Modernism in America Awards

Submissions now being accepted.

Winners will be announced June 20, 2017.

Docomomo US invites submissions for the 2017 Modernism in America Awards. The awards celebrate the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes built in the United States or on U.S. territory. The Awards recognize those building owners, design teams, advocacy and preservation organizations that have made significant efforts to retain, restore and advocate for the aesthetic and cultural value of such places.

Early nominations are due by March 1, 2017, and all nominations must be submitted by April 14, 2017.   

Award Categories  

Design: This juried award recognizes informed, thoughtful and creative design efforts to preserve, restore or adapt a modern building, structure or landscape of local, regional or national significance, securing its presence for future generations. In the Design category the areas of consideration include: Residential, Commercial and Institutional or Civic architecture.

This juried award recognizes exceptional efforts to document, inventory and/or create a preservation plan for one or more modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance.

Advocacy: Presented by the Docomomo US Board of Directors, this award recognizes outstanding efforts to preserve and advocate for threatened modern buildings, structures or landscapes of local, regional or national significance through advocacy efforts. This award seeks to recognize preservation and advocacy organizations and other groups (including Docomomo US chapters) who have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively to advocate for a modern site or structure. 


The 2017 Modernism in America Awards jury will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Eligibility and Guidelines 


All Submissions

  • Buildings, structures and landscapes must be located in the United States or on U.S. territory and have originally been completed between 1940 and 1980. Please contact Docomomo US if you would like a building or site to be considered that falls outside of these parameters by emailing awards(AT)
  • Nominations must be the work of architectural design teams, preservation and/or advocacy organizations and persons located in the United States.
  • All submissions must demonstrate significance of the building or site if not listed on the National Register of Historic Places or recognized by local landmarking laws.
  • Submissions should have preservation as a core component of the treatment, design concept and/or strategy.
  • Special consideration will be given to submissions that showcase an informed, well-executed, thoughtful, creative and holistic approach to the preservation of modern architecture.

Design and Inventory/Survey Submissions

  • Preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of modern building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) must have been completed between January 1, 2012 and April 14, 2017.
  • For design projects, original construction materials and/or design intent must have been retained and/or restored. A significant loss of such may cause a submission to be deemed void.
  • It is strongly recommended design submissions include before and after photographs taken from the same vantage point.
  • It is strongly recommended design submissions include before and after floor plans where an addition or alteration has occurred. A site plan and/or section drawings can be included if relevant.

Advocacy Submissions

  • Advocacy efforts should have been completed between January 1, 2012 and April 14, 2017 with an allowance for advocacy that is on-going.
  • The building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) that are the focus of the advocacy initiative must have been threatened with demolition or significant alteration.
  • Advocacy efforts of multiple partners, persons or organizations that have gone above and beyond to work collectively and collaboratively are encouraged.

Nomination Procedure

All nominations are to be submitted online via the following submission form and must include:
1. Project Details and Contact Information
The name(s) and contact information of the nominator(s), design team(s) or organization(s) responsible for the project and the project owner(s) or client(s). A photo release form and project detail form are required for a complete submission.
2. Narrative
Narrative (up to 1000 words) should address the significance of the building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s), and the character-defining features of the building(s), structure(s) or landscape(s) that influenced the content or design of the project.

Design projects: how treatment of materials, assemblies, finishes and interventions related to the preservation of the integrity of the historic fabric.

Inventory/Survey projects: how the project contributes to the advancement of knowledge and awareness of modern resources; the realized and potential impacts of the project in regards to furthering the understanding and awareness of the contributions of modern resources to history.

Advocacy projects: the scope of the advocacy efforts, impact on the site and community and the result of the work. Advocacy efforts will be given equal consideration in the case of preservation, demolition and on-going efforts.

3. Images
Minimum of six (6) images of the project subject, project itself, or a combination of the two.
Before and after photos taken from the same vantage point (for Design Award submissions) are strongly encouraged.
One image should be representative of the entire project or effort and suitable for publication.
One image should be a relevant historic image.
Descriptions of the images and image credits should accompany the files.

4. Floor plans/additional drawings
For design submissions, before and after floor plans where an addition or alteration has occurred. A site plan and/or section drawings can be included if relevant.
5. Submission Fee
A $150 processing fee per nomination (waived for Advocacy Award) for submissions received by April 14, 2017.
Nominations received on or before March 1, 2017 will be extended an early discounted processing fee of $100 per nomination.
Processing fees can be sent via Paypal or check payable to Docomomo US to PO Box 230977 New York, NY 10023.

Winners will be announced in June 2017. The Modernism in America awards ceremony will take place in the fall in New York City. Modernism in America projects are featured throughout the year in Docomomo US publications.


Click here to submit your project: Online Submission Form


Design Within Reach is the program sponsor of the Docomomo US Modernism in America Awards. Design Within Reach makes authentic modern design accessible. When the company was founded in 1998, the classics were very difficult to find. DWR changed that, making innovative works by iconic designers accessible for the first time and continuing to offer the best in modern design – past, present and future – ever since.




Docomomo US works to exchange knowledge, stimulate interest, and advocate for the appropriate protection and preservation of significant modern buildings, sites, neighborhoods and landscapes in the United States. Docomomo US is committed to the principle that modern design merits the same attention to preservation currently received by earlier periods of architecture. JOIN today.

The Modernism in America Awards program seeks to acknowledge the substantial economic and cultural impact such projects had and continue to have on our local communities and to set a standard for how preserving modern architecture can be accomplished. Through the awards program, Docomomo US seeks to bring attention to the many successful local, regional and national projects and thereby elevate an appreciation for the value of modern architecture to our cultural and architectural history.

Please contact Docomomo US at awards(AT) regarding any questions or clarifications.

Download a PDF version of this announcement.

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