Monthly Archives: December 2020

Best trad buildings of 2020

Two weeks before President Trump signed his executive order calling for federal buildings to be designed in traditional styles, his wife, the first lady, Melania, announced the completion of a tennis pavilion on the White House grounds designed with the … Continue reading

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Betsky on classical popularity

Before I applaud modernist critic Aaron Betsky’s kind words for classical architecture in the wake of the Harris Poll confirming its popularity, let me note, also with approval, the even more recent article by critic Kriston Capps, entitled “Why Trump’s … Continue reading

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E.O. just signed by Trump

I have just now learned that the draft executive order on federal architecture that was leaked last April has today been signed by President Trump. “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” is now entitled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.” I see … Continue reading

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Museum of National Identity

A few days ago I wrote “Life preserver for Inga Saffron,” in which I deplored the “loose thinking” of Saffron and other architecture critics. I described that thinking in the following post, “Museum of National Identity,” from November 2017. *** … Continue reading

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Why historic preservation?

I just got through watching the Providence Historic Preservation Commission grant conceptual approval to the renovation and expansion of a charming little Italianate cottage on Williams Street, just off the city’s historic Benefit Street. It was a most depressing event. … Continue reading

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Life preserver for Inga Saffron

Six months ago, Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a column, “Buildings Matter, Too,” deploring riot damage to buildings near the city’s fashionable Rittenhouse Square. Saffron herself did not write the headline, and anyway she buys … Continue reading

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Tulip survives London nip

Rowan Moore, architecture critic of The Guardian in the U.K., writes that the proposed 1,000-foot Tulip, designed by Sir Norman Foster as a fancy tourist observation deck, should be denied planning permission by the London authorities (“The Tulip’s towering vanity … Continue reading

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Capt. Aubrey’s dad’s house

Here is a May 2016 post, quoting from the late Patrick O’Brian’s The Surgeon’s Mate, written in 1979. His novels are – and I truly hate to say this, as it verges on sacrilege – as good as those of … Continue reading

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“The Art of Classic Planning”

This comprehensive, fascinating and brilliant volume by Nir Haim Buras, who founded the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, is subtitled “Building Beautiful and Enduring Communities.” So one might well assume that it rejects the … Continue reading

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