Guthrie Theater (1962-2007)

Destruction of Old Guthrie Theater
Photo by: Paytonc
I didn't get time to write much about my recent short trip to Minneapolis last month. I did, however, want to write about disappointed I am that they ended up tearing down the old Guthrie Theater. It's beyond my comprehension that a building that some architecture historians said was one of the 500 most important buildings in America in 1996 would be knocked down just ten years later.

To me, this really shows that we are entering into a time when a lot of great modern architecture is in danger. They aren't quite old enough to be considered historical by the preservation people. The Guthrie, for example, was built in 1962, which means it was just five years short of the fifty years that a building generally needs to be called historic. Additionally, a lot of people don't see anything important about the modern style itself. A few years ago when I was talking about the need to save the Guthrie, my father-in-law commented that it was just a glass and steel box. I realize that there is probably some greater meaning here about modern architecture's failure to connect to the masses or something, but still.

Ralph Rapson and Associates built the Guthrie in 1962. Rapson held his practice in Minneapolis and was head of the University of Minnesota Architecture School. Before that he also ran the New Bauhaus in Chicago and had studied under Eliel Saarinen. His two most important buildings were in Minneapolis. The first was the Guthrie, the second Cedar-Riverside housing complex.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Unfortunately, one of those buildings is now gone. He also designed the US embassies in Sweden and Denmark.

To me this is an important reminder that we (architecture and design students or enthusiasts) need to stay on top of this kind of stuff. The current endangered building in Boston: City Hall. But more on that later.
Boston, Massachusetts



We just got these in at work and they're pretty neat. They're little travel guides from Phaidon and Wallpaper Magazine that focus on deisgn and architecture stuff (much like Wallpaper itself). They're pretty cheap, too.
Wallpaper Mexico cityWallpaper New York City
Not quite as cool as the new Moleskine Travel Journal, but what is?


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