Category Archives: Architecture

A stroll through Sept.’s TB

Traditional Building now sends out twelve issues a year to subscribers, most of whom are, I suspect, either architects or those involved in businesses that offer building services and, especially, products to embellish residential, commercial or institutional building projects, including … Continue reading

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Hunting the Bristol baluster

Some collections grow slowly. My collections of miniature buildings and of historical balusters are moribund. I have about twenty or thirty of the little buildings (gathered mostly on overseas trips) and two balusters – one from the Rhode Island State … Continue reading

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Keep Kennedy Plaza central

The master planners of Providence and Rhode Island have figured out how to screw up Kennedy Plaza again. In 2015 they removed its four elegant, Art Nouveau-inspired waiting kiosks, replacing them with sterile plasticky kiosks. Now they want to dig … Continue reading

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Reverse landscape of despair

Understandably, an overlooked part of the debate about architecture is the ease of moving back to tradition in building cities and towns. My blog on Friday, “Modern architecture is killing us,” quoted extensively from James Howard Kunstler’s essay “The Landscape … Continue reading

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How modernism is killing us

In my post on Tuesday, “Alien spaceship in Alberta!,” author and iconoclast James Howard Kunstler tagged Edmonton’s new Deconstructivist library as August’s “Eyesore of the Month.” (The name pegs the style as accurately as that of Brutalism.) Well, as they … Continue reading

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Alien spaceship in Alberta!

Imagine if the charming little spaceship that landed on the Mall in The Day the Earth Stood Still had looked like this. Full global fright would have been the instantaneous and immutable reaction. Sorry, no negotiation over a meeting of … Continue reading

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The stately capitol of R.I.

In whole or in part, the design of the Rhode Island State House (1901) can be read at many levels, directly or intuitively. The volutes of the Ionic capitals on the four cupolas, or tourelles, surrounding the dome suggest the … Continue reading

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Tenn. Tuxedo & P. Purebred

The image above of the Rhode Island State House (Charles Follen McKim, 1900), set against a classical metropolitan backdrop in its role as City Hall, is from the 2007 film Underdog. That year I wrote a column for the Providence … Continue reading

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How to create great streets

Headquartered in London, Create Streets seeks to teach Britons and their place-making institutions how to make better cities and towns. Its mission does not hesitate to include beauty in its remit. Its founder, Nicholas Boys Smith, is now co-chairman (along … Continue reading

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Renoir’s “problem nudes”

I have not seen “Renoir: The Body, The Senses,” an exhibition at the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, but an online correspondent sent me a titillating review of it by Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker, which is entitled … Continue reading

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