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.

Your “average life altitude”

Several days ago I was chatting with a friend and the topic of past residences came up. I recalled a column I’d written in January 2009 for the Providence Journal in which I’d unveiled what I called my “average life … Continue reading

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Up Fifth Avenue in early ’30s

Stumbled upon this delightfully informative, well-paced, almost soporific film of Fifth Avenue, taken from the rear window of a motorcar (if they still used that word in the 1930s), at a steady pace except for stops at traffic lights. You’ll … Continue reading

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Two visions of New York City

Two recent panels held by the Empire Station Coalition discussed rebuilding Penn Station in its original 1910 design and growing opposition to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex, which would clog the area around Penn Station with glass-box skyscrapers. … Continue reading

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“Symphony of a Great City”

This video of Berlin made in 1927 – halfway between World War I and World War II – by German filmmaker Walter Ruttman, takes viewers through a day in the life of the metropolis, from morning to noon to night. … Continue reading

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Blake on Corbu’s “furniture”

Peter Blake, modernist architect, critic and (eventually) apostate, writes about “functional” modernist furniture in his book Le Corbusier: Architecture and Form (1960), which I’m reading as a sort of launching pad to his book Form Follows Fiasco (the best book … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Interior Design | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Two rotten eggs and a peach

The I-195 District Redevelopment Commission, at its Sept. 20 meeting, looked at three proposals for mixed-use apartment complexes on former highway land east of the Providence River. One proposal exceeds the other two in appearance. That should be the primary … Continue reading

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Review: “Pollak’s Arm”

Pollak’s Arm, a historical novel by Hans von Trotha, is not about Pollak’s arm but about the arm his protagonist, art collector Ludwig Pollak, found, which had been missing for centuries from the shoulder of Laocoön (pronounced lay-o-coo-on), the central … Continue reading

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See how form follows fiasco

I’ve just started rereading the late Peter Blake’s slender 1960 hagiography of French architect Le Corbusier, born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in Switzerland. A far better book on Corbu, as he is known by his many deluded admirers, is Le Corbusier: The … Continue reading

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A lexicon of modern facades

Among the many differences between modern architecture and traditional or classical architecture is that modernist buildings, which often do not look like buildings at all, receive what I call derisive monikers from members of the public. Traditional and classical design, … Continue reading

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9/11: Peering into the abyss

My last post quoted briefly my Oct. 4, 2001, column in the Providence Journal called “Peering into the towering abyss,” but the link seems to take readers to a sign-up sheet for the Journal archives instead of the text of … Continue reading

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