Tuscaloosa recently saw the completion of a beautiful classical courthouse, federal, that might have stepped directly off the Acropolis in Athens. Now Mobile, seems about to begin building a beautiful classical courthouse, also federal, designed by the Washington, D.C., firm of Hartman-Cox. It is lovely, and although I’m sure a megafirm such as H-C has committed its share of atrocities, it is also responsible for the 1990 addition to the John Carter Brown Library, on the Brown University campus here in Providence.
Is this perhaps the result of Thomas Gordon Smith getting a consolation prize of a salaried architectural fellowship when the General Services Administration knuckled under to modernists to block his rumored appointment as the agency’s chief architect in 2006? Just wonderin’
Here is a local article from Mobile (hard to say what media platform is it, AL.com?) with more illustrations of the proposal – which apparently beat our or even replaced an earlier modernist design by Safdie Architects.
And below is the John Carter Brown Library and addition.