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.

More pause please, Newport

Faced with a development proposal to replace the Newport Grand casino, the City by the Sea recently placed a moratorium on development in order to suck its elegant thumb about its development guidelines. Bloomberg CityLab published a lengthy article, “History … Continue reading

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

New and old on Westminster

Several years in the making, renovations on downtown’s Westminster Street between Union and Mathewson are almost done. It will take more time, and possibly the extirpation of coronavirus “and stuff” (as my son puts it), for the buildings to be … Continue reading

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Disrupt architecture now!

So proclaims Pittsburgh architect Anne Chen in “Let’s Change the Language of Buildings for the Future,” in Architect magazine. Huh? I thought that’s what architects have been doing for the last century. Here is her thesis: As a nation, we … Continue reading

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Animal spirits of the E.O.

The General Services Administration, which designs, builds and maintains all federal buildings, has issued a pair of RFQs (Request for Qualifications) for architects to design two federal courthouses, one in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and another in Huntsville, Ala., in a … Continue reading

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Still attacking Kennedy Plaza

A sensible plan to renovate Kennedy Plaza attractively without evicting public transit from Providence’s central square – by far its most logical location – was submitted in 2013, designed by Union Studio. In 2015, this plan was frog-marched out of … Continue reading

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Fly train through Wuppertal

This old video, just over two minutes in length, takes viewers through the western German city of Wuppertal, population 354,382 (almost double that of Providence), on a “flying”  or “floating” train a year after its completion in 1901. The Schwebebahn … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Urbanism and planning, Video | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

‘Ask Dr. Downtown’ revisited

In my last post, “Modern Diner, USModernist,” I promised USModernist talk host George Smart (aka Mr. Modernism) to send him an example of my old “Ask Dr. Downtown” columns, from when I did a column of architecture criticism every Thursday … Continue reading

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Modern Diner, USModernist

Great good news! I just now learned that, after half a year of closure, the excellent Modern Diner, in Pawtucket, has reopened. There is, I should say, nothing modern about the Modern Diner, just a ways down Hope Street, then … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Paris of the Middle East

It’s been several decades since Beirut was commonly known as the Paris of the Middle East. The recent explosion, which devastated the port and wreaked serious damage on nearby central areas of the city, only adds to its problems – … Continue reading

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Creative capitulation in Prov

In recent decades, art in Providence has served as a wrecking ball aimed not just at beauty but at the very concept of art, in a city that depends on art for its historical character, even as it brands itself … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Providence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments