Architecture 🏛 Then and now: buildings before and after modernization

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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Those look like mostly European buildings. Their postwar MCM style was decidedly different from the North American version. It also appears that in a lot of cases the original building was replaced by a new building or at least taken down to its essential structure and rebuilt.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Here's a good one from my hometown. The Avant Building -- a mixed use complex with an Embassy Suites hotel, upscale condos, and a great steakhouse from what I've heard. This is where we normally crash when we visit Buffalo. (My old high school is around the block, for what it's worth.)

avant.jpg


Its previous life: the Thaddeus J. Dulski Federal Office Building, where construction began in 1969, and finished .... eventually. Few tears were shed over the prospect of gutting and reskinning the place.

dulaki.jpg


EDIT: here's something interesting from a community development promotional brochure from Buffalo in the early 1970s. It truly reflects the mindset of that time. The vast majority of Buffalo's vernacular houses have been altered by 1950s-1990s "modernization" in a way that would make it very costly or unfeasible to restore to anything resembling their original architectural design.

buffalo_trolling_preservationists.jpg


Ads like this filled Buffalo area newspapers from the 1950s until fairly recently.

cleeyasy.jpg
 
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Doohickie

Cyburbian
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I posted this in RTDNTOTO back in July. I think it might go well here:

the old Fort Worth Civil Courts Building came to mind. It was just ugly.
50067073883_b1c7101750_z.jpg


In fact it was so ugly they decided after 30 years that they needed to disguise it to make it look like the 1895 court building next door:
50067887062_d9af5f4cc1_z.jpg

Yes, that's a synthetic stucco facade painted to make it look like it was built out of the same pink granite as the 1895 County Courthouse. The panels are flat but painted with fake relief, shadows, etc., to look like stone. The only exterior features that were retained were the 4-story tall limestone angels (wings visible above the tree in the center of the picture).

But even that couldn't redeem the building. When a full restoration was done on the 1895 Courthouse another 30 years later, they demolished the Civil Courts Building to restore the west lawn of the Courthouse. So the city was finally done with that Civil Courts Building once and for all.

Well, almost. A new Civil Courts Building was built a few blocks away; they preserved the angels and used them in the facade of the new building.
50067887027_bae68a2f8f_z.jpg
 
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RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
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I found this gem, but I know there are more examples in our own towns...

This article hurts my heart -- especially the beginning with so many amazing architectural treasures having been ruined. Toward the end, I did see a few changes that didn't bother me much.

I'm a hardcore preservationist but also a realist -- buildings need to evolve in order to survive. Also, I love the caption that some of those facades kept the originals intact. I'd like to believe that many could be restored close to their original glory some day.
 
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I think there is no small part of my becoming a professional preservationist/urbanist than what the company my father worked for that did this:

Teppers original facade

Teppers modernized facade

The sins of the father are visited on the son ...
We don't have access to those links. Are those in your personal Google photos?

You might not not see the buildings, but all you really have to see is links with "Tepper" to know it's bad news.:ttm:
 
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That means nothing to me.
David A. Tepper is a multi-billionaire hedge fund manager who gave his name and a few hundred million dollars for the major renovation of the Carnegie-Mellon Business School.

The interior renovation and interior architecture of C-M's David A. Tepper Business School is, for the most part, a dream come true for a university, faculty, students, environmentalists, planners, etc. The interior architecture rightly won a very prestigious award in 2019.

The exterior architectural renovation and new landscape architecture is an entirely different matter. The overall issues are very well-summarized in this architectural review:
December 4, 2018
After $205 million and three years of construction, Carnegie Mellon University's David A. Tepper Quad is complete
"It's a praiseworthy achievement across many of its stated goals, but it also falls terribly short in some crucial areas of architecture
."
Snippets:
[T]he exterior design of the building appears as an unraveling jumble of missteps and shortcomings. Its yellow brick and horizontal windows haven’t advanced much from the GSIA building of 1952, except for some oddly off-grid windows.
So the 1950s design has shards of a 1970s building tacked on or pushing out at angles. These misplaced references to previous decades say nothing about a harmonious present, let alone a promising future.
[T]he metaphorical front door... . . . ...is actually two small and slightly confusing entries, one for a narrow stair tower, and the other to a long and uncharacteristically dead corridor along the auditorium. The main front door is further up the street, not optimally placed for the neighborhood. Nor does it connect with the spaces above the way the building façade suggests that it does.
The whole building aims toward the rest of campus at a strangely oblique angle, with the pleasant atrium presenting a strangely blank glass façade to pedestrians from the other direction. From inside the atrium, you seem to be looking at the bus stop.
 
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