Monthly Archives: August 2019

Tenn. Tuxedo & P. Purebred

The image above of the Rhode Island State House (Charles Follen McKim, 1900), set against a classical metropolitan backdrop in its role as City Hall, is from the 2007 film Underdog. That year I wrote a column for the Providence … Continue reading

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How to create great streets

Headquartered in London, Create Streets seeks to teach Britons and their place-making institutions how to make better cities and towns. Its mission does not hesitate to include beauty in its remit. Its founder, Nicholas Boys Smith, is now co-chairman (along … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Renoir’s “problem nudes”

I have not seen “Renoir: The Body, The Senses,” an exhibition at the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, but an online correspondent sent me a titillating review of it by Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker, which is entitled … Continue reading

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A tale of two fountains

Nicholas Boys Smith is a founder of London’s new-urbanist Create Streets organization and is now the co-chairman of the British government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission along with Sir Roger Scruton. Boys Smith had replaced Scruton after the latter was … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Destroying history to save it

Placing iconic modernist architecture into ancient historical sites can help preservationists think about how to save neglected landmarks. Allow that sentence to revolve in your mind for a minute and see what insights might be generated. … Huh? Not much … Continue reading

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City hall as happening place

Still feeling the glow from “Introducing Gerhardt Fjuck,” and figuring I had dipped too often into the bottomless well of Monty Python’s “Architects Sketch,” I happened upon a piece from Kristen Richards’s ArchNewsNow by Emily Nonko on the website Fast … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New bridge in Providence

The new pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Providence has nudged me out of my lane. Its design is modernist. I like it. This does not compute. I’d still prefer a traditional bridge, such as the one inspired by the Pont … Continue reading

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Introducing Gerhardt Fjuck

Comedy Central has put out a wonderful video spoof of modern architecture in the guise of Gerhardt Fjuck, an apparent play on Bjarke Ingels, the Danish designer of some of the world’s most ridiculous buildings. Videographer and humorist Arturo Castro … Continue reading

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See “Divine Providence”

On Sunday, Aug. 11 at 2:30 p.m., in the elegant RISD Auditorium (1940), the Rhode Island International Film Festival will feature Divine Providence: The Rebirth of an American City. Tickets may be reserved at this link for $10. How it … Continue reading

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Return to ‘The Golden City’

I kid you not. The other day a correspondent wrote me out of the blue suggesting that I read a book called The Golden City, by Henry Hope Reed. “Curiously, Ron,” I replied, “I’m reading The Golden City right now.” … Continue reading

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