Monthly Archives: February 2019

Rich building, poor building

Before retiring the subject of Witold Rybczynski’s review of James Stevens Curl’s new book Making Dystopia, let me return to the critic’s remarks about the failures of modern architecture. One modest observation said so much in so few words, and … Continue reading

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Rybczynski reviews Dystopia

“Witold Rybczynski on architectural PTSD and what James Stevens Curl gets wrong (and right) in his controversial new book” is the sub-headline of Rybczynski’s review of Making Dystopia, the magisterial history of modern architecture by Britain’s most accomplished architectural historian. … Continue reading

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Carl Laubin wins Reed award

The British-American painter Carl Laubin specializes in classical buildings assembled en masse on canvas. I first came face to face with one of his works at the celebration, in 2013, of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for architect Thomas Beeby … Continue reading

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“Modern” or “modernist”?

Occasionally I am urged to stop using “modern architecture” and use “modernist architecture” instead. The complaint, which issues from some of architecture’s top thinkers and makes considerable sense, is that the word modern normally means “of today” or “up to … Continue reading

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Uses of classical architecture

Construction workers were renovating the brickwork of the Sundance West apartments in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, when scaffolding collapsed, leaving one worker hanging five floors up on the six-story building. “… That safety harness keep[s] the worker from falling to … Continue reading

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Save the Chartres Cathedral

In my 2014 blog post “Change at Chartres” I discussed New York Review of Books critic Martin Filler’s “Scandalous Makeover at Chartres,” a critique of the interior restoration work at the famous cathedral about 60 miles to the southwest of … Continue reading

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Vote for the trads or mods

After the emergence of Making Dystopia, the history of modern architecture by James Stevens Curl published by Oxford University Press last autumn, the journal Prospect, in the U.K., held an online debate about architecture. The debate question was “Has Modern … Continue reading

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