Monthly Archives: May 2019

‘Spirit of the age’ bugaboo

Among the most inane of modern architecture’s founding conceits is that buildings reflect the spirit of the age. If a building truly reflects the spirit of the age rather than, as most people would expect, its architect’s desire to express … Continue reading

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A thrilling week of classicism

I am still coming down from the high honor of attending the Arthur Ross Awards, of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, as guest of James Stevens Curl, author of Making Dystopia and, for that, winner of the 2019 … Continue reading

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How to break into Fort Knox

Fort Knox, officially the United States Bullion Depository, in Fort Knox, Kentucky, holds a large portion of the U.S. gold reserves. Designed by the architect Louis Simon in the Art Deco style, it received its first gold shipment in 1937. … Continue reading

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Make Mr. Highways smile

The late George Henderson, of Rumford, is the engineer who designed the Henderson Bridge across the Seekonk River, replacing upstream the old Red Bridge between Providence and East Providence. Known as “Mr. Highways,” he must have been a pretty popular … Continue reading

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I. M. Pei, rest in peace

The Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei died last week at age 102 after a career designing modernist buildings, many of them now famous. Since it is poor manners to speak ill of the dead, I will say only that most … Continue reading

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Andreozzi’s Shingle on acid

Not long ago, during an online conversation about whether traditional architects can steal back the world “modern” from modernist architects, Rhode Island architect David Andreozzi, who is president of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & … Continue reading

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While Our Lady is restored

The as yet officially unannounced international design competition on how to repair Notre-Dame de Paris after her extensive damage by fire has already spawned a number of predictably ridiculous proposals. One would replace the roof with a swimming pool intended, … Continue reading

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The foreboding of H.H. Reed

Here’s a passage from “Warning to the Architectural Avant-Garde,” in the May 1959 issue of the journal L’Architettura, by Bruno Zevi, as translated in a collection of essays called Architecture in America: A Battle of Styles, edited by William A. … Continue reading

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The streets of New York

I was in New York on Monday to celebrate James Stevens Curl’s laureateship, bestowed by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s 2019 Arthur Ross Awards, at the University Club of New York, for his book Making Dystopia, now high … Continue reading

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Hits every nail on the head

Peter Franklin, at the website UnHerd.com, has written “The hideous spread of ‘spreadsheet’ architecture: It’s time to rise up against the uglification of our cities.” It knocks the ball out of the park. I have read many great articles on … Continue reading

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