Docomomo WEWA Programs
Docomomo WEWA achieves its mission by offering educational programs (lectures and tours) and advocating for the preservation of modern places that matter.
We produce well-attended architectural tours of mid-century modern places, focusing on Seattle and the Eastside. Our home tours are particularly popular. All tours present educational information about the architecture, history and people related to the site. Tours also present opportunities for like-minded modernist enthusiasts to engage each other in discussion and community building.
We produce lectures on different topics related to Northwest Modernism. Topics may range from presentations on specific architects and designers; the development of modern communities; modern furniture design; modern building technology; and broader areas of interest such as the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.
We advocate for the preservation of modern places in Western Washington by offering technical assistance to public agencies, grass-roots groups and individuals; providing testimony during public hearings; submitting comment letters advocating for the preservation of endangered resources; preparing landmark nominations; and garnering support from our constituents for advocacy efforts.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
As an all-volunteer organization, one of the measures of success is the ability to communicate broadly and effectively amongst our constituents and the general public with limited resources and no staff. One success is the on-going development of the "Architects and Designers Biographies" pages of our website. These pages present over 120 biographies on architects who practiced in the modern vein in Washington State. This on-going project is by far the most-viewed section of the website. It has proven to be a valuable resource used by historians, homeowners, architects, researchers, and real estate professionals among others. Other modern architecture organizations in the country have looked to our website (particularly the biographies page) as a model in terms of design, function and content.
A current need of ours is to attract, engage and sustain a broader group of volunteers to participate in the organization. We have been fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Directors but it is a challenge for an all-volunteer organization to manage a larger pool of volunteers. We are learning to capture the enthusiasm that people bring to our events and figuring out ways to convert the interest to more active participation in the organization.