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,, 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.

Wharton’s “House of Mirth”

Being about two-thirds through Edith Wharton’s 1905 novel, I am still not quite sure I’ve actually encountered the “house of mirth” she gives as its title. What follows is a passage in which a secondary character, Van Alstyne, in Wharton’s … Continue reading

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Notre-Dame falls to Disney?

Officials overseeing reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame announced, on Sept. 18, that the landmark would open in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024. Good! However, the UK Telegraph has just run an article based on leaked plans to … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Why no windows or doors?

Not long after neighborhood opposition prevailed over insensitive development proposals for historic Fox Point and College Hill in Providence, a new developer and a different architect have arisen to propose a new house on the vacant land just east of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Development, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

“Dystopia” three years on

Three years have passed since British architectural historian James Stevens Curl’s masterful Making Dystopia was published by Oxford University Press. Subtitled “The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism,” the book can only have been about modern architecture, perhaps the … Continue reading

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Presto chango bus hub idea!

Seemingly out of the clear blue sky a completely new bus hub idea has suddenly emerged in Providence. The Innovation District Transit Center, it’s called. The reigning notion of shifting most buses from Kennedy Plaza to a pair of new … Continue reading

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Update on Mack restoration

With bigwigs and celebs jetting away at last from Scotland’s global climate summit, what else is afoot in the city of Glasgow? The famous 1909 Glasgow School of Art by Charles Rennie Mackintosh has not been rebuilt after its near … Continue reading

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William Blackstone’s statue

William Blackstone, or Blaxton (1595-1675), has long struck me as the mildest of colonists, perhaps not even a colonist strictly speaking. He was a recluse, and when other colonists showed up, he exited stage left. An ordained priest of the … Continue reading

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“Conundrum of architecture”

Below is a long guest post written by Scottish architecture critic David Black, who lives in Edinburgh. Written in light of controversies in the United States over former President Trump’s effort to align the styles of federal architecture with American … Continue reading

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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

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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