United States.

About Docomomo US Hawaii Chapter:
The new Hawaii Chapter of Docomomo US is comprised of members of key local architectural, design, preservation and museum professionals from the private and public sectors. The Hawai‘i Chapter’s formation was encouraged by Theo Prudon, New York City based architect and head of Docomomo US, who recognized the significant presence of modern architecture, art and planning in the Aloha State. Along with the State Capitol, other modern buildings of note in the islands include the Honolulu International Airport, the East-West Center at the University of Hawai i at Manoa, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, the IBM Building, the Financial Plaza of the Pacific, and First Hawaiian Center.

Building upon this first event, the Hawaii Chapter aims to promote public education on Modernism in the islands; catalogue, preserve, restore and renovate Hawai‘i’s unique modern architecture and public art; identify what aspects of the modern movement are applicable to Hawai‘i’s environment and culture; conduct an oral history project among senior Hawai‘i architects and developers of our modern environments; and build a model Docomomo chapter that also has a lot of fun.


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