Monthly Archives: July 2020

Amend GSA’s guidelines?

After February’s leak of the draft executive order to prefer traditional design for federal architecture, many architects, including some classicists, worried that classicism would be hurt by any proposal linked to President Trump. Now, on the heels of a congressional … Continue reading

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History as cottage industry

Monday’s meeting via Zoom of the Providence Historic District Commission surprised observers by delaying an expected vote to approve the relocation of a historic Italianate cottage on Williams Street, on College Hill. This was the second straight delay. That does … Continue reading

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Speak for history on Monday

The Providence Historic District Commission will meet tomorrow, Monday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m., via Zoom, to decide the fate of Providence. That does not overstate the case. If the commission approves moving the historic cottage at 159 Williams Street, … Continue reading

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Tradition vs. modernism

Bring it on. Legislation has just been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to block a proposed executive order that would replace a mandate favoring modernist styles for federal buildings with a new and better mandate favoring traditional styles. … Continue reading

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R.I.’s State House in noir

Imagine my surprise at seeing, last night, the Rhode Island State House in the opening scene of High Sierra,  the 1941 film in which Humphrey Bogart is pardoned. He shortly after plans a heist in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Rhode … Continue reading

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E.O. to protect the statues

After he spoke at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day, Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect public statuary, to reconstruct statues damaged or destroyed by vandals in the weeks leading up to the president’s oration, and to create … Continue reading

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Subdivide history? Bad idea

The first blocks of William and John streets off Benefit Street, where College Hill meets Fox Point, are steeped not only in history but historical character. Most of the houses on these and nearby blocks were built in the late … Continue reading

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A short history of closets

Nir Haim Buras, author of the newly published The Art of Classic Planning, has sent some fascinating comments on closet history to the TradArch list, under the heading “Classic Closets … Not.” Imagine living without the assistance of closets. Now, … Continue reading

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Lincoln vs. Jefferson

A comparison of the Lincoln and the Jefferson memorials is almost as fascinating, in some ways even more so, than a comparison of Messrs. Lincoln and Jefferson themselves. Since I can add little to the second conversation I will confine … Continue reading

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L.A.’s over-the-top garage

This is, believe it or not, a parking garage. I am informed by Nir Buras, author of The Art of Classic Planning, that the parking garage pictured above, built at 9th & Hill Sts. in Los Angeles in 1926, designed … Continue reading

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