Review of “The Monster-Builder”

14168751-mmmainMichael Mehaffy, of Portland, Ore., and the TradArch list, sends this review from The Oregonian of the new play at the Artists Repertory Theatre there by Stanford University’s playwright-in-residence, Amy Freed.

Artists Repertory Theatre

Artists Repertory Theatre

Michael pulls out this interesting quote from the review: ” ‘Why do we greet the arrival of a new building with a feeling of dread rather than anticipation?’ Freed asked. It’s a valid question, one that Portlanders might want to ponder given the spike in new buildings popping up across town. … Those problems are many, but can be wrapped up in a general lack of consideration for the people who will live and work in the buildings being designed.”

Clearly the writer of the review – really more an interview with the playwright – listened as Freed’s words went in one ear and out the other. The evidence for this is in the first sentence of his piece. Rereading it after finding a photo of ART’s building, I had to wonder what was going through his mind as he listened to Freed, who is brilliant on the subject of architecture. But you’ll have to revisit my Jan. 16 blog post here to experience that.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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