Monthly Archives: September 2018

Architecture’s Three Stooges

Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician, psychiatrist and theorist of society, culture and design, has written a review of James Stevens Curl’s new book Making Dystopia for the New English Review. Dalrymple calls the book “essential, uncompromising, learned,” and especially devastating … Continue reading

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MVRDV’s Seoul Moby Dick

First I would like to petition for the creation of a mnemonic device for the name of the Dutch firm MVRDV. You can’t even get it right when you’re looking at it! Okay. So here’s a paragraph from Jesus Diaz’s … Continue reading

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Science and architecture

Some perverse mental hiccup recently tricked my mind into picturing the Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry and completed in 2004 to house the science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Woe was me, briefly, until my natural defensive … Continue reading

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Pillar to post at the Hall

Looking over two photographs of columns at the William Hall Free Library, in Cranston, R.I., where I will be speaking at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), I noticed that each has the same style of column capital, but there are notable … Continue reading

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My talk at Hall Free Library

This Saturday at 3 p.m. I will give an illustrated lecture at the William Henry Hall Free Library to celebrate the Hall library and the amalgamation, half a century ago, of six independent neighborhood libraries as the Cranston Public Library … Continue reading

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Our “Homes Sweet Homes”

In his remarkable new book Making Dystopia, James Stevens Curl keeps quoting someone called Osbert Lancaster, who is cited 20 times in the book’s extensive index. Who is Osbert Lancaster? Well, it turns out my friend David Mittell, of Jamaica … Continue reading

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Hewitt on Yale’s new colleges

Yale University’s two new academic residences have received much praise (and much of its opposite) from critics, and its designers at Robert A.M. Stern Architects have won a host of architectural awards from organizations that favor traditional design. Classical architect … Continue reading

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TB blog: “Making Dystopia”

Here is my Traditional Building blog post from last month, shortly after I received a review copy of Making Dystopia. *** I’ve only just received a review copy of Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism, by … Continue reading

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Boothden and St. Columba

Some 30 or 40 attended Sunday’s tour, in Middletown, R.I., of the St. Columba chapel, seemingly transported bodily from the English countryside of the 1880s, or even the 1680s, and Boothden, the “cottage” designed by Calvert Vaux (of Central Park … Continue reading

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Getting used to Fane tower

In “Once It Was a New Building,” my former editor and longtime friend Robert Whitcomb defended the proposed 600-foot Fane tower in this morning’s GoLocalProv. He writes: GoLocal’s mock editorial last week headlined “Dateline 1924: Don’t Let Them Build That … Continue reading

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