Category Archives: Architecture

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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9/11 revisited, 20 years on

I saw 9/11 as it was happening on a TV screen through one of the large windows of URI’s Providence campus (the Shepard Building) facing Union Street. I was on my way to work at the Journal – two blocks … Continue reading

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Telosa: The next BIG thing

Men have sought to establish utopias for centuries in the mind and even on land. Plato posited his “Republic” long before Sir Thomas More coined “utopia,” but More considered his Utopia (1516) a satire. The founders of successive attempts at … Continue reading

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WaterFire back in Providence

Providence has gone two years, since the fall of 2019, without WaterFire, the capital city’s signature work of art, a blessing to citizens of Rhode Island and visitors from much farther afield since 1994. It is the event’s usual crowds … Continue reading

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Tall buildings all fall down

Is there something off-kilter about the photo above from a video sent to me yesterday by architectural theorist Nikos Salingaros? Yes, there is. At first I thought it was a video of Pruitt-Igoe, the St. Louis public housing project, all … Continue reading

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Landscape urbanism revisited

*** Not long ago, in response to my post “Steuteville’s public square,” a pile of emails and comments was generated by my query as to whether something called landscape urbanism still exists. One email called for another look at its … Continue reading

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Penn Station post Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, effective in one week, could provide an opening to rebuild Penn Station as designed by architects McKim Mead & White in 1910. Is the next governor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, of a mind to support the plan? … Continue reading

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Entitling Historical Concepts

Most architectural firms have names listing one or more partners, McKim Mead & White being a chief example familiar to classicists. In recent times some firms have chosen names seemingly designed to impress you with their creativity, such as SHoP … Continue reading

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