Category Archives: Uncategorized

Before the London fire, 1666

An engraver by trade, John Thomas Smith trod this earth two centuries ago (1766-1833), and was also known as “Antiquity Smith.” He etched buildings in London that had survived the Great Fire of 1666, many of which were being demolished … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture History, Art and design, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

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

Amend GSA’s guidelines?

After February’s leak of the draft executive order to prefer traditional design for federal architecture, many architects, including some classicists, worried that classicism would be hurt by any proposal linked to President Trump. Now, on the heels of a congressional … Continue reading

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Monster U.’s oddball campus

Imprisoned in our own home, we decided (that is, Billy, 11, decided, with Mom’s backing) that we’d watch Monster University, a 2013 Disney animated prequel to 2001’s Monster Inc. by Pixar. Monster U. features six cute young frat monsters led … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Video of Manhattan in 1911

This is, I am pretty sure, the best video of old New York City that I’ve come across. At eight and a half minutes, it is among the longest, with crisp photography and a wide range of locations. Ladies and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Video of pencil sculptures

A marvelous minute of video portrays a virtuoso hand at sculpting the lead out of a pencil. Click on “Art on the tip of a pencil” to view a minute of how Salavat Fidai gets the lead out. More can … Continue reading

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Homage to Penn Station

Tonight I watched a PBS “The American Experience” presentation on the rise and fall of Pennsylvania Station, which I will preview for Thursday’s column and which will broadcast to the public next Tuesday. To gin readers up for that, enter … Continue reading

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Songs of electric car silence

One of the endearing features of electric and hybrid cars is the silence of their engines. So of course that feature is about to meet its maker. U.S. and E.U. regulators are calling for noisemaking electric engines for safety reasons. … Continue reading

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The real Minette de Silva

Sometimes it seems like open season on female architects as long as they are in cahoots with the roving eye of Le Corbusier, one of the founding fathers of modern architecture. There is the recurrent hullaballoo over Eileen Gray, whose … Continue reading

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Bad Mad Men

See them (the bad mad men) lurking in the background? Please don’t remove the foreground (the bad mad, often angry, women)! So here’s Dan Bishop, production designer for Mad Men, describing (I think in Dwell magazine, as my source seems … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments