Author Archives: David Brussat

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. 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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and 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 invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy,, 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.

The battle of the Frick

The question of how to expand the Frick Gallery, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, without threatening its architectural integrity continues following a May 29 hearing of the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Four hours of testimony for and against the … Continue reading

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

Newport’s newest cottage

Yesterday’s ribbon-cutting for the Welcome Center at The Breakers unveiled a tourist attraction in its own right. That’s saying a lot in Newport. It is that beautiful. In the weeks leading up to its completion, I kept trolling online for … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Taking wing on Westminster

Arnold “Buff” Chace, Providence’s pioneering redeveloper of downtown, has another major project in mind for Westminster Street. He has announced the renovation of the Lapham, Wit, and Trayne buildings, erected in 1904, 1925, and 1893, respectively. To the Trayne will … Continue reading

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

Cover-up on Canal Street!

Some people might think the “cover up” in the headline refers to the legally dubious swap of air rights for extra height that would have enabled 15 stories for Phase 2 of the proposed Edge College Hill apartments on Canal … Continue reading

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Atlanta strives for beauty

Not many cities in America house a philanthropist dedicated to beauty the way Rodney Mims Cook Jr. strives to beautify Atlanta. Cook established the National Monuments Foundation in 1996 to build classical monuments in Atlanta, among other places. And frankly, … Continue reading

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Singapore fling at Raffles

Trump has landed in Singapore and so have we, courtesy of Expedia. I’ve noted the virtuosity of Expedia’s travel videos, which tend to focus on cities’ historic districts and ancient architecture, leaving the modernist kudzu to shock you once you … Continue reading

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

Kamin: So long, Trib Tower!

Blair Kamin, the architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune, longtime occupant of the Tribune Tower, used his column to lament his departure, with the rest of the newspaper, this Friday, from the Trib’s historic home in the Gothic pile since … Continue reading

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Millar on Harrison in Prov

John Millar has sent me some contextual thoughts about his attribution of some famous old Providence buildings to architect Peter Harrison (see my post “Harrison’s excellent career,” written after his lecture at the Boston Athenaeum last Thursday). His attribution to … Continue reading

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Quinlan Terry’s list of oopses

Quinlan Terry, the British classicist who may be Prince Charles’s favorite architect, has a wonderful essay, “Seven Misunderstandings about Classical Architecture.” I want to quote two passages, one about shadows and the other about materials, one about beauty and the … Continue reading

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Harrison’s excellent career

Had the pleasure, last night at the Boston Athenaeum, of learning more than I ever expected to know about the architect Peter Harrison. He is considered by many to be America’s first professional architect, and is known in Rhode Island … Continue reading

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