Category Archives: Architecture

Why historic preservation?

I just got through watching the Providence Historic Preservation Commission grant conceptual approval to the renovation and expansion of a charming little Italianate cottage on Williams Street, just off the city’s historic Benefit Street. It was a most depressing event. … Continue reading

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Life preserver for Inga Saffron

Six months ago, Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a column, “Buildings Matter, Too,” deploring riot damage to buildings near the city’s fashionable Rittenhouse Square. Saffron herself did not write the headline, and anyway she buys … Continue reading

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Tulip survives London nip

Rowan Moore, architecture critic of The Guardian in the U.K., writes that the proposed 1,000-foot Tulip, designed by Sir Norman Foster as a fancy tourist observation deck, should be denied planning permission by the London authorities (“The Tulip’s towering vanity … Continue reading

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Capt. Aubrey’s dad’s house

Here is a May 2016 post, quoting from the late Patrick O’Brian’s The Surgeon’s Mate, written in 1979. His novels are – and I truly hate to say this, as it verges on sacrilege – as good as those of … Continue reading

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“The Art of Classic Planning”

This comprehensive, fascinating and brilliant volume by Nir Haim Buras, who founded the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, is subtitled “Building Beautiful and Enduring Communities.” So one might well assume that it rejects the … Continue reading

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Confusion to Trump’s E.O.?

“Confusion to Boney” was a toast raised by the British Navy in the Napoleonic era. No doubt “Confusion to Trump’s E.O.” is a toast raised today by modernists fearful of the president’s draft executive order favoring classical styles for federal … Continue reading

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Africa’s “woke” architecture

On Oct. 20, CNN ran a piece describing the 10 most anticipated architectural developments in Africa, titled “Buildings for the future.” Most of the projects are typical of their ilk around the world. They say nothing of Africa or the … Continue reading

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Kennedy Plaza is still at risk

Efforts by the city and state governments to make Kennedy Plaza ugly have not yet succeeded in making it fail. But the attempt to ruin the central public square of Providence is ongoing. The plaza’s beauty has diminished greatly since … Continue reading

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Scott: The mechanical fallacy

Perhaps the most eloquent, erudite, evocative denunciation of modern architecture came near the beginning of its ascendancy with Geoffrey Scott’s chapter “The Mechanical Fallacy” from his 1924 book, The Architecture of Humanism. Scott has the modernists dead to rights. The … Continue reading

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Classical Alex Trebek, R.I.P.

Alex Trebek died the other day. I heard the news in the half-time report of a televised pro football game. Jeopardy! and I had drifted apart of late, but I and my wife, Victoria, watched the show with some fervor … Continue reading

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