The Getty Foundation's Modern Architecture Conservation Initiative

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By Erika Heet / Published by Dwell
The institution establishes a program to update iconic buildings around the world.

Modernists can breathe a sigh of relief on behalf of several significant architectural gems around the world that are compromised and in need of conservation in order to survive and thrive. The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has announced its Keeping It Modern philanthropic initiative, which focuses on the conservation of 20th-century architecture internationally. Keeping It Modern has provided the first ten grants to well-regarded modern buildings: Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, Hilario Candela’s Miami Marine Stadium, Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago, The Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, I.M. Pei’s Luce Memorial Chapel in Taichung, Taiwan, Max Berg’s Centennial Hall in Wrocław, Poland, Dov Karmi’s Max Liebling House in the White City of Tel Aviv, Israel, and Le Corbusier’s apartment and studio in Paris, France. The initiative "brings into sharp focus the specific conservation issues of modern buildings," says Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. "This initial round of grants includes important buildings on several continents."

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The courtyard of Louis Kahn's Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Foundation created Keeping It Modern to complement the Getty Conservation Institute’s Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI). Two of the first ten projects funded through Keeping It Modern—the Salk Institute and the Eames House—are related to CMAI projects. Future Keeping It Modern grants will be awarded through a juried competition process. Support will be available for significant buildings around the world from the modern era that serve a public function and are owned by nonprofit, charitable, or public entities that are committed to the building’s long-term preservation and maintenance. Deadlines and criteria for the next round of applications will be announced on the Getty Foundation website.

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Livinghouse Idelson Street 29, Tel Aviv, Max Liebling, architect Dov Karmi, 1935/36.

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Max Berg's Centennial Hall in Wrocław, during the Centennial Exhibition in 1913.

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The exterior of the Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California.

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Le Corbusier in his apartment and studio in Paris, France.

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Miami Marine Stadium, 1963, by Hiladio Candela.

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The patients' wing and solarium terraces at the Paimio Sanatorium, Finland, Alvar Aalto, 1928-32.

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The Frederick C. Robie house, south elevation, Chicago, Illinois, by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Jørn Utzon's Sydney Opera House.

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Luce Memorial Chapel in Tunghai, Taiwan, 1963, by I.M. Pei.