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.

Bad language/bad buildings

There is a difference between language and architecture. Language, to riff off the saying attributed to Talleyrand, aims to disguise the absence of thought; whereas architecture aims to express the thoughtlessness of fatuous design. The critic Theodore Dalrymple, a retired … Continue reading

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Get rid of all speed bumps

I doubt that social-justice warriors are on the warpath against speed bumps. Speed bumps are a prime example of punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty. But punishing the guilty for the sins of the guilty is rational, … Continue reading

Posted in Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Stick by our “stuck bridge”

As usual, city authorities, including Mayor Elorza, are trying to find new ways of screwing up Providence by throwing non-existent money at it. In this case, they want to take a perfectly good old 1908 bridge, stuck engagingly in the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A memorial to the agrafe

Today is a day to remember those who have given their lives to perpetuate our American system, the first rule based on the ideal of equality under law for all citizens. Each citizen differs, and likewise, while maybe not quite … Continue reading

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Biden’s putsch at Fine Arts

President Biden on Monday asked four of the seven members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts to resign or be frog-marched out of the picture if they did not do so by 6 p.m. that same day. In his … Continue reading

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Guatemala’s peaceful Cayala

Cayalá is a new town on the edge of crime-ridden Guatemala City that has grown stronger since it was planted in 2011. I’ve written about its lovely mixture of Spanish and Mayan design influences, starting as early as 2012 in … Continue reading

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An architectural reawakening

Architect David Rau gave a lecture called “Reawakening” last week, sponsored by the New Vitruvians, the youth wing of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. He tracks four “awakenings” in the world today, involving … Continue reading

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OopSox chill at Polar Park

By the time this has posted, the WooSox, as the former PawSox Triple-A Boston Red Sox franchise is called, will have played their home opener at the new Polar Park, in Worcester, Mass. Rhode Island baseball fans are of two … Continue reading

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Providence now and then

Among the most fascinating places I’ve recently discovered on the web is the Instagram site of Mike Ferguson, which takes new photographs of Providence and places them next to one or more old photographs of what used to be there. … Continue reading

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What would St. Florian do?

Last Thursday, Friedrich St. Florian, the Providence architect, appeared before a subcommittee of the Historic District Commission on the matter of 59 Williams St., just off Benefit Street in the city’s College Hill Historic District. Its members had visited the … Continue reading

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