Not yet! This reporter can state categorically that no roundhouse punches were signed, sealed or delivered at yesterday evening’s TradArch garden party, in Charleston, at least none that William Hazlitt would feel obliged to discuss in a latter-day version of “The Fight,” one of the first journalistic accounts of a boxing match. I left pretty late, having witnessed no five-finger sandwiches served or consumed.
This peaceable quietude may be even harder to account for given that the garden party was held at the Old City Jail – the old one where the American College of Building Arts operates, though it will relocate to new digs soon. Along with the College of Charleston, the ACBA is hosting this first-ever meeting of the membership of the TradArch list.
Maybe today, when the real festivities begin in jail, again, the battle will be joined primarily, I suspect, among the supposedly “orthodox” and “heterodox” factions that are meeting in immortal combat during a daylong symposium. Members will break out into sessions and listen to advocates of this or that point of view – not limited, however, to whether canonical classicism or noncanonical classicism have any business heaving sockdolagers at each other’s glass jaws.
Whether there will be a general amnesty, however, will be learned today perhaps, if the contending parties discover that however violently we may differ among ourselves, the gap is bridgeable compared with the one that confronts all advocates of beauty in architecture.