Monthly Archives: October 2021

Mary Campbell Gallagher: RIP

I was saddened to hear of the passage on Monday, after a year-long illness, of Mary Campbell Gallagher, a leader in the fight against skyscrapers and other modernist architecture in Paris. Mary was best known for her work as liaison … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

First, kill all the leaf blowers

Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s line about lawyers, the New York Times used that headline to introduce a guest column, published today, against leaf blowers. ‘Tis the season, right? It does not specify whether we should kill leaf blowers or just the … Continue reading

Posted in Landscape Architecture | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Your “average life altitude”

Several days ago I was chatting with a friend and the topic of past residences came up. I recalled a column I’d written in January 2009 for the Providence Journal in which I’d unveiled what I called my “average life … Continue reading

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Up Fifth Avenue in early ’30s

Stumbled upon this delightfully informative, well-paced, almost soporific film of Fifth Avenue, taken from the rear window of a motorcar (if they still used that word in the 1930s), at a steady pace except for stops at traffic lights. You’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Video | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Two visions of New York City

Two recent panels held by the Empire Station Coalition discussed rebuilding Penn Station in its original 1910 design and growing opposition to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex, which would clog the area around Penn Station with glass-box skyscrapers. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Development, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Symphony of a Great City”

This video of Berlin made in 1927 – halfway between World War I and World War II – by German filmmaker Walter Ruttman, takes viewers through a day in the life of the metropolis, from morning to noon to night. … Continue reading

Posted in Old Video, Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blake on Corbu’s “furniture”

Peter Blake, modernist architect, critic and (eventually) apostate, writes about “functional” modernist furniture in his book Le Corbusier: Architecture and Form (1960), which I’m reading as a sort of launching pad to his book Form Follows Fiasco (the best book … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Interior Design | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments