Boston’s Olympic belly flop

Rendering of someone's idea (straight or mocking) of an Olympic village in Boston. (bostinno.streetwise.com)

Rendering of someone’s idea (straight or mocking) of an Olympic village in Boston. (bostinno.streetwise.com)

Boston’s Olympic belly flop has sent crocodile tears gushing down this critic’s soaking, heaving cheeks. The city’s withdrawal of its bid to host the 2024 Summer Games leaves your vitriolic correspondent bereft. An endless parade of proposals for modernist Bird’s Nest wannabes and other sports ephemera – athlete villages, media centers, swimming quadrangles, bicyclotrons, fake volleyball beach-o-dromes and white elephants without surcease – has just marched off the cliff of Beantown inhospitability to the vicissitudes of the Olympic bottom line. My only consolation is a long vacation for the weary muscles that promised to roll my eyeballs in circumnavigation of the global folly of Olympic architecture.

You can tell how crushed I am by Boston’s abortive bid. A Summer Games 40 miles from Providence would have meant a bottomless pit of chortling from this corner. Visits from a battalion of designer-eyewear-bedecked starchitects to propose, perchance to build, the next blotch of God’s wrath on stadia would have meant excavating Kookhaasian turds embedded in scores of interviews in The Boston Globe. Well, there will still be a Summer Games somewhere, inflicted upon New Englanders by television, not the tax man.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. 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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and 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 invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, 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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