Author Archives: David Brussat

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, dbrussat@gmail.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.

Creative capitulation in Prov

In recent decades, art in Providence has served as a wrecking ball aimed not just at beauty but at the very concept of art, in a city that depends on art for its historical character, even as it brands itself … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Providence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Gehry Ike in its kitschy glory

Frank Gehry’s monument to hims– oops, I mean to Dwight Eisenhower, does not open to the public until this Sept. 18, pushed back by the pandemic from May 8, the 75th anniversary of his victory in the European theater of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Notre-Dame: Copy the past

It seems as if French President Emmanuel Macron has turned totally about on designing the restoration of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame after its fire of last year. After the conflagration he called for a modernist rebuild. About a year later, … Continue reading

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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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