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,, 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.

Beyond translation indeed!

It takes an act of will to make it all the way through a passage of hilariously sublime bureaucratese – quoted from a university prospectus – sent recently by architectural historian James Stevens Curl to a group of his friends … Continue reading

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Lovely town main streets

Architectural Digest has posted “The 30 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America,” and they are beautiful. I examined each photo and saw no buildings identifiable as modern architecture. For while civic beauty is primarily the presence of lovely old buildings; … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Making Dystopia’: Arrival

There it was. Sitting on my stoop. Wrapped in a plain brown postal envelope. I picked it up. Oof! It weighs a ton. It is not big but it is heavy. A brick of gold. Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise … Continue reading

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Palmyrenes saving Palmyra

My eyes popped out when I saw last night’s segment on NBC Nightly News of Palmyrenes rebuilding Palmyra. Mostly they seem to be learning how to carve decorative elements of the ancient Roman city demolished by ISIS several years ago. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Steven Semes in Newport

The Redwood Library & Athenaeum will host a lecture by preservationist Steven Semes on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. Semes will discuss preservation news from around the world, partly about conventional misinterpretations of international preservation treaties, charters, texts and … Continue reading

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Apex ain’t Pawtucket’s soul

If Apex is the soul of Pawtucket, then today’s Penn Station is the soul of New York City. Bad things have happened to the Big Apple in the last half century, and Penn Station arguably symbolizes the worst of it. … Continue reading

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The stupidest profession …

Localism calls to mind various slow movements such as slow food. There should be a slow architecture movement. Localism was taken up recently by the New York Times columnist David Brooks in “The Localist Revolution: Sometimes it Pays to Sweat … Continue reading

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WWI’s monumental sorrow

The National World War II Memorial opened in 2004 on the Mall with a classical design that has been wildly popular with WWII veterans. Had America regained its senses after decades of embarrassing modernist monuments? Alas, no. A nontraditional memorial … Continue reading

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Curl to clobber “dystopia”

Printing now in Britain at Oxford University Press is James Stevens Curl’s jeremiad against modern architecture, called Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism. A review copy is on the way. As I informed Professor Curl in … Continue reading

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‘Dream of Venice in B&W’

JoAnn Locktov, the editrix and impresaria of photographic essays of Venice in book form, sends me another of her beautiful works: Dream of Venice in Black and White, the third in her “Dream of Venice” series, published by Bella Figura … Continue reading

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