Iconic Houses: Celebrating Modern Architectural Marvels

May 16, 2018 3:50 PM ET
Blog

As the World’s largest travel network, American Express has a deep understanding of the influence buildings and landmarks can have on society. And, as regular readers of my blog know, we have a long history of helping communities thrive through the power of preservation.

Our goal has always been to protect places of cultural, historical, and architectural significance, ensuring their unique characters live on for future generations. This dedication includes modern buildings and monuments – whose lasting value is often not recognized quickly enough to avoid demolition. So, this year we stepped up as the chief sponsor of the Iconic Houses Fifth International Conference, Modernism on the East Coast - Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five, in New Canaan, CT from May 15 to 18 to raise awareness about the influence and preservation needs of modern houses around the world.

Founded in 2012, the Iconic Houses Network promotes the preservation of 20th century modern house museums, architects’ houses, and artists' homes and studios, globally. The organization seeks to advance knowledge about maintaining these buildings, and brings their unique architectural histories to the attention of the public.

American Express’ passion for preserving modern architecture is not new. Most recently, we provided a grant to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to digitally archive drawings, manuscripts, speeches, art, and artifacts at Taliesin West (established in 1937), the architect’s winter home and studio. And, we partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support the restoration of Richard Neutra’s Painted Desert Community Complex (established in 1963), a collection of steel, glass, and masonry buildings in the Petrified Forest National Park.

We hope the Conference will spark critical conversations on the future of at-risk modern houses, drive collaborations in fundraising, create channels for expanded learning, and stimulate grant-making from our corporate peers in support of these house museums throughout the world. Most importantly, we are excited to see so many individuals, who are passionate about historic preservation, unite to advocate for the safekeeping of our modern heritage.

To learn more about the Conference and how you can help preserve modern treasures in your communities, visit www.iconichouses.org.

If you have a question or comment, please follow me on Twitter at @timmcclimon and start a conversation there. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog posting with friends and colleagues.  

CSR NOW! IS A WEEKLY BLOG BY TIMOTHY J. MCCLIMON, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN EXPRESS FOUNDATION, DESIGNED TO GET AT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TODAY -- FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A CORPORATE PRACTITIONER.

Jocelyn F. Seidenfeld
American Express
+1 (212) 640-0555