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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others 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.

Needless fold on Blackstone

It looks as if the mansion and the even lovelier caretaker’s cottage at the Beresford-Nicholson estate on Blackstone Boulevard may be coming down. The developer, the Bilotti Group, brought to this afternoon’s meeting, as requested, a concept to subdivide the … Continue reading

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Rich building, poor building

Before retiring the subject of Witold Rybczynski’s review of James Stevens Curl’s new book Making Dystopia, let me return to the critic’s remarks about the failures of modern architecture. One modest observation said so much in so few words, and … Continue reading

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Rybczynski reviews Dystopia

“Witold Rybczynski on architectural PTSD and what James Stevens Curl gets wrong (and right) in his controversial new book” is the sub-headline of Rybczynski’s review of Making Dystopia, the magisterial history of modern architecture by Britain’s most accomplished architectural historian. … Continue reading

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Carl Laubin wins Reed award

The British-American painter Carl Laubin specializes in classical buildings assembled en masse on canvas. I first came face to face with one of his works at the celebration, in 2013, of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for architect Thomas Beeby … Continue reading

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“Modern” or “modernist”?

Occasionally I am urged to stop using “modern architecture” and use “modernist architecture” instead. The complaint, which issues from some of architecture’s top thinkers and makes considerable sense, is that the word modern normally means “of today” or “up to … Continue reading

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Uses of classical architecture

Construction workers were renovating the brickwork of the Sundance West apartments in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, when scaffolding collapsed, leaving one worker hanging five floors up on the six-story building. “… That safety harness keep[s] the worker from falling to … Continue reading

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Save the Chartres Cathedral

In my 2014 blog post “Change at Chartres” I discussed New York Review of Books critic Martin Filler’s “Scandalous Makeover at Chartres,” a critique of the interior restoration work at the famous cathedral about 60 miles to the southwest of … Continue reading

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Vote for the trads or mods

After the emergence of Making Dystopia, the history of modern architecture by James Stevens Curl published by Oxford University Press last autumn, the journal Prospect, in the U.K., held an online debate about architecture. The debate question was “Has Modern … Continue reading

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If modernists ran the NFL

To rev ourselves up for the Patriots and the Rams in the Super Bowl this weekend, here is what the game of football might be like if it were run by modernists. In “Driehaus prize goes to Culot” I noted … Continue reading

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The mods’ survival explained

They cut the feedback loop. Nobody has done a better job of explaining the persistence of modern architecture than does Roger Scruton in his review of James Stevens Curl’s new book, Making Dystopia. In his review, Scruton sums up with … Continue reading

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