Monthly Archives: February 2018

Millais on rebuilding Berlin

Malcolm Millais, author of Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect and Exploding the Myths of Modern Architecture, recently visited Berlin, in part to investigate four examples of how Germans have reconstructed historic buildings damaged by Allied bombs in World War II. … Continue reading

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The special beauty of decay

I’ve been trying to decide whether to post the only passage I thought worth quoting from the section on Cardinal Manning in Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians, recently read by your peripatetic couch-potato. When I discovered it was not a quote … Continue reading

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Berlinski: Sacking of Paris

Claire Berlinski’s masterful summary of the sad situation in Paris is out in the latest City Journal under the title, “The Architectural Sacking of Paris.” I am looking also for Joe Queenan’s no doubt hilarious essay “London Beats Paris in … Continue reading

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Johnston, we hardly knew ye

Fifteen years ago I wrote about Johnston, R.I., as part of a series that ran monthly (or at far longer intervals eventually) under the kicker “Outside Providence.” Each month, proceeding in alphabetical order, I’d visit a city or town outside … Continue reading

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Fit Brown’s hall into the Hill

Brown University pleased many by rethinking its plan to demolish four old buildings on its campus to make way for an ugly concert hall. Now it plans to build an ugly concert hall without demolishing any old buildings. The surprising … Continue reading

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Brown shifts, saves 5 houses

Breaking news! Brown has just issued an announcement that it will shift its proposed performing arts center a block north, saving four historic buildings from demolition. The new site, between Angell and Olive streets rather than Waterman and Angell, requires … Continue reading

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“Building with biophilia”

Philosopher/mountaineer Damien François interviewed mathematician/ theorist Nikos Salingaros for The Clarion Review. Salingaros’s thinking has inspired much of the writing in this blog. His work has, among many other things, identified some of the neurobiological factors that predispose humans to … Continue reading

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Crashing into looking glass

I’m always on the lookout for evidence of the flaws of modern architecture. So I was pleased to learn through an article in Fortune magazine that employees at Apple’s new round glass spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., keep walking into … Continue reading

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Empire of the Algonquin

Just saw one of my favorite movies this evening, Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, in which a British boy, son of a factory owner in occupied prewar Shanghai, is split from his parents as they try to flee after … Continue reading

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Downsizing newspapers

Unlike some other shrinking daily newspapers, the Providence Journal has not moved out of its historic headquarters building, designed by Albert Kahn and completed in 1934, during the Great Depression. But the Journal has shrunk big within its extraordinary neo-Georgian … Continue reading

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