Category Archives: Preservation

Save the Frick Music Room

Boards of institutions always seem to want to do more for the institution than the institution needs. And whenever a board proposes to do something, it is normally more than is judicious, often a lot more – a unwitting attack … Continue reading

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They fought to save London

I wonder what inspired Simon Jenkins, one of the few sensible architecture critics in Britain, to pen his recent lengthy essay in The Guardian, “Concrete Bungle,” subtitled “How public fury stopped the 1970s plan to turn London into a motorway.” … Continue reading

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A monumental carbuncle

After years of closure pending repair of cracks in its shaft after a freak 2011 earthquake centered in Virginia, the Washington Monument reopened last week. I was aware of the repair but unaware that it entailed that obligatory inducement to … Continue reading

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A tale of two fountains

Nicholas Boys Smith is a founder of London’s new-urbanist Create Streets organization and is now the co-chairman of the British government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission along with Sir Roger Scruton. Boys Smith had replaced Scruton after the latter was … Continue reading

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Destroying history to save it

Placing iconic modernist architecture into ancient historical sites can help preservationists think about how to save neglected landmarks. Allow that sentence to revolve in your mind for a minute and see what insights might be generated. … Huh? Not much … Continue reading

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Save the Crook Point Bridge

Call me a stick in the mud, but climbing the 111-year-old Crook Point Bascule Bridge stuck in the up position since 1976 is not on my bucket list. However, since the last train chugged across the Seekonk River, pimpled daredevils … Continue reading

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While Our Lady is restored

The as yet officially unannounced international design competition on how to repair Notre-Dame de Paris after her extensive damage by fire has already spawned a number of predictably ridiculous proposals. One would replace the roof with a swimming pool intended, … Continue reading

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How to rebuild Notre-Dame

Right out of the box, France announced an international competition to determine whether and how to rebuild the roof and spire of Notre-Dame, destroyed by fire on April 15. French President Emmanuel Macron wants the job done by 2024, in … Continue reading

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Spirit of Benefit Street

By happenstance, much of my yesterday was spent on or near Benefit Street, long known as Providence’s Mile of History. The intersection of Benefit and College streets must be among the most beautiful in the history of the world, to … Continue reading

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Flèche of Viollet-le-Duc

The lost spire of Notre-Dame must be rebuilt, but how? An international design competition has been announced to decide how to rebuild it, whether as it was or as “adapted to techniques and challenges of our times.” These last are … Continue reading

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