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, 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.

My Jane’s Walk next week

Jane Jacobs’s 101st birthday is coming up on Thursday, May 4, so my Jane’s Walk tour along the Providence waterfront, starting at Crawford Street Bridge near Hemenway’s, will be on Saturday, May 6. Providence’s river walks were part of a … Continue reading

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ID this painting! Is it Miami?

The painting above is considered a capriccio – a drawing of an ideal but imaginary collection of buildings by themselves or within a designed rustic landscape. I ran across it the other day looking for something in my iPhoto library. … Continue reading

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25 million books in limbo

The latest Atlantic Monthly (as it was once called) has a fascinating piece called “Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria,” by James Somers. It chills me to realize that but for a judge’s diktat, 25 million books – not pages, … Continue reading

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Architecture into politics

In his Dezeen essay “To confront populism, all architects should become classicists,” Phineas Harper suggests that the architectural profession should compromise its aesthetics and embrace classicism in order to build social housing that is often blocked by NIMBY forces when … Continue reading

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A tale of two PPS events

Over the course of four days the Providence Preservation Society hosted two events, one about Cathedral Square, which I’ll discuss first, and the other about the Jewelry District. The first event, held at the Department of Planning and Development’s offices … Continue reading

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Corbusier on Courvoisier

This hilarious Barney & Clyde cartoon was sent to me by a correspondent in Washington, Arnold Berke, a contributing editor of Preservation magazine. My reaction to the cartoon? If only! If only Le Corbusier had suffered from overindulgence in the … Continue reading

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Christo laundry, wacko RISD

The Jewelry District Association, in Providence, reports that Christo is going to cross the Providence River and line India Point Park with laundry, pegged on a giant laundry line. In my book, that crosses an important boundary, as does RISD’s … Continue reading

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Ugly by accident or design?

Christopher Woodward, the director of London’s Garden Museum, wrote “Why Are So Many New Buildings Ugly?” for its website. He had read British critic Stephen Bayley’s 2013 book Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything, and describes an exchange Bayley had with … Continue reading

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No, not halfway to Houston

Yesterday’s post, “Prov’s halfway to Houston,” generated some blowback in my own mind, especially when, later in the day, I came across two reports that lifted my heart and my hopes about Providence and its future. Maybe “halfway” to Houston … Continue reading

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Prov’s halfway to Houston

Those who are running Providence these days should realize that a beautiful city can become an ugly city. It will not happen at once, but it is likely to happen before most people notice it, and too late to be … Continue reading

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