Winning design for the U.S. Capitol by William Thornton in 1792 competition.
Today at 2 p.m., a distinguished panel on the proposed White House executive order “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” will be held in Washington. The panel, with Justin Shubow of the National Society of Civic Art, Philip Bess of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, and other worthies, will discuss the proposed E.O. via video livestream and take questions. The panel is sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute. Those interested in attending can click on the AEI website here.
No doubt the panelists will discuss the very recent new survey by the Harris Poll of architectural preferences, sponsored by the NCAS. I was planning to discuss the survey in this post, but instead, I am trying to get word out about the AEI panel. Enjoy! I will discuss the survey and the panel in my next post.
About David Brussat
This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred.
History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book.
My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally.
I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002.
I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato.
If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy, email@example.com, or call 401.351.0457.
Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I
would have written."
- Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
I find bone spur’s executive order most fascinating. He is an absolutely miserable human being and an even worse president, but here, his order has significant potential value. I am certain though he is coming at it from the wrong perspective, akin to Mussolini’s and Hitler’s penchant for semi-classical architecture. I would not trust anything he does by definition. But, here the inclination seems right. What do I do with this internal conflict? Cheers.
Beautiful buildings aside, while I’m all for classicisms return to cities I’m more particularly concerned what that entails namely demolition and paying out the nose for new buildings? Costing even more
And as Terry Quinlan noted, Building material determines how well it’s gonna Age. Reinforced concrete and steel, have 25-50 year life spans before major refurbishment.
The Fed doesn’t need anymore buildings. The Government has tons of office buildings it lets sit empty. The government loses MILLIONs of dollars a year as properties sit empty. That’s one of the tens of thousands of excess buildings they admit to owning and they spend billions keeping them despite the fact their empty even ones built using pre-war styles of architecture.
Another thing; Everything government builds, COSTS MORE. The US Capitol Visitor’s Center was supposed to cost 265 Million dollars, it ended up costing 621 Million.
The Veterans Affair medical facility in Denver, was projected to cost 591 million, it’s now at 1.7 Billion. Federal buildings, courthouses, court annexes, personnel amenities…..the point is be it contemporary or classical, these buildings are monuments to government narcissism. Why build new stuff when they have perfectly good buildings, thousands of them in their portfolio