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Eames House Conservation Management Plan
The Eames House Conservation Management Plan in Pacific Palisades is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award in the Cultural Resource Studies category. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision the jury noted the high quality of the plan and the value of making it readily available, stating, “they’ve done something that other people can learn from, and they’ve done it really well. I think that providing this information for other people is really, really useful.”
The Award will be presented on Friday, October 18, 2019 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.
About this project
The Getty Conservation Institute developed the Eames House Conservation Management Plan (CMP) to help the Eames Foundation care for this internationally renowned work of modern architecture. By demonstrating how thoughtful conservation planning is applicable to modern buildings, the CMP also provides a model for other buildings from this era. Using an internationally accepted conservation planning methodology, the CMP analyzes the documentary and physical evidence to craft a comprehensive understanding of the place, completes a thorough analysis of its significance, and provides policies for managing it in accordance with this significance. Constructed in 1949, the Eames House (Case Study House no. 8) was designed by Charles and Ray Eames, one of the twentieth century’s most influential design teams. The site, which is open to the public, includes the home and studio, and also significant interior collections and landscape features. The CMP is available at no charge on the GCI’s website.
The Eames House CMP is one of the first CMPs to be completed in the US. In addition to providing a valuable management tool for this National Historic Landmark property, this CMP demonstrates that the methodology is entirely compatible with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. It also provides a model for other modern sites. The CMP uses a values-based conservation planning methodology set out in such international benchmarks as the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, which emphasize the significance of intangible values as well as the physical aspects of the place. The document captures intangible qualities that are integral to the site’s significance – such as the play of light and shadow on the building’s glass surfaces – and insures that they are considered along with the physical fabric. The board of the nonprofit Eames Foundation, which owns the site, has adopted the CMP as the governing document for conserving the Eames House, committing themselves to the policies it sets out as they plan for the future care of the site. Along with the Conservation Management Plan itself, the project included development of the “CMP Overview.” This booklet provides a graphic summary of some of the CMP’s key points, including the site’s heritage significance and important conservation management policies, making them readily accessible to readers. This will serve to encourage the application of the methodology to other sites. The CMP and Overview are available online at no charge for use as models or educational materials.
Photos © 2019 Eames Office, LLC (www.eamesoffice.com)
Getty Conservation Institute
Sheridan Burke, GML Heritage
Jyoti Somerville, GML Heritage
Gail Ostergren, Getty Conservation Institute
Laura Matarese, Getty Conservation Institute
Chandler McCoy, Getty Conservation Institute