Monthly Archives: April 2017

Architecture into politics

In his Dezeen essay “To confront populism, all architects should become classicists,” Phineas Harper suggests that the architectural profession should compromise its aesthetics and embrace classicism in order to build social housing that is often blocked by NIMBY forces when … Continue reading

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A tale of two PPS events

Over the course of four days the Providence Preservation Society hosted two events, one about Cathedral Square, which I’ll discuss first, and the other about the Jewelry District. The first event, held at the Department of Planning and Development’s offices … Continue reading

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Corbusier on Courvoisier

This hilarious Barney & Clyde cartoon was sent to me by a correspondent in Washington, Arnold Berke, a contributing editor of Preservation magazine. My reaction to the cartoon? If only! If only Le Corbusier had suffered from overindulgence in the … Continue reading

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Christo laundry, wacko RISD

The Jewelry District Association, in Providence, reports that Christo is going to cross the Providence River and line India Point Park with laundry, pegged on a giant laundry line. In my book, that crosses an important boundary, as does RISD’s … Continue reading

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Ugly by accident or design?

Christopher Woodward, the director of London’s Garden Museum, wrote “Why Are So Many New Buildings Ugly?” for its website. He had read British critic Stephen Bayley’s 2013 book Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything, and describes an exchange Bayley had with … Continue reading

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No, not halfway to Houston

Yesterday’s post, “Prov’s halfway to Houston,” generated some blowback in my own mind, especially when, later in the day, I came across two reports that lifted my heart and my hopes about Providence and its future. Maybe “halfway” to Houston … Continue reading

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Prov’s halfway to Houston

Those who are running Providence these days should realize that a beautiful city can become an ugly city. It will not happen at once, but it is likely to happen before most people notice it, and too late to be … Continue reading

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Is terra-cotta rising again?

Architect magazine has an article called “The Rise, Fall and Rise of Archi- tectural Terra-Cotta” that seems to have come out of nowhere. No, it was sent me by Kristen Richards, of the indispensable ArchNewsNow.com; what I mean is that … Continue reading

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If dentists were modernists

Jan Michl, whose paper on architectural historicism I discussed yesterday in “Pop the ‘historicist’ bugaboo,” wrote another paper, “Form Follows What?,” which he introduced with a riff from Woody Allen. Naturally, I encourage readers to read the whole paper, but … Continue reading

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Pop the ‘historicist’ bugaboo

Jan Michl, the design theorist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, saw my post “Huxtable versus Huxtable” and sent me a recent paper called “Towards Understanding Visual Styles as Inventions Without Expiration Dates.” In it, he argues that … Continue reading

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