The Glass House, one of the masterpieces of 20th Century American architecture, opened to the public last month, assuring its future as the centerpiece of a 47-acre site that a leading preservationist calls "the Acropolis of modern architecture."
But just a few hundred feet away from the steel-and-glass home of the late architect Philip Johnson, a four-bedroom modernist house by a lesser-known architect was torn down in recent years to make way for an eight-bedroom "McMansion."
That contrast points to a problem of increasing concern to preservationists and architectural historians. High-profile buildings such as the Glass House and Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., can be saved by being turned into museums, but a growing number of important modern structures are threatened with demolition -- in part because they're seen as outmoded or impractical, and in part because the public doesn't know what to make of the stark, unadorned style that dominated the middle decades of the last century.
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(Thanks, Tobermory, for sending us the link!)