Sad. Sad. Sad.

article-2637430-1E260BC300000578-477_470x423Indications are that after the horrible fire today in Scotland, the Glasgow School of Art’s famous Rennie Mackintosh Building has survived, with, as fire officials put it, 90 percent of the building structure considered “viable” and 70 percent of the interior (whether this refers to the interior structure and design or the furniture and art works, I don’t know) has been saved. This is something close to a miracle, but it only serves to deepen the tragedy of the destruction, the apparent destruction (I say with forlorn hope), of the library and of the Mackintosh archives themselves – possibly including the documentation of what is – was, I am afraid – a most comprehensively documented piece of architecture. I am hopeful that much of what is beloved in the building can be meticulously reproduced but the books, manuscripts, drawings, detailed plans of other Rennie works – kaput. What a sad day not just for Scotland and lovers of architecture, but the world.

[I hear that though the library is lost the archives are saved, some furniture from the library was saved, various doors and other artisanal wonders were hacked off by brave firemen to serve as models for rebuilding. Some valuable art works were on loan.]

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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