It’s always very gratifying to see a little press about our enduring struggle for the recognition of Mid-Century Modernist architecture in this country.
Especially when simultaneously receiving bad tidings like the unholy demolition of Daryl Jackson’s Riley House, and if that were not dire enough replacing it with what can only be described as a pile of diseased architectural excrement.
To this, ew.
Yet we still believe the tide is turning and in our little corner of the world there are wins to be enjoyed (Sirius and Lind House as recent examples) and more importantly there appears to be an active coalescing of the various mobs of the Mod architecture tribes (Hello Beaumaris Modern! Yoo Hoo Modern House Co and Sydney Living Museums!). And it’s not like we are alone our counterparts in the US, home to some of the best MCM homes ever built, are still fighting to have even these masterpieces recognised, protected and not sold for the land. One only has to look at the current listing for Richard Neutra’s Chuey House (c.1956). A home built by one of the undisputed maestros of the Modernist canon, photographed by Julius Shulman in 1960, and about which the owner wrote to the architect as follows;
“You are an alchemist who has transmuted earth, house, and sky into a single enchantment….I can only hope that I can in some measure grow up to the wholeness and balance embodied here.” – Josephine Ain
Now being sold (for the very first time) without any images of the house, only the views, totally omitting mention of its monumental historical and architectural pedigree and of course with the spivvy, slimy statement; “These contiguous lots are collectively ideal for a compound, providing a truly unique development opportunity”
The only way to combat such wanton destruction before our very eyes is heads down and work harder, toiling together, encouraging each other and spreading the word high and low. Deep breath and soldier on.