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.

Comments on the style wars

My last post “Modern architecture as spin” drew a reply from architect Daniel Morales that, paired with my reply, deserves to be front and center on this blog, rather than stuck in the comment section. Dan and I have gone … Continue reading

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Modern architecture as spin

An article in the Guardian on the rise and fall of London’s Millennium Dome sums up much of what ails modern architecture. “20 years on, revisiting a very British fiasco,” by Rowan Moore, describes the pitfalls of treating architecture not … Continue reading

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Imagine all the buildings …

The other day, flipping through stacks of my old Providence Journal columns seeking a shot of a c. 1750 house in Providence’s old village of Hardscrabble (which I found), I came across a column inspired by a website’s image of … Continue reading

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The Nightingale sings, so far

A large square extraordinarily promising brick building arises on the block downtown where hundreds of Providence Journal employees used to park. I just learned today that it will be called the Nightingale Building. Buff Chace, whose work has revived downtown … Continue reading

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Hardscrabble and Snowtown

Hardscrabble in 1824 was a poor hamlet of respectable families headed mostly by free black tradesmen, craftsmen and servants in the town of Providence. Blacks and others along Olney Lane (now Olney Street) lived cheek by jowl, however, with prostitutes, … Continue reading

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Providence riots, 1824, 1831

Here is my Feb. 24, 2005, column in the Providence Journal, headlined “Hardscrabble and Snowtown of yore”: *** HARDSCRABBLE and Snowtown are old Providence neighborhoods that have fallen off the map. In 1824, Hardscrabble was a poor enclave of houses … Continue reading

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Save the Frick Music Room

Boards of institutions always seem to want to do more for the institution than the institution needs. And whenever a board proposes to do something, it is normally more than is judicious, often a lot more – a unwitting attack … Continue reading

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A view of Providence in 1808

The Rhode Island Historical Society yesterday displayed its amazing 1809 drop curtain, owned by the society since 1833 and depicting the town as it appeared in 1808, twenty years before the Providence Arcade was built in 1828. It is thought … Continue reading

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Why the folks hate the mods

Mark Lamster’s The Man in the Glass House continues to offer up examples of Philip Johnson’s dislikeability, many of which amount to reasons why people dislike modern architecture. The following passage comes after Lamster has described how Johnson struck out … Continue reading

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Lessons of the Berlin Wall

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Many lessons have been learned, but this post will not, of course, comment on its geopolitical takeaways. Instead, and briefly, I hope a useful parallel can be drawn … Continue reading

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