Currently endangered, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Headquarters is located on the border of a residential neighborhood across from Magruder Park. The original building features art deco flourishes and was designed by architects Paul Kea and Howard Cutler. Numerous additions were added over the years including large mid-century additions in 1953 (by Kea) and 1964 (Walton & Madden).
A developer proposes to demolish the sprawling complex for new homes, which is a shame as the set of buildings is thoughtfully sited on a narrow, hilly site and would be ideal for adaptive reuse.
The 1950s wing especially includes unique and striking exterior detailing, including an entrance bridge (originally over a water feature), metal lettering, and a textured wall of tiles capping the end of the structure.
This boxy building, named for a local real estate company, has held a prominent corner in downtown Newark for 57 years. Recently it was announced that the building will be redeveloped as other nearby structures have been in the past few months and years. It is assumed that the 1960s design will not outlast this redevelopment.
Dating from 1958, the church of St. Michael the Archangel combines traditional eastern catholic design with modern construction. The architect J.K. Jastremsky was Canadian but born to Ukrainian parents and specialized in Ukrainian churches. Based in New York City, he is most well-known for his churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere in Connecticut. In New Haven, he also designed a Greek Catholic church, St. Barbara’s, which was completed in 1979.
In addition to the church building at St. Michael, which is decorated with gold mosaics and topped by two domed towers, there is a social hall at the rear of the property that is still active as a Ukrainian social center.
Unknown by many, even in Glendale, the Chapel of Jesus Ethic is the centerpiece of a campus for the obscure Foundation of Niscience. The campus is located behind a high wall of yellow brick and is not easily accessible. The chapel dates from 1968 and was designed by local architect Culver Heaton, although most of the rest of the buildings date to the 1980s.
The small chapel features walls of matching yellow brick with a front wall of glass facing a reflecting pool. The pool features a sculpture by Herb Goldman and there are other sculptures throughout the campus. Definitely an intact, unusual religious campus worth visiting.
Located at 75 Canal Street is this fire engine company by Hausman & Rosenberg from 1968. They also did this synagogue on the Upper West Side which has since been demolished.
This was one of the grandest motels of the many that used to line the Berlin Turnpike, a popular destination for automobile tourism. The Turnpike, today a little down on its luck, has an interesting 20th century history, which can be read here.
Built in 1959, the Grantmoor extends far across a long site, its zigzag roofline visible to passing tourists. In the 1960s, the hotel built a separate banquet wing with a swooping roof, which still exists as a Shriner Hall.
The whole site today evokes a forlorn state and it’s unclear how long the Grantmoor will last with continued encroachment of big box stores along the turnpike.
A positive adaptive reuse story, the Mendel Rivers Federal Building, is now the Dewberry Hotel. Commissioned in 1963, it was completed in 1965 to designs of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolff–a Columbia based firm who completed numerous government, university and residential buildings across the state. After storm damage in 1999, the Federal government left the building and it remained empty for many years. There was much subsequent debate about saving or demolishing the building.
Enter developer John Dewberry, who repurposed the building into a mid-century modern hotel, which is quite an anomaly for Charleston. The interior includes wood paneling and marble flooring (see blurry picture below), whereas the rooms have more of a contemporary feel. Overall, a great use for a significant modern building.