Daily digest: The rich are collecting modernist houses, Port Authority’s “beautification,” and more

Better Than Stamp Collecting

Daily digest: The rich are collecting modernist houses, Port Authority’s “beautification,” and more

The Port Authority Bus Terminal will soon get a new mural (Eden, Janine and Jim/Wikimedia Commons, accessed under CC BY 2.0)

Welcome back to another Tuesday, and another roundup of art, urbanism, and architecture news you need to know.

Here’s what’s going on today:

The ultra-wealthy are buying up historic modernist homes for their collections

Some people collect stamps, other spend their money on building PCs. For the ultra-rich, however, the new hot trend is collecting historic modernist homes. Take Peter Palumbo, for instance (a former Pritzker Prize jury chair), who has owned several homes designed by Mies and Le Corbusier, or Robert Rubin, owner of the influential glass palace Maison de Verre in Paris and Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome. Of course, this rarified habit does make sense as, unfortunately, many modernist masterpieces have fallen into disrepair and require deep-pocketed buyers to restore them to the original design intent.

H/t to the Financial Times

UNESCO marks the Great Barrier Reef as officially in danger

Despite Australia’s protests to the contrary, the United Nations and UNESCO, its body that oversees the world’s heritage sites, has moved the Great Barrier Reef’s status from “poor” to “very poor.” That’s a clear downgrade for the ecosystem, and UNESCO noted in its latest report that the reef is in critical condition. Australia came out swinging against that designation, claiming they’ve invested $2.3 billion in reef protection, but the country’s climate protections are notably lacking.

H/t to Earther

The AIA releases a new report on the pandemic’s industry impact

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put out a new report documenting just how hard the COVID-19 pandemic hit the architecture industry last year. In Business Opportunities & Sustainability Trends Amidst a Pandemic, available online now, the AIA and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope investigate work trends that the pandemic accelerated, the business impact in 2020 (it was bad), and new challenges and opportunities facing architects as we come out of it.

MacKenzie Scott’s philanthropic spree includes the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Amid a broader philanthropic campaign by MacKenzie Scott (in part triggered by her 2019 divorce from Jeff Bezos) that recently dispersed $2.74 billion to arts organizations, the National Trust for Historic Preservation received $20 million. More specifically, that money went to the trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and ranks as one of the largest in the history of American preservation. The fund’s mission is to identify and preserve 150 critically threatened locations with critical importance to African American history in the United States.

H/t to Bloomberg CityLab

New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal will get a massive mural

Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal is notoriously dirty and soul crushing, but the nonprofit Garment District Alliance is hoping to make it at least a tad nicer. The group is sponsoring the creation of a block-long mural to be installed at the station, and is open to submissions from interested artists through July 15.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

More nooses have been found at construction sites

Sadly, after nooses were found on construction sites in May and June of this year, it seems that this is a trend with no sign of slowing down. Another noose was discovered on the Merck vaccine center construction site in Durham, North Carolina, after a first was found on June 5.  Princeton University also reportedly discovered one on its own job site, though the school declined to specify exactly where. In response to the outbreak of hate-fueled incidents, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill into law on June 11 that makes displaying a noose a criminal offense, joining six other states with similar laws.

H/t to Construction Dive