I just submitted my October post for my blog at Traditional Building, entitled “Monument vs. Fabric, or the difficulty of admitting deep error.” This means I am free to post my last month’s TB post on my Architecture Here and There blog. It was called “Lost Providence: How to interpret my new book.” Here is that interpretation as enunciated by its author.
First, a passage from the TB interpretation of the book:
Since the late 1940s and ‘50s, modern architecture has attained such a stranglehold on the field of architecture that the prospects for reform have seemed bleak. It took modernism only a couple of decades to go from niche curiosity to the conventional wisdom. Tradition has been trying to stage a comeback since the late 1950s, when Henry Hope Reed published The Golden City. What gives me hope is the speed with which historic preservation transformed itself from a hobby to a mass movement – an ongoing social revolution triggered far less by a love of history than a desire to preserve local beauty from the threat of modern architecture. Reforming the field could happen in the blink of an eye.
Stranger things have happened – such as how it took modernism only a couple of decades to go from niche curiosity (see H.L. Mencken’s dismissive editorial, “The New Architecture,” in the American Mercury of February 1931) to conventional wisdom. Should I take on that subject as the topic of a new book? Hmm.